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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 5, Mets 2

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (41-40) vs. New York Mets (37-44)

Time: 1:35 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. JohninOshkosh says:

    Will be listening to game on XM Radio while cleaning the garage.

    So, I won’t see any of the images. That’s bad because I love the Buccos Sunday uniforms. That’s good because Bartolo Colon is pitching for the Mets. Not a handsome man.

  2. Baywatch says:

    John, can you imagine what he’d look like in one of those blue outfits from yesterday? Rather not, that’s what I thought!

  3. LonelyLibertarian says:

    Do i detect a bias against the “robust” build of Señor Colon?

  4. LonelyLibertarian says:


  5. Thundercrack says:

    On Sundays’ Nevrett does the game on TV. So there is that for you John.

    Also, let us know what you find in the garage.

  6. JoeyBats says:

    BUC-tober Slipping Away?
    41-40. The sample size is no longer “too small.” The results are in at mid-season. The Buccos are disappointing many in their fan base in 2014. It will take an above average performance in the 2nd half of the season to make the playoffs “as a wild card team” in 2014.

    How did we get here? Time for some mid-term grades:
    Others have written about it….others will write about. Here’s my assessment about the performances to date.
    1. Three All Star Caliber performeances in the first half of the year. Cutch, Neil Walker, Tony Watson. No revelation, here. They have been the solid rocks and leaders of the team…key performers game after game.
    2. Josh Harrison – surprise of 2014. Super sub at almost any position…great energy, great results. On occasion, disappointing in the OF. 2nd on the team in hitting .307.
    3. The law firm of Cumpton, Locke & Worley. When the original group of starters faltered…these 3 “subs” contributed 17 starts…105 IP and a 6 -4 record to stabilize the May-June comeback.
    4. Ray Searage and Jim Benedict continue to find diamonds in the rough like Vance Worley… help develop Tony Watson into All Star caliber performer….and assist Jeff Locke find his stuff again.
    5. The Pirate Fans. Attendance and support by the fans. Attendance continues to go up. Today’s sellout will make 4 straight sellouts against the METS!
    1. Gregory Polanco…great addition to the top of the order. BUT….in a small sample size, hitting .370 and .896 OPS against RHP in 54 AB’s…..however, .130 and .461 OPS against LHP in 23 AB’s. Great future ahead.
    2. Russ Martin. Hitting .265 and doing a great job of handling the pitching staff and controlling the running game. Only played in 44 games.
    3. Edinson Volquez. The surprise of the starting rotation. 15 starts…5-6 record….WHIP 1.22 and BAA of .239. Recently his fastball has been hitting 95 mph.
    4. Staring Marte. A .259 average and 18 SB, great arm in the OF, decent defense and major lapses on the base paths. Barely average…and the Pirates (with contract extension expected ABOVE AVERAGE)
    5. Gerrit Cole. Expected to be the ace of the staff….so far the season is disappointing in part to injury. 6-4 and a 4.02 ERA with a BAA .265 and a stint on the disabled list is not what Cole envisioned when he saw the first half of this season.
    6. The bullpen. Watson great. Grilli bad. Melancon mostly good. Justin Wilson up & down – not as good as last year. Hughes coming on strong.
    1. Pedro Alvarez. 17 errors, power shortage (12 HR) and inconsistent hitting performance (.238 AVG & .729 OPS) . Pirates need him to be a solid # 4 or # 5 hitter…and he has not performed as such.
    2. Jordy Mercer. Was handed the SS job this year and hit .276 in June with 5 HR… brought his season stats above the Mendoza line. Needs to show more consistency all season
    3. First Base. Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez yield 9 HR , 34 RBI and a .248 batting average. Not a pennant winning formula. :-(
    4. Liriano and Morton. Injured (Liriano) and ineffective/inconsistent(Morton) . With Morton we expect more for the $30 million contract. ” It’s always something ” in the game that he pitches….one bad inning, one bad pitch, that leads to a 3 run Homer that beats him.
    5. Jose Tabata, Wandy Rodriguez, The TERRIBLE TRAVIS’s ( Ishikawa & Snider) , Chris Stewart (5 stolen bases against him and the pitchers yesterday). POOR ROSTER management …see next point….
    6. GM Neal H. Has not assembled a strong 25 roster for 2014. Not sure if this is a result of the artificial Nutting budget limit, since no one ever knows what the top of the budget “allowance” really is. Still effective at “Dumpster Diving” and uncovering reclamation projects like Worley.
    7. Ownership and the front office. Lip service is paid to “we will increase payroll when performance warrants it and the attendance increases”….and yet, the Pirates payroll CONSISTENTLY remains in the BOTTOM quartile. This report is 26 out of 30.
    Not enough BIG TIME PERFOMANCES from the players expected to help the Pirates get back to playoff level competition this year. (Cole, Liriano, Alvarez need to be in ABOVE AVERAGE category …and aren’t even close). On the flip side, unknown about how much leash the the GM is permitted to go out and acquire enough big-time performers. to compete. In 2013…the midyear split was 51-30.
    This year @ mid-term:…. C – :-(

