Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Mets 5, Pirates 3

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (41-39) vs. New York Mets (36-44)

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, Radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page and our Bucco Blog. Rob Biertempfel is on the scene for the Trib.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Maz In Iowa says:

    David Wright will not be in the line up

  2. JRay3 says:

    24/7 reporting that Cumpton in Hurdle’ office, it appears that he is being told about his return to Indy.

    Cumpton has done everything the club has asked of him so feel for him a bit here, but it also underscores the depth of the arms the Pirates have which bodes extremely well for the second half of the season.

    And you still have to believe Cumpton has shown enough to be in this club’s future plans in the rotation or as a valuable trade chip to a team needing SP help.

  3. JRay3 says:

    Bulding off the story of Pirates pitching depth, Casey Sadler went out and threw 7 shutout innings for Indy last night. Between him, Kingham, eventually Taillon and Glasnow, boy do the Pirates have an arms race developing.

    Also nice to hear that Austin Meadows is finally taking the field on Monday after a long rehab from the hamstring injury. As he and Josh Bell are labeled the two best hitting prospects in the system.

  4. Maz In Iowa says:

    Thx for the info

  5. JRay3 says:


  6. cmat0829 says:

    Really a no brainer at this point. It’s the same thing with the Tabata move…biggest factor is ‘asset allocation’ as Clint called it…or in other words, how do you preserve your depth. By putting guys in AAA that can go there without them being lost to other teams, for the time being.

    If you compare Cumpton to Locke, straight up, to me you have to go with Locke because (1) he has experienced All Star success at this level (2) he’s left handed (3) he’s just better. No disrespect to Brandon, but Worley stays because he is out of options.

    At this point, Volquez, Worley, and Locke are all pitching each time to stay in the rotation. If anyone falters, Cumpton will be right back here. And if they all pitch well, then what a great problem to have. Liriano will also have to show he’s not only healthy but back to pitching well again… or they will take their time with activating him.

  7. Jim S.
    June 28, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    I find it interesting that Ryan Braun is not hitting a ton of HRs, XBH, or hitting for a very high avg. this season.
    He did get the game winning hit last night, he did torch the Bucs with a couple of huge HR a couple of nights in a row off that former Bucs reliever, and he did hit 3 HR in a game this year. But, overall, he’s hitting .283 w 10 HR and 28 XBH, where he used to routinely get approximately 80 XBH in a season. It will be interesting to see if his power stroke returns. If not, he cheated his way to a lot of money.


    June 28, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Sweet Jimmie,

    Andrew McCutch——79 games——37 xbh——12 HR——48 RBI

    Ryan Braun————62 games——28 xbh——10 HR——43 RBI

    Braun has missed 18 games with various injuries. Otherwise his stats match or exceed MVP McCutch.

  8. cmat0829 says:

    yep, no downside to this logjam of pitching. NH now has to decide if he wants to go get a true ace and give up a top prospect or two or three in the process… or stand pat, grind thru 2014, and hope that Taillon and Cole become the young aces they have envisioned them to be for this team. It’s a bit tricky. The analysis has to be if acquiring a Price-type would catapult the Pirates into say the position the Cards and Dodgers are in now…chief threats to their division leaders and frontrunners in the wild card chase… if not clear that would happen, I’m not so sure it’s clear cut that you give up the prospect cachet right now. Offseason with someone you can control 2015 and 2016? Much better scenario, IMHO.

  9. cmat0829 says:

    not sure if Jim’s inference was that PEDs were partly responsible for Braun being a topnotch player vs. just a good player, but if that is the point, then injuries are relevant. One of the advantages PEDs give athletes is ability to avoid and recover more quickly from injuries. I’m not about to give lyin’, cryin’ Ryan any benefit of the doubt. He’s a scumbag.

  10. JRay3 says:

    Totally agreed….Cutch has done what he has the right way, an everyday player that does not break down. Braun has an inflated career, and will sit on the DL a few times a season, and how does anyone truly know if he even plays the game clean today? He is proven to be a cheat his whole career.

  11. cmat0829 says:

    It’s official – Cumpton to Indy. Also, Frieri (don’t forget the first r) has arrived and will be in the bullpen for today’s game. I’m guessing Hughes can’t go today, and perhaps Marky Mark… so Watson, Frieri, Wilson our preferred bullpen arms in relief of Cole.

    Time for a big offensive day and 7 dominant for Cole.

  12. Arriba Wilver says:

    Groat: first, welcome back.

    Second, I don’t think comparing Braun’s stats to Cutch’s affect Jim’s point too much. It’s comparing Braun’s stats this year against, say, Braun’s MVP year. Hey, the guy caused his own “problem.” Kinda like Bonds. Bonds was a great player before PEDS, but he was a “better” player after, especially in the HR stat.

  13. bpn8pitt says:

    I enjoyed the game last night. Also enjoyed DKs column on the Neal trade. Classic line about trades and the return of a trade only judged by fools. Its about the impact on the team. Fantastic writing, true and pointed.

    Hoping that the Grilli trade has a positive effect on the bullpen as a whole. Mark the Shark still scares me…but we will see.

    I’m not really into bobbleheads but
    tonights I wouldn’t mind having. Hope you get one Dejan.

  14. JRay3 says:

    How about the Mets batting their pitcher Niese 8th today, a further testament to how bad that lineup is:

    Granderson, Tejada, Murphy, Duda, Campbell, Neiuwehuis, Recker, Niese, Young.

    Official Cumpton to Indy and Cole activated.

  15. cmat0829 says:

    First, I agree the Mess lineup is an embarrassment. The signing of Chris Young should be Alderson’s ‘get fired’ card, but he still manages to hang on. But hitting the pitcher 8th is interesting to me… it is all about the profile of who hits 9th. In this case, Eric Young Jr. is speedy and serves in the 9th spot like a 2nd leadoff hitter. By contrast, if the Bucs bat Stewart 8th, he has no business in the 9 spot.

  16. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh, he’ll get one. I think he has connections. ;-)

    Hoka Hey!

  17. War_Horse says:

    The Pirates are playing their most winning baseball of the season over the past month, but they have not gained ground on the Brewers, who are also playing well. At the start of play on May 28th, one month ago, Pittsburgh was 8 games behind Milwaukee in the standings (4th in the Central Division). Take a look at where they are today. Same-same.
    Both the Bucs and Brewers have the same record over the past month: 18-10—a .643 winning percentage. Hence we haven’t gained ground in the standings.
    However, the Pirates have raised their won-lost record from 23-29 on May 28th to 41-39 today. Their winning percentage has gone from .442 to .513–a reassuring reflection of how much the team has improved.
    I am waiting for someone to explain when we might expect the Brewers to start their “regression” this season. Does that come in August? September? And why will Milwaukee regress and not Pittsburgh? Just wondering.

  18. piratemike says:

    I wonder if Cumpton is thinking “Lord get me traded so I can get on with my career “.

  19. Maz In Iowa says:

    It might come down to depth.Injuries can make or break teams.Not sure about the players the beermakers have in the the Pirates case it seems to help that they seem more confident and are playing looser and enjoying themselves.JMO

  20. bpn8pitt says:

    This series is going to get 120k attendance easily. It may get over 140. Not sure what next week brings, but with schools out and July 4th vacations, gonna be a nice homestand. Really hope they play well.

  21. Lonely Libertarian says:

    Well the good news of the awful start for the Bucs is that nobody other than the Brewers took advantage and broke away from the pack – so we have
    The Cards at 44-37
    The Reds at 41-38
    The Bucs at 41-39

    If the problem was passing just one of them it might be manageable – but the Dodgers are in the mix – and have the advantage over the Cards for the #1 wild card at 45-37…

    Washington is also floating around at the same relative position as the Bucs and Reds making things a bit more interesting…

    Two or three of the teams in the mix are going to make fairly big trades to try and win this year so even though the Bucs are better – they still have a lot of work to do…

    And over the last three years they have not been a very good second half team…

    Last year they won 43 of 81 – and the year before only 36…

    Bottom line is some big things need to happen – be done to compete…

  22. dennis g says:

    They may not have gained ground on Milwaukee but at several points this month they were closer to Chicago than they were to St. Louis. They are now just 3 games out of sole possession of second and twice that from last. One thing at a time. It is a lot easier to win a pennant chasing one team than it is chasing three.

  23. Thundercrack says:

    Edinson Volquez told me that he would not know how to pitch out of the bullpen if he were asked to do so, citing routine, warm up time.
    tweet from Dan Zangrilli

  24. The Gunner says:

    It’s too bad the Buccos couldn’t take control of the situation and take care of the Brewers during their last series. Now the Bucs have no choice but to keep playing .667 baseball and hope the Brewers cool off.

    Cole is due for a dominating performance – today would be a great time for him to do that!

  25. Lonely Libertarian says:

    Todays perspective post – courtesy of Fangraphs…

    Among all outfielders with at least 150 innings here is how the Bucs OF players rank in UZR/150…

    Jay-Hay – 18th
    Marte – 26th
    Polanco – 36th
    The MVP – 43rd
    Lunchie – 50th

    So when I see all these posts talking about how great it would be to pitch in front of this OF – how no fly ball will ever touch the ground I take it with a grain of salt.

  26. pattonbb says:

    Scumbag is about the nicest thing I can say about Lyin’ Ryan.

  27. Patrick(ri) says:

    I think the idea of “the best outfield in MLB” is future oriented. Give Marte time to develop and Polanco time to mature and these numbers will become mere numbers. I would think it also possible that JHay will improve. In time, I bet Cutch moves to left and Marte to center– cannot wait to see those numbers!

  28. Andrew says:

    You should also take, with a grain of salt, UZR ratings based on 700 inning samples, and not even consider rating in 300 innings.

  29. +++++++++++++++++

  30. Patrick(ri) says:

    I’ll bet all his friends drive Porches up in the biggies. He needs more time to make amend$.

  31. Patrick(ri) says:


  32. The Gunner says:

    The Bucs will not be adding David Price in 2014

  33. Maz In Iowa says:


  34. chethejet1 says:

    Pirates after this year have to make a decision on Alvarez. Martin will be at least 3 years for 30 million which was what they were going to give Edwin Jackson. Dodged a bullet there. Tallion is key to the starting pitching next year. If he is good to go by June, Bucs have four starters who are under control for four years or more. Morton may be three but long enough. Pirates will have money to bring in a very good player either through a trade or FA signing. If they keep Alvarez, then 1st base has to be addressed for sure.

  35. JRay3 says:

    Still no Marte

  36. Maz In Iowa says:

    Gregory Polanco RF
    Jordy Mercer SS
    Andrew McCutchen CF
    Gaby Sanchez 1B
    Josh Harrison LF
    Neil Walker 2B
    Pedro Alvarez 3B
    Chris Stewart C
    (Gerrit Cole

  37. Maz In Iowa says:

    Hurdle has stated he wanted to rest Polanco and Cutch sometime this weekend.Tomorrow’s line up might be pretty scary……you know Stewy and Barmes etc and possibly Lunchbox.Stay tuned folks

  38. Sisyphus says:

    And you know that Cutch isn’t using PEDs how?

  39. Lonely Libertarian says:

    OK – you don’t like small sample sizes – and yes they can be misleading – but here is some “large” sample size data.

    Last year the Bucs were middle of the pack – 7th in UZR. The conventional wisdom seemed to be that once Polanco was added they would move up – perhaps to a top 2-3 defense.