  7. Thundercrack says:

    I just read on the internet that the Brewers are finishing a stretch of 20 games in a row without an off day.
    Currently they are 13-6.

    They are good.

  8. Baywatch says:

    Somebody Tweeted a few days ago that they have FIVE guys with 40 RBIs: Davis (42) LuCroy (42) Braun (41) Gomez (40) and Ramirez (40). And they somehow made that look like a TEAM effort! And they PITCH! Yeah, first team to 50 wins, and they’re good.

  9. Baywatch says:

    Nice evaluation, Joey!

  10. radio wave says:

    The division race is over. and who ever thought Brewers this year? So it is wild scoreboard watching time. Two and a half out today.

  11. Bizrow says:

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  12. radio wave says:

    Can EV protect the pen with some quality innings today? Off to the yard to find out.

  13. LonelyLibertarian says:

    Very good analysis Joey – I do think you are an easy grader…

    I would move Walker to average – his defense has been AWFUL Cutch too has had a bad year defensively – but the
    offense more than covers for it…
    And would give the first base tandem a FAIL – the best that their defenders can say is that at least they are better than GI Jones and cost a bit less :-(

    And drop the Grade to a D/D+

    But overall we agree.

  14. Andrew says:

    Good stuff Bats,

    I think those grades are fairly accurate, I’ll disagree in two areas Marte, despite visible mistakes, has been above average, he is the 15th most valuable outfielder in the NL, but we can disagree. The guy hits the ball hard I would really like to see more hard line drives and not grounders.

    I’d wait to grade Volquez until after this start I expected a adequate back end starter and he really hasn’t been that, the walks are down but so are the strikeouts, and when the balls start falling for hits at a higher rate Volquez will look even worse.

  15. Andrew says:

    They are not this good, but you cannot take those wins away, so they are in a good place.

  16. LonelyLibertarian says:

    When do they pull the plug on Davis and Stewart…

    I saw a TON of folks screaming about Tony S’s throws – did not see many do the same on a guy we were told was an elite defensive catcher who kept throwing shoulder high to second base.

    Martin makes the case for NOT extending him by sitting for two days – maybe a minor ding – but he is on pace for 88 starts – that won’t support $10M a year.

  17. Patrick(ri) says:

    I remember opining in May, that they were just better at every position, save 1st base & Left field. Not so sure anymore about Left field.

  18. Thundercrack says:

    On one hand you mention that there hasn’t be enough big time performances from players expected to help the Pirates get back to playoff competition. I agree with that. But you also say that NH didn’t assemble a strong enough 25 man roster. I think counting on those big time performances was a big factor when they were shaping the roster.

  19. Arriba Wilver says:

    After the 20th game, will there be a clay pigeon shoot?

  20. Thundercrack says:

    Interesting article by RB on Hurdle being chosen as a coach for the All Star game and his relationship with Mike Matheny.

    I don’t hate the Cardinals nearly as much as I did when Tony LaRussa was the manager.

  21. Thundercrack says:

    +++++ AW!!!

    Yes there will be, because their owner is so smart and loveable.

  22. Arriba Wilver says:

    I really don’t understand how you can say Volquez hasn’t been an adequate back end starter. What is your expectation for a back end starter?

    (I hope I didn’t just jinx him today).

  23. Arriba Wilver says:

    Then you weren’t paying attention. And Johnny Bench couldn’t have thrown those guys out yesterday. They were more than halfway to second base before the ball left Cole’s hand. And, yes, Stewart does stink on the throws.

  24. Michael G Zabrucky says:

    I am Pirate lunatic from Walkersville Md. formerly of Windber, PA. What number are Pirates on XM/Serius, Johninoskosh?

  25. Radio wave says:

    Nick carfardo baseball writer boston globe says pirates focused on a starter and a reliever.

  26. Andrew says:

    I guess I might be judging him harshly but he is bottom 10 starter in the NL by FIP, bottom 15 by ERA, out of 64.

    He starts half his games in an offense suppressing park, and a lot of his performance is tied to his low BABIP, he needs to either get more K or less BB or those runs numbers will go up.

  27. Andrew says:

    Cole was like 1.5-1.6 to home.

  28. Jim S. says:

    To me, Osh, he’s Andre The Giant II.

  29. Thundercrack says:

    The team is 41-40. And you think they deserve a D/D+ grade?

  30. Arriba Wilver says:

    Did you watch the game, Andrew?

  31. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I wouldn’t say the division race is over yet, but it’s hanging by a shoe string.
    If the Pirates get into double figures (which they are nine out now) behind the Brewers, it’s going to be very, very hard to make that up.
    For anyone talking wild card (already), I will remind you that you’re then talking about competing with large market teams like the Dodgers/Giants and the Braves and Cards….Not to mention the Reds who have eaten the Pirates up this year.
    The Pirates need to get back in the division race….Now.

  32. bpn8pitt says:

    Agreed. Which was my point in Feb/March…In 2013 gave up the most ER in NL. Well on his way to duplicating that.

  33. Jim S. says:

    Or that Charlie is inconsistent/ineffective. He was not signed to be an ace. He was expected to be a #3. I think he’s been better than that most of the time and is actually getting stronger lately.

    Mark sub-1.0 WHIP Melancon continues to be unappreciated for the most part. For some reason, only his occasional bad outing is remembered by a large portion of the fan base, while Watson’s occasional bad outing is immediately dismissed. They both pitch in tough situations, and they have both performed well a large majority of the time.

  34. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think he’s giving the fans an F.

  35. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    The record doesn’t look like a D/D+….But the standings do.

  36. Arriba Wilver says:


  37. Arriba Wilver says:

    C’mon, bpn, fess up. You know he’s been better than what you thought. ;-)

  38. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    The Pirates need to get on a roll, and the Brewers need to start losing.
    The latter seems to be next to impossible.
    Those ten Pirate losses to the Brewers remains the real killer.

  39. bpn8pitt says:

    Starting to feel that way about Martin too…Maybe they could look at a trade in the off season. Find a prospect who’s blocked somewhere…Id like Martin back, but catchers on the otherwise of 30 you don’t want to overpay.

  40. Jim S. says:

    As I recall, Stewart’s best defensive attribute was thought to be his pitch framing skills. Does anyone know how he has fared in that area this year? It is more important than throwing out runners attempting to steal IMO.

  41. Jim S. says:

    Lucroy is their best player so far.

  42. Jim S. says:

    Starting pitching injuries could still doom them IMO. Same with reliever injuries.

  43. bpn8pitt says:

    Better than I thought, yeah prob…BUT, I think they expected more. Not to Lirianos 2013, but better.

    I think at the end of the year he will have an ERA in the high 4s. For some that’s okay for a backend rotation guy…For 95 win land and Oct, not so much.