    Well yes Polanco has only been here a short time – but they are currently last in the NL – 15th in OF defense…

    One interesting thing in the data is that the Cards with John Jay playing center and Beltran right had a really bad OF defense – 13th…

    They let Beltran go in free agency and traded for Borgueis – now they rank 2nd…

    I love the Bucs – and Cutch and Walker are among my favorite players – but they are both having very bad defensive years and should be moved – Cutch to Left and Walker to 1st or 3rd.

    Add the fact that Davis is not producing – or playing very good defense a move of Pedro or Walker to 1st over the winter would seem to be a good idea.

  40. Sisyphus says:

    Milwaukee is a good team, but they don’t have a lot of depth. A couple or three injuries could kill them, especially if one or two hit the rotation.

  41. The Gunner says:

    I like the idea of Walker moving to 1B eventually

  42. Lonely Libertarian says:

    I have found this sort of thing frustrating in the past – Hurdle wants to rest players – well in a couple of weeks we have this thing called the All Star break coming up – playing around with the lineup when the opportunity to make up some ground should be the driving priority is frustrating.

    I would like to get a feel of some sense of urgency from Hurdle – these are young guys with lots of trainers and support people…

  43. Sisyphus says:

    UZR numbers are highly suspect, especially for small sample sizes like 150 innings. And for some reason they seem to be especially skewed when dealing with Pirates outfielders over the years. Maybe the way that they’re positioned, maybe because of the odd dimensions of the outfield, I don’t know.

  44. KING says:

    Love seeing Cole back on the mound. Reminds me of a young Roger Clemens with his fastball & the way he attacks the batters.

    Still would love to see Cole close some games. It would be lights out.

    Heard Cumpton odd man out. He should be back. Hes like the pitcher version of J-Hay. Takes the ball & does his job. No flash.

    Think Pirates will win 5-3. HR Polanco HR Cutch. 3 hits J-Hay. Curious to see this new closer. KING

  45. Radio wave says:

    What fault are you folks finding with the lineup? Catcher?

  46. Radio wave says:

    Cole rusty?

  47. Patrick(ri) says:

    Hope the Met uniforms are as uncomfortable as they look. Do players gripe about this stuff?

  48. Chuck H says:

    Lonely: I agree that now is not the time to be resting our best players, especially with the all-star game break so close. We should be gunning to win every game possible before the AS game, and then, be ready for the second half of the season. Anyway, how much of a break do these young guys need? GO, BUCS!!!

  49. Radio wave says:

    Who is this Campbell guy?

  50. JRay3 says:

    Not even three outs in and the Pirates have their work cut out for them today.

  51. Radio wave says:

    Could bde a short day for Cole.

  52. Hope it’s not a Jeanmar day.

  53. Patrick(ri) says:

    What skill set is Stewart supposed to have?

  54. Barb says:

    He doesn’t. I hate it when Russell isn’t behind the plate. I know he can’t catch everyday still…..

  55. twentytwo22 says:

    Why no rehab starts for Cole? Our rotation isn’t a problem. This is a throwaway game against a last place team we can’t afford.

  56. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Why bring Cole back this quickly?!
    It’s not like the Pirates had been getting shaky starting pitching.
    This was an organizational mistake.

  57. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks for the “perspective,” Andrew. ;-)

    LL/FB—you happen to catch (pun intended) Cutch in the outfield last night?

  58. Patrick(ri) says:

    With all the pitchers we have, it does seem stupid not to have Cole doing this in Indianapolis.

  59. The Gunner says:

    Excellent point, Patrick. Cole is really pissed now – I wouldn’t want to be the water cooler.

  60. cmat0829 says:

    where were all these opinions BEFORE THE GAME?. pretty easy to take potshots at the move now.. come on, guys, this blog would be howling if the Bucs took more time with Cole, sent him to Indy for rehab starts, etc.

    he doesn’t have command, and his breaking pitch is woefully easy to hit today. but backseat driving is oh so easy.

  61. Radio wave says:

    They just mentioned that on the radio.

  62. cmat0829 says:

    LOL, Cole is PISSED not to be pitching in Indy??? that is an absolute JOKE. Cole wanted no rehab starts, you can be most assured of that. He’d be stewing if they sent him out for rehab starts. Good grief.

  63. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Truthfully….I didn’t think about it.
    If it was my job, I would’ve thought about it.

  64. Rbilak says:

    Anyone else ever wish when this Duda guy bats his song should be Camptown races? Doo-da, Doo-da

    On WGN Cubs put Harrison run down to Benny Hill theme.

    Bad outing for Cole.

    Pens looking at goalies in free agency. Interesting.

  65. The Gunner says:

    sounds kinda selfish, Cmat. You should always put the team first.

  66. KING says:

    Cole off to rocky start…Mets leading 5-0 after 2 innings. Thank God it’s early. Pirates will have to win with Offense today.

    Good inning to score… J-Hay leading off this inning. Go Pirates! KING

  67. LonelyLibertarian says:

    Want to redo that one King?

    I really think it is a mistake to leave Cole out there to struggle – for whatever reason he was not ready to come
    back – thought that was what genius pitching coaches and manager who get really cushy conrtact extensions were
    paid to do – guess not…

    Just leave a guy who has the potential to be a staff ace out there to struggle – bet Boras can’t wait to get him to a
    team the values him…


  68. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    All organizations make mistakes, and the Pirates made one here.

  69. cmat0829 says:

    the time for these intrepid ‘opinions’ was before the game guys.. all I read here was us getting ready for a dominating Cole performance. Didn’t see one post expressing doubt about his readiness, desire for Volquez to be making this start and Cole in Indy.

  70. JRay3 says:

    I was going to say the same thing, easy to arm chair manage after the fact, but I did not see one opinion questioning Cole starting today.