    They just don’t have a stopper, AW. Rotation or bullpen.

  44. bpn8pitt says:

    Love Lucroy. Grown to appreciate pitch framing on the last year. Check Espn. Great article.

  45. Andrew says:

    I was watching the World Cup saw parts of the first four innings. Cole was really slow to plate in the at bats that I saw.

  46. Patrick(ri) says:

    If their pitching remains adequate, they can rely on the incredible “up the middle strength” to keep ahead of the pack. Catcher shortstop & center fielder may be the best in the league, and they use the surprising ” Scooter” guy to keep from overexposing Weeks at second. I doN’t see them slowing down as long as Ramirez & Braun stay on the field, occasionally. IMHO, they are beyond good — they are the best team in baseball.

  47. dennis g says:

    Who are we supposed to believe about the Brewers, you guys who say they are not this good or our own lying eyes?

  48. Tom P. says:

    Enjoy the game. Post if there are any worthy first-hand observations.

  49. bpn8pitt says:

    Melancons numbers might say one thing, but the eye test tells me another. We LL see how second half goes for him. Seems he’s always dealing with baserunners. That will eventually catch up to him.

  50. Patrick(ri) says:

    A little revision: just watched a video of Braun taking out Gomez on a pop fly.

  51. chris says:

    Pittsburgh is such a reactionist sports town. They lose a game, all is lost, they win, we’re playoff bound. Watch if we win today and brewers lose then we’re back in it in most minds. Anything could happen in the 2nd half with this division. Just chill and enjoy it for what it is without the pessimistic attitude.

  52. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Well….They have the best record in baseball at this time, so all your points are valid.

  53. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I’m basing my thoughts off of the standings….Not yesterdays game.

  54. Lad9 says:

    Sitting in section 144 over the Clemente wall. Prime position for a Polanco’ bomb. No Cutch, which this crowd does not like at all. Let’s go Bucs!

  55. Patrick(ri) says:

    +++. It is pessimistic, but also reality. Focus on the WC game if you are looking for optimism.

  56. Bizrow says:


  57. Jandy says:


  58. War_Horse says:

    Is it just possible that today’s umpire is trying to make up for his rookie colleague’s horrible ball and strike calls yesterday?

  59. chris says:

    Really? so in 82 games brewers are just going to coast into it? You know this for fact? No teams go on losing streaks? That’s fans like you ruin the game with your all knowing posts. Joke.

  60. cmat0829 says:

    that is exactly right, though it should be clarified to be “experienced late inning reliever” and “top of the rotation starter”…otherwise, don’t bother on the starter. We have enough depth options.

    I also wouldn’t completely rule out 1B or SS opportunistic upgrades, but low odds on that I’d think.

  61. cmat0829 says:

    wow, Colon…who certainly puts pressure on his colon with all of his food intake (sorry folks)…..

    It just seems like he’s pitching for the HR derby contestants….mid speed fastball, batting practice… we SHOULD be able to hit him…

  62. JRay3 says:

    Ike opposite field and Bucs all over Colon to start.

    So far so good with lineup.

  63. cmat0829 says:

    right on cue…Ike with his patented slap single to left field… he’s our own Daniel Murphy….

  64. War_Horse says:

    He doesn’t have his good control today. Call him Semi-Colon.

  65. cmat0829 says:

    I know the Mess are down on Ruben Tejada, but all I see is a very very good defensive shortstop, with a reasonable clue at the plate. Not sure what his issues are…but he seems like one of their better players. If they can let the absolute scrub Chris Young play, they can just let Ruben be Ruben.

  66. cmat0829 says:


  67. cmat0829 says:

    OK, another home plate ump with NO CLUE as to what is a strike. the Mets catcher moved his glove about 5 inches on that one and gets a strike call.

  68. JRay3 says:

    A lot of talk about conceding the division, there are 81 games left and the year Clint guided the Rockies to the World Series they overcame a 7-9 game deficit in September alone to make playoffs.