    He is the teams ace, if team felt he was ready you get him back out there.

  71. cmat0829 says:

    Bucs hitters need to be way more patient. Mets making Cole labor and Pirates swinging at almost everything Niese throws.

  72. Patrick(ri) says:


  73. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Sounds like your speaking after the fact.

  74. Daquido_Bazzini says:


  75. cmat0829 says:

    i have to say, all is fair in blog and war, but this string of posts about Cole starting today is a new low in my opinion for this blog. Absolute BS.

  76. The Gunner says:


    Our opinions don’t matter whether we state them before the fact or after the fact. It does make for some interesting banter on the blog before all the whiners come on and start bitching about Pedro’s defense or Lunchbox not being as good as Tabata etc.

  77. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I’m calling BS on you.
    The Pirate organization can do NO wrong in your book.
    Biased baloney…..

  78. LonelyLibertarian says:

    So us conspiracy theorists would conclude that Cole refused a rehab start or two – that would have delayed the Cumpton decision – and that he was left out there as a message…

  79. cmat0829 says:

    okie dokie. enjoy the tin foil hats on a hot day.

  80. Andrew says:

    Lot hindsight here, but the first time I remember hearing about a player refusing a rehab assignment was Burnett after his calf injury last year, he came back without one and pitched 5 innings of 2 run ball. I’m sure other guys refuse them.

  81. The Gunner says:

    Ah yes! Here is the start of the interesting banter.

  82. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    And wear yours with pride.

  83. cmat0829 says:

    i said all is fair in war and blog… post any opinions you like. It is absolutely right to question the approach to bringing Cole back into the rotation… should he rehab start in a live game, etc. I’m sure it was carefully thought through by the Pirates management. I have to believe Cole wanted back out there as soon as he could, as did Walker… and you can definitely make the argument both have not been sharp since coming back and maybe we are better served by them getting timing back in Indy. But the tone of some of these posts are what I’m calling BS on… that this is such a horrible blunder by the BMTIB, etc. Cheap shots.

  84. The Gunner says:

    AJ was special, Andrew. One of the many reasons the BMTIB let him fly the coop

  85. JRay3 says:

    Nice bounce back inning by Cole who got four outs in the third. Hope he can settle in from here on out, and build off of this performance moving forward.

  86. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    As soon as I hear the proverbial “tin foil hat” comment, all mysteries are solved.
    Get back in the dugout.

  87. Andrew says:

    Good find, I still do struggle a bit to come to terms with the magnitude of the value of framing, some the runs and WAR values just seem too high.

  88. Arriba Wilver says:

    What string?

    Based on what’s happening, it looks like it might have been a mistake. Maybe? Maybe not.

    A “new low” is ridiculous hyperbole.

    You know what was ridiculous to me? Saying that this blog would have howled if they wouldn’t have had him pitch today. What does that even mean? But it’s not a “new low.” Pretty much SOP.

  89. Radio wave says:

    Let them get this out of their system today, I have tix Sunday.

  90. cmat0829 says:

    yep you are right, i’ve never criticized the pirates management, ever. You got me.

  91. Florida Steeler says:

    there are reports that the el cheapo Pirates are being absurd in their offerings to Polanco. Miles apart because Nutting believes he can get everything without spending.

  92. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Hey…Great shot of the Gunner and the Great One.
    Those were tremendous days to be growing up a Pirate fan.

  93. cmat0829 says:

    best thing for cole now is to pitch as much as he can, get the command back, get the feel back, etc. The walks killed him more than anything today… and Mets with clutch 2out hits. It happens.

  94. Andrew says:

    If I remember correctly AJ reasoning was because it wasn’t an arm injury, but I do wonder how common it is for pitchers to just come back right to majors after one 15 DL stint. And Snider stinks.

  95. The Gunner says:

    Thanks, Mr. Bazzini – those were great days for sure. Now we need some Lumber Company type action!

  96. JRay3 says:

    I actually read stories saying the Bucs offer was very fair and consistent with similar type signings of player with zero service time.

    Polanco and his reps maybe betting he can show that his numbers will even be better and that he is worth more than market, a gamble their group is taking if he does not show that immediately at the MLB level.

    The fact that both sides have inched up and down from their original offers shows that discussions are on going and are favorable to a deal eventually being reached.

  97. Maz In Iowa says:

    Cole’s bat ain’t rusty

  98. cmat0829 says:

    The real article said that the Pirates and Polanco are ‘far apart’ on a deal, that the Pirates seem to basing the deal on their Marte contract and Polanco’s team wanting more. Your wording and slant are your own.

    Wake me when they get a deal done. At this point, Scott Boras would point out that Polanco signing ANY deal, at ANY amount, would favor the team and not the player.

  99. Andrew says:

    Well that is one interpretation.

  100. The Gunner says:

    I hope you are trying to be a comedian about this. Unfortunately, you are probably right.

  101. KING says:

    A caller to the FAN & some posters on the Pirates DK blog brought up some good stats about Bucs struggles in day games.

    I have no explanation for it. Pirates have good reserve players plus Cutch & Pedro in these games.

    They just stranded Cole at 2nd. Wish I could just Etch-A-Sketch away this Pirates start. Start a new game. KING

  102. cmat0829 says:

    i’m with you KING< bad combo today… Niese is on his game and Cole wasn't. Bucs need to start chipping away….

  103. Arriba Wilver says:

    He’s coming back from an injury. Damage is already done. Let him get his work in.

    Cushy contract extension? WTF?

  104. cmat0829 says:

    i highly doubt Nutting is even involved in any negotations at this point. If and when the baseball management team determine they are close to a deal, they may or may not have to get Nutting to sign off. But this would all likely fall well within their established major league payroll budget NH has to work with, so again, not sure Nutting would even get involved. But it’s more exciting to think otherwise.