    Have to remember that since May 1 Bucs playing some of best baseball in all of majors. Continue at that pace the rest takes care of itself.

  69. cmat0829 says:

    maybe it was something he ate. which was everything. Do the Mess have Heath Bell or Jonny Broxton or Mike Zagurski to come in in relief? Call them the Four Horses.

  70. JRay3 says:

    Pedro rips one for a two out RBI and Buccos take a 3-0 lead after one, great start!

  71. Arriba Wilver says:

    Soooooo, how is that different than other sports towns?

  72. cmat0829 says:

    Baseball is a long season. Step 1 for the Pirates was to right the ship in May after a dismal start. They have, despite having to rely on 3 fill-in starting pitchers and weather injury to Neil Walker and Starling Marte, among others.

    Step 2 is to step it up in June/July when the schedule allows and with a full roster of available players.
    Step 3 is to make the right deadline moves to accelerate into August and September.

    Long, long, long way to go to make any declarations. The only thing that has really changed is that the Brewers are a force this year… and while they may fade a little, they will stick around in the wild card chase at the very least.

    Maybe this year the Bucs ‘flipped the script’… instead of a late summer slowdown or fade (or collapse) they got that out of the way in April and instead will go on a run in the 2H… a 51-30 2nd half, which would match last year’s first half, gives this team 92 wins.

  73. JRay3 says:

    Advantage of having 3 CF’s on the team they can all field the position and cover ground, nice catch by Marte.

  74. cmat0829 says:

    LOVE the way Marte played that in CF…. looked completely in control..

  75. Andrew says:

    This Brewers team is not a 100 win team, which is the pace they are on.

  76. Patrick(ri) says:

    Baseball Prospectus, for whatever it is worth, thinks we have a 17.3% shot at making the playoffs, based on our 41-40 record and whatever voodoo they do. Just saying.

  77. Baywatch says:

    It’s early, but … Take THAT, you MuckinFetz! :-)

  78. JRay3 says:

    And BP had it at 3% a couple of weeks ago.

    So much baseball left.

  79. cmat0829 says:

    And about a month ago, BP had the Rockies at about 35% to make the playoffs, and if you asked me, i”d have put that at 0.00%. It goes by run differential and current record, and will adjust greatly as teams play better and play worse. It is not so much a predictor but another stat to report the current status.

    But yes, if the Pirates play about how they have in the 1H, they have NO shot at the playoffs. Goes without saying. They need to play a bunch better, and some believe they can, and some don’t. Nothing new here.

  80. Thundercrack says:

    Dodgers have picked up 8.5 games in the standings since being 9.5 back June 8. Dodgers have won 11 of 15. Giants have lost 14 of 18.
    per Richard Justice

  81. War_Horse says:

    On May 29th, the Bucs were 7 1/2 games behind the Brewers. Today they are 9 GB. Howzat?

  82. JRay3 says:

    A couple of early zeroes from Volquez, like to see him build off his last start where he went eight strong in the win and get that consistently going.

    He has been a very good offseason pickup.

  83. cmat0829 says:

    it’s not. Listen to NY sports radio after a win and after a loss. Most entertainment you will ever get.

  84. JRay3 says:


  85. dennis g says:

    Anyone know why Martin is spending his summer in Pittsburgh when he could just be at the beach? Three days off two weeks before the All-Star break and we are supposed to pay him 30 million dollars?

  86. cmat0829 says:

    As much as I absolutely DESPISE the despicable Brewers… that bunch of scumbags… I have to respect the fact that they are playing very very well right now. Everything is going their way. And that offense can carry them past some rough patches in the pitching area.

    I do think they will regress some, but not as much as I originally thought/hoped. And it is ruining my summer.

  87. JRay3 says:

    Lingering soreness from when he took Tejada out the other day.

  88. cmat0829 says:

    My guess, Dennis, is that he is a bit banged up after the other day when he slid hard into 2b to break up the double play. And, if taking a couple of days here to get healthy, allows him to avoid an extended trip to the DL, then it is VERY SMART and I’m fully behind it.