  105. Arriba Wilver says:


  106. Florida Steeler says:

    Jon Heyman reports that the Pirates are offering “bad deals for Polanco to accept.” This is not Boras speaking but someone that has more information than you or me. Why would anyone not believe the Pirates would try to go cheap with their past history??

  107. cmat0829 says:

    OK, maybe not a ‘new low’ because there are plenty of other lows that are pretty low… but the blog MO has been (not everyone but majority) to put your best 25 out there at all times… that you have to try to win every game, etc…. Cole, when healthy, clearly is one of our best pitchers. So if they slowfooted his return with rehab starts, I’m quite certain we’d have seen posts wondering why we were wasting Cole down in Indy.

    They only way we see these posts stating the other opinion is AFTER Cole gives up 5 early runs today. Otherwise, these opinions would never have been shared. Because they didn’t exist.

  108. Cole nearing 80 pitches. Hope they don’t stretch him too much. Did anyone say he had a pitch limit today?

  109. Maz In Iowa says:

    Walker had one rehab game.Martin had none.Not sure how this figures in with Cole,but it seems they are a bit more lenient on whether or not players rehab.Of course pitchers may be different.Just an observation.

  110. The Gunner says:

    I think they’ll yank him once the count gets into the low 90s. Or maybe he’ll get a hoover and call it a day.

  111. Arriba Wilver says:

    I didn’t see one, but I think I saw that he threw 85 in his last simulated game.

  112. KING says:

    Russell Martin must be smiling in the dugout. Mets taking their liberties running on Stewart and with success. Pirates have to resign him now. All that $ they saved not signing free agents can go to Martin & Walker.

    Have no idea what Martin would be worth but 3 years 33 mill a start. Cole starting to stabilize but damage has been done. KING

  113. cmat0829 says:

    the 4th inning will be it for cole, hope he gets thru it without giving up any more runs. Pimentel will get some work today, and Gomez and maybe Frieri.

  114. Arriba Wilver says:

    Stewart doesn’t look good (I’m being kind), but they’re running on Cole.

  115. cmat0829 says:

    can you source the quotes you attribute to Heyman? I read the entire article he never once opines about the deal being ‘bad’. Not once.

    He is simply describing what can be said about any negotiations… you start far apart and eventually your bridge the gap. I will bet you anything you want they get a deal done with Polanco well before he hits arbitration.

  116. cmat0829 says:

    Yuck, makes me sick to see Carlos Gomez prance around the bases celebrating his home run. Rockies pitching is atrocious and the Brewers are taking candy from a baby in that series. But boy a Rockies pitcher needs to plunk Gomez in the ass for all of this theatrics. Helmet pounding, low fiving, pointing to the fans, its ridiculous.

  117. cmat0829 says:

    yep, i’m ready for the stewart era to be over, imploring NH to sign Martin at any cost, and ready to endure Tony Montana a couple days a week because at least he can hit. But yea, I don’t need Chris Stewart back here in 2015.

  118. KING says:

    LL,I wrote the blog post before the game started. Had no idea Cole would struggle out of the gate. Especially with Mets lineup. Only 4th inning…Never know what Bucs will do. KING

  119. cmat0829 says:

    come on JHay!! get rid of that 0.

  120. The Gunner says:

    Gaby Sanchez is leaving a bit to be desired as of late

  121. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t keep track of “majorities” on the blog for the most part, since it’s meaningless, (plus not sure how to do it). Telling other people what they think is annoying, though. JMO

  122. cmat0829 says:

    OK, come on Neil, hit a gapper!!!

  123. cmat0829 says:

    i will AGREE

  124. cmat0829 says:

    can pedro hit a grand salami?? we could use one.

  125. Andrew says:

    Heyman is a fine reporter but I am going elsewhere for opinions/analysis on the economics of baseball.

  126. JRay3 says:

    Ok big opportunity here to get right back into ball game.

  127. Patrick(ri) says:

    Uh Oh. Bases loaded less thn 2

  128. Arriba Wilver says:

    Uh oh. The dreaded bases loaded.

  129. cmat0829 says:

    i want the clemente wall grand slam, but will take an oppo field 2run single.

  130. Maz In Iowa says:

    Oh no!The dreaded …bags are full.Yikes!!

  131. Arriba Wilver says:

    With one out, no less.

  132. The Gunner says:

    it would be great, Cmat. He is overdue for a huge hit.

  133. Patrick(ri) says:

    Beat ya to it, by milliseconds.

  134. Maz In Iowa says:

    Great minds think alike. :

  135. cmat0829 says:

    OK< MEMO TO BOB WALK… stop mentioning the worst outcome that could happen…twice today he mentioned the Mets could get a big 2 out hit for 2 runs, and it happened. now he mentions the DP ball from Pedro. Geesh, shut up man.

  136. Andrew says:

    It is more Cole and his leg kick, only caught 2 runners in 17 attempts coming into today with Cole on the mound.

  137. The Gunner says:

    we’ll take it!!!

  138. cmat0829 says:

    Niese afraid of El Toro… pitches around to get to the crappy Stewart…. too early to pinch hit??

  139. cmat0829 says:

    COME ON STEWART. NO SWING UNTIL YOU GET A STRIKE. And just a bloop gives us 2.

  140. Andrew says:

    Ike Davis could have done that.

  141. Patrick(ri) says:

    No swings till he throws a strike

  142. Maz In Iowa says:

    RBI from Pedro with the bases loaded.WTH

  143. cmat0829 says:

    yes, no doubt the SBs are on Cole, but the Stewart sucking is also correct.

  144. cmat0829 says:

    A gift strike call for Niese…. should be a walk already.

  145. Patrick(ri) says:

    Let Cole hit!

  146. cmat0829 says:

    Wow, Niese is leaking oil all of a sudden. Keep the line moving… come on Marte, a single puts us right back in it. At least a sac fly.

  147. JRay3 says:

    A walk to Stewart…yes! Bucs chipping away!

  148. Maz In Iowa says:

    RBI from Stewart with the bases loaded.WTH

  149. Patrick(ri) says:

    Marte least patient hitter we have. Where is Barmes?

  150. The Gunner says:

    Pitcher’s burning up! Remember that one???

  151. cmat0829 says:

    OK, Starling…notice he just walked 3 in a row…no swinging at sliders out of the zone.

  152. cmat0829 says:

    or ike

  153. cmat0829 says:

    terrible strike 3 call by that ump. just awful. Sure Las Diaz isn’t behind the plate again?

  154. JRay3 says:

    Horrible call can’t pin that on Marte, just horrible.

  155. cmat0829 says:

    So does MLB really discipline the umps for bad ball/strike calls? because in this critical spot, he is costing the Bucs big time.

  156. cmat0829 says:

    if I were clint i’d call time, go out and get right in the grill of the ump and scream until my voice went out.

  157. 21sthebest says:

    Umpires get fined. I don’t know what it takes to get a fine.

  158. Patrick(ri) says:

    The ump sucks, but so do the Pirates in these situations. Just pitiful.

  159. cmat0829 says:

    HUGE assist to the Mets from the home plate umpire….rang marte up on obvious ball…and forced Polanco to swing at anything. Awful.

  160. cmat0829 says:

    his fine should be huge on that one, based on the game situation. just inexplicable to call the one on marte a strike.

  161. Arriba Wilver says:


  162. Radio wave says:

    Bases loaded jinx again.(

  163. pattonbb says:

    No. Strikezone interpretation has nothing to do with how umps are graded.

  164. 21sthebest says:

    No, that’s on Polanco.

  165. cmat0829 says:

    i agree but in that situation, you can’t swing at the pitches in the location Niese was putting them in… if you are too aggressive and swing at balls, you get yourself out. I wouldn’t want Marte swinging at what was called strike 3 under any circumstances. Same with Polanco on the one they called a strike.

  166. Maz In Iowa says:

    It was a dark and Stolmy night……….. :)

  167. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yep, I don’t blame him for swinging. Smart.

  168. 21sthebest says:

    I can hear TC The Beer Vendor. Please make him go away.

  169. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nah, they got 2. Right back in it.

  170. cmat0829 says:

    why not? thought MLB had established a strike zone and expected it to be called consistently. but that call on marte had nothing to do with ‘strike zone interpretation’. if its off the plate inside about 6 inches, there can be no interpretation of a strike zone that would allow that. High and low, especially high, I’ll give you that.

  171. cmat0829 says:

    What’s the difference in the game so far today? Mets with 2 2-out, 2-run base hits off of Cole…Bucs strand them loaded in their best chance to add runs. A hit from Marte or Polanco there would’ve been huge. But down 3, we are back in this. Need Stolmy to weather the middle innings.

  172. 21sthebest says:

    At the one in the dirt?

  173. Patrick(ri) says:

    Don’t know why they bother to slide?

  174. cmat0829 says:

    Stewart’s throws today have been H O R R I B L E. He sucks. Yankees overhype machine strikes again. See, Montero, Jesus.

  175. Thundercrack says:

    Do you know what Polanco is asking for?

  176. Radio wave says:

    Mets habe 5 steals.

  177. Patrick(ri) says:

    I guess they don’t want to get beaned.

  178. JohninOshkosh says:

    Both teams are playing their 81st game today.

    One half of the season completed.

    Like everything else, the season is flying by.

  179. cmat0829 says:

    it can be both, right? Ump calling anything a strike puts hitter on their toes. Polanco didn’t catch the pitch early enough to know it was gonna be that bad, and he swings and misses. Def. not umps fault that Polanco swung at an obvious ball, but he set the tone that had Polanco more anxious and voila.

  180. cmat0829 says:

    OK Stolmy doused the Met threat and it’s 2-3-4 in the order to try to put Niese out of his misery…. be big to get another run or two here, keep the pressure on.

  181. Andrew says:

    Good to see Pimentel has his velocity back, he was struggling to hit 90 earlier in the season.

  182. pattonbb says:

    They way I understand it, there is a Zone Evaluation tool used after the game to plot every pitch and reference that against what the ump called. But umpire union claims they get over 95 percent of all balls and strikes correct, so you know it must not be used correctly.

  183. 21sthebest says:

    Well he isn’t calling anything a strike. If there’s a book on this ump during a game as far as particular locations he’s giving, that’s one thing. But if the ump is all over the place, I don’t think you can really change your approach.

  184. Maz In Iowa says:

    Not sure Olive the Pimentel cliches before this game is through

  185. JRay3 says:

    Gaby, JHay and Walker getting the two out magic going and Bucs within 2. Keep the line moving.

  186. cmat0829 says:

    i’m about out… but nice to add a run, way to go NEIL.

  187. cmat0829 says:

    time for a BIG FLY… Pedro, wait back, look for a hanging curve…and SWING HARD

  188. Maz In Iowa says:

    Neil the wheel is rollin again

  189. Radio wave says:

    They can score when bags not full.

  190. cmat0829 says:

    a ha, i just got the Olive pun… very nicely played Maz.

  191. Maz In Iowa says:


  192. cmat0829 says:

    bummer… we’re back in this, down 2, have had our chances to score more, but momentum on the Bucs side… need Stolmy to keep the Mets at bay and we have 4 at bats left to take the lead.

  193. KING says:

    Collins pulling a Hurdle today. Trying to cobble Niese through 5 innings to qualify for a win. In the process, he has given Pirates belief & now cut lead to 5-3 with the Walker RBI single. Somehow, Pirates still in this game. Looks like a 4 hour type game. KING

  194. cmat0829 says:

    Brewers up 7-2 on the Rockies… who may just be the worst team in MLB right about now…when do the Bucs get to pick up our 6 wins against this mess of a franchise?

  195. Maz In Iowa says:

    Can’t pin this all on Cole.They’ve had runners on,just not driving them in.

  196. cmat0829 says:

    we ARE back in it, but kinda funny that ‘pulling a Hurdle’ now means both pulling a pitcher too fast and overtaxing the bullpen AND leaving a pitcher in to qualify for a win. Quite a feat that. Nice job Clint.

  197. pattonbb says:

    I understand your point, but Cole gave up 5 er in 4 ip. Pin it.

  198. cmat0829 says:

    Not pinning it all on Cole, but more concerning to me than his lack of command today and walks, was his inability to put away any hitters… giving up that single with 2 outs to Murphy (after allowing them to double steal) was huge in that it let the game go from 0-3 to 0-5. Plus all the times he let people like Tejada foul off pitch after pitch after pitch. It’s been all season really with Cole…not efficient, not having that strike out pitch. But hopefully he will flash that next time out. LETS GO BUCS>

  199. Maz In Iowa says:

    Stolmy weathers the storm.Good pitching lightning the load.

  200. cmat0829 says:

    ha ha ha ha ha , ump union. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  201. cmat0829 says:

    The Stolm’s not over yet.

  202. cmat0829 says:


  203. cmat0829 says:

    So do we throw Ernesto right into the Fri-er(i) and pitch him in the 8th? I think 3 is plenty for Pimentel.

  204. Patrick(ri) says:

    Call a Dr — Brown is hallucinating.

  205. JRay3 says:

    Stolmy has that live arm back, can see why management has likes him so much.

    Great outing from him today.

  206. cmat0829 says:

    i agree …but at what point do they need to start grooming him for 1-inning bullpen stints OR give him a shot at a rotation spot? (or third option I suppose is as a trade asset)…. long relief is not the right spot for him given his stuff.

  207. cmat0829 says:

    the Bucs should be familiar with familia, so time to put up at least 1.

  208. Maz In Iowa says:

    WOW talk about a quick inning!

  209. cmat0829 says:

    they treated that pitcher like family.

  210. JRay3 says:

    Fair to say that Pimental was just filthy today…touching 98 on the gun in four shutout innings.

    Saves the pen and has given team a chance to steal one.

  211. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Pimentel….Impressive stuff.

  212. cmat0829 says:

    Very very nice outing from Pimentel, a very intriguing arm in that bullpen…. the 8th is OUR INNING…JHay, Neil, Pedro, pleaseGod Mar-tan to pinch hit for Stewart, then another pinch hitter, then Polanco…. LETS GO BUCS

  213. cmat0829 says:

    makes me want to see more… but i never want to see him pitch because it means we are losing early.

  214. Radio wave says:

    What league do the Bristal pirates play in? What level is that?

  215. Maz In Iowa says:

    Stolmy precipitates another good outing

  216. The Gunner says:

    Maybe Stolmy might be considered for a start if the opportunity presents itself – he looks good

  217. cmat0829 says:

    doubtful..he’d be like our #8 starter at this point… if we are talking 2014.

  218. cmat0829 says:

    WOW, Bucs futile against Familia. He gets thru 2 innings in 12 PITCHES. TWELVE.

  219. Maz In Iowa says:

    I’m guessing the Pirates don’t want to mess up their dinner reservations

  220. The Gunner says:

    the way these pitchers go down with injuries, he may be needed sooner than later

  221. The Gunner says:

    Pedro sure stunk in his last AB

  222. cmat0829 says:

    Mercer Me, that was a nice play by Jordy.

  223. Patrick(ri) says:

    What’s Jordy putting on on his Wheaties these days? Another nice play.

  224. twentytwo22 says:

    9 outs on 18 pitches. Quality major league hitting right here.

  225. KING says:

    I know major leaguers make a good salary but Stolmy deserves extra pay today. Outstanding job 0 runs given up & I think 7K’s.

    Frustrating game. We had a chance when Niese went wild but the umpire took the bat out of Marte’s hands. I hate when officials & umpires can change games.

    Even with Cole & his rusty start, the Pirates had their chances. Bad home plate umpiring or NOT. Still have a chance in 9th! Go Pirates! KING

  226. Arriba Wilver says:

    Reminded me of Jack Wilson. (Sorry, TC).

  227. JRay3 says:

    And Frieri gives Bucs a clean inning thanks to some fine defense and hits 94 regularly on the gun.

    Decent debut and I’m sure he is happy to get it out of the way.

  228. Maz In Iowa says:


  229. twentytwo22 says:

    WTF???? 11 outs on 22 pitches.

  230. twentytwo22 says:

    Did they know they were only down by 2 runs? They hit like it was a blowout or getaway day or didn’t give a damn. A 6 game lead in the division (for last place) is good enough for them. Who am I to complain? Easy come easy go. That’s baseball we’ll get them tomorrow.

  231. Maz In Iowa says:

    Barely 3 hours.20 pitches for the last 3 Pirate innings.Hard to comment on that without being uber negative

  232. twentytwo22 says:

    I’m angry. A department store manequin can face at least 36 pitches over 12 outs. Human Pirate batters saw 26. Shameful effort.

  233. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    If the Mets played this way most of the time, they might be a .500 team.

  234. KING says:

    An ugly game for the Pirates. Fall 5-3 & sink to 41-40. In recent years, you know when Pirates will lose. Starts with bad early pitching, failure to make plays in the Field and it snowballs from there.

    Gained some important info from this game though.
    1.Cole sure was rusty but it will help us in the 2nd half. He’s a strong pitcher.
    2.Stolmy is a valuable innings eater & middle reliever.
    3.Martin has to be resigned. His catching abilities are amazing which include throwing out runners.
    4.Thank God for the 2 Wildcard system. Pirates have a chance to play for something all season. This means PNC Park will be packed & more revenue for the Pirates in making signings. KING

  235. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Well….I’m certainly not convinced Cole is alright after today.

  236. KING says:

    Funny TwentyTwo22 about the mannequin. Might be the Pirates blog post of the day. Sincerely KING

  237. Andrew says:

    Strike zone plot from today, that red triangle nowhere close to the zone is the called 3rd strike from the Marte at bat, that is laughably bad.

  238. dennis g says:

    I did and that is easily the best he has made here while going back for the ball. One thing I did notice was his jump, that it was perfect but it did seem to be as high as he could go. There are many, many players that I have seen go higher. It is not an insult to say that he is not the best, it is just being honest. While he is terrifically talented, when it comes to defense there are many who are better, including, IMHO, Marte.

  239. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s a new low for the blog.


    I had no idea Niese was this good, and it’s obvious that it’s just because I didn’t know. 20 starts in a row with 3 earned runs or less? Tied with Tom Seaver (for the Mets).

  240. Bizrow says:

    So, as Clint says, you take a shower, get up tomorrow, brush your teeth, if you have any, get some coffee and go after them again.

    Half way through, but I see real positive signs for the 2nd half

  241. dennis g says:

    The fact that a bunch of senior citizens (to use your description the other day) is unable to suss out all of the various points of strategy available to the manager and his staff beforehand does not relieve said manager and his staff from doing so. The MOTY really should know whether his future ace is ready to go or not. Logic should scream that our current replacement pitchers are doing beautifully as they fight for their baseball lives and there is no apparent reason not to let Cole rediscover his past brilliance at Indy instead of behind a screen. It may be Monday morning QB’ing but that does not make it wrong.

  242. Arriba Wilver says:

    I liked his early response in the presser that Cole’s early struggles were because they were getting used to the uniforms.

  243. KING says:

    Like Pirates to win Tomorrow but I’m reminded of those dreaded Sunday lineups.

    Dodgers will overtake SF Giants in the West. The team Pirates need to fade is the Giants. Problem:SD,AZ,Colorado are in the West. Can feast on those teams. Looks like the NL East will be 1 bid team.

    Wildcard Fighters. 1.STL Cards 2.SF Giants 3.Pirates 4.Reds 5.Nats/Braves.

    I think Bucs will break .500 two straight years. Uphill battle with Brewers,Cincy,STL all playing good ball.

    81 games to play. Bucs need to go 50-31 for 91 wins. It starts tomorrow vs. Mets. KING

  244. SteelerMI says:

    Lonely- and UZR is the is the end all to be all? I love the advanced stats but there are definitely still some holes and to use them to continually attack Andrew borders on the bizarre

  245. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Yeah…lol….A new low.
    Things must not get very rough.

  246. dennis g says:

    Or the player who walks 14% of the time? Martin. It’s about time that Neil Walker gets some practice in as a catcher in case we ever need to use him there. It is ridiculous to carry two catchers all season long when one is useless as a pinch hitter and the other can’t be used unless it is the direst of emergencies. Why would we even contemplate 3 years at $30 million if we can’t get 10 games in a row out of him? I love the guy but in that case, with the wildest display in recent memory it certainly makes more sense to put a walking machine like Martin in to pinch hi than it does Marte. To be fair Marte got robbed, but he should not have been batting.

  247. Jim S. says:

    It’s weird how velocity comes and goes with a lot of pitchers. Suddenly, Stolmy is back to throwing 97-98, after struggling to top 90-91 early in the year. If he’s throwing as hard as he did tonight, he can pitch in any situation. That’s something to watch.

    Diners, Drive-ins and Dives threw a nice 9th, too.

    Tomorrow, we beat Andre the Giant to take 3/4 in this series.

  248. dennis g says:

    What is the logic in putting the weakest or second weakest hitter in the two spot? are you deliberately trying not to score runs? Yesterday Snider, today Mercer. It makes no sense in any solar system, least of all here, where in some places they play baseball.

  249. Unfortunately, Gerrit Cole was rusty enough today since he lasted only 4 innings, tossed 93 pitches and the Mets stole 5 bases off him and won 5-3. Hopefully, he’ll improve in future contests.

  250. tomf says:

    no or poor logic

  251. Bizrow says:


  252. 21sthebest says:

    I think his shoulder injury was probably the issue.

  253. Jim S. says:

    I guess so. He looks like the real deal again.

  254. Jim S. says:

    If the Bucs sellout tomorrow, it looks like they may eclipse 150,000 for the series. I wonder if that would be a PNC record. It would have to at least be close.

  255. The Gunner says:

    I’m going to tomorrow’s game, Jim. I hope Volquez does not disappoint.

  256. Chuck H says:

    cmat: I agree that the Bucs do not have patience at the plate. I’m watching the game on Gamecast and some of the Pirate hitters are swinging at balls in the dirt, and watching strikes right down the middle. And our new R fielder has taken up the habit of not swinging at the first pitch, which is usually in the strike zone and should be swung at.

  257. Jim S. says:

    I think he shuts the Mutts down tomorrow, Gunner. Now, can we solve Bartolo?

  258. Bizrow says:

    7-3 or 8-2 is still in the ballpark

  259. Jim S. says:

    I actually it is going to be 7-3, Biz. But, I’m still hoping for 8-2. They will probably need to take 5/6 from AZ/PHI.

  260. The Gunner says:


    Bartolo must have been throwing greaseballs or spitballs the last time he faced us. I think the Bucs will give him a good old fashioned thumping today.

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News