    But, ok, he’s a bum, he’d rather ride the pine, doesn’t want to play, so we should get rid of him. That what you want? Ridiculous. But I come to expect that on this blog.

  89. Patrick(ri) says:

    Old vs young. The old man wins this one, but really like the way Palanco does’t panic when down in count.

  90. cmat0829 says:

    yep, thank you, we really don’t know who is really really good and who isn’t. 3 weeks ago I’d thought that the Giants were gonna run away with it, and were the class of the NL. Now, they look very beatable and could fall back into the WC race with the Bucs and the rest. And they aren’t just losing to juggernauts, they are losing their share to the likes of the Padres, Dbacks, etc.

    last year I wrote off the Nationals after their first half, and they ended up being the team that scared the Bucs and Reds in September.

    Careful writing the end of season wrap up on June 30.

  91. cmat0829 says:

    Volquez 1, beached whale 0.

  92. cmat0829 says:

    Nice job of hitting by Eric Young there… this is the way players like Alex Presley should play… slap at balls, run at absolute full speed, use their speed as a weapon, etc. The reason I was so down on AP (all star, right?) is that he showed NONE of that. Approached at bats like he was a power hitter.

  93. cmat0829 says:

    MEMO to Pirates’ pitchers…don’t pitch Murphy up and outside… he prefers going the other way.

  94. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    We’re in agreement here.

  95. JRay3 says:

    Big K of Murphy there by Volquez, has shot to wiggle out of trouble here.

  96. KING says:

    What a difference a day makes!!! Pirates jump out 2-0 with Davis single & Pedro double RBI moves lead 3-0.

    Volquez has danced out of trouble thanks to some nice OF plays. PNC Park is a pitcher’s park.

    It looks like Volquez has good velocity today 95+ I presume.

    A Pirates win & 3 out of 4 vs. METS I would take that. Good to see Pirates focused & refreshed. KING

  97. JRay3 says:

    Hey the Rockies rough up Gallardo in the first and jump on Brewers 3-0 early.

    And Volquez leaves the runners stranded, big time pitching out of the jam!

  98. cmat0829 says:

    If Rockies can win one in Milwaukee, it will be a miracle. But it is Sunday….so we have hope. Brewers head to Toronto next, will be tougher for them there.

  99. dennis g says:

    You know I recognize what Martin’s value is when he plays, but believe it or not he has no value when he does not play. I also recognize your right to put words in my mouth to make me look stupid. You know bullying is strongly out of fashion these days. I bow down to your superior analysis of things that you are “guessing” about.

  100. KING says:

    REDS have whipped up on the Giants. Good news for Pirates. I see the Dodgers zooming past Giants & winning West.

    Should be interesting Wild Card mix with STL,Cincy,Giants, maybe Nationals. What Pirates need is what happened last year. Braves,Dodgers, dominated their divisions leaving only Pirates & Reds left. The Giants will be trouble but Pirates get to play STL & Cincy straight up. This 2nd wildcard was an intelligent decision. KING

  101. dennis g says:

    Gallardo has a terrible record against Rockies; I think he is winless. Unbelievable when you watch what he does to us.

  102. Looks like we’ve let him settle in a bit.

  103. dennis g says:

    We now have the official word from NH. “Overall soreness.” I stand by my comment.

  104. LonelyLibertarian says:

    Well Clint also was at the helm for two pretty epic collapses and one frustrating fade [led the division last year on Sept 1]. The Pirates have not been a strong second half club the last three years.

  105. cmat0829 says:

    And the mound has settled about 3 inches underneath him.

  106. tomf says:

    too many deep balls (to the wall and warning track)

  107. Arriba Wilver says:


  108. cmat0829 says:

    Sorry if my response was too harsh, I read your comment as a bit harsh toward Russ. We need this guy and it’s a long season. If he’s a bit banged up, I don’t want him playing today and getting really injured and have a stint on the DL.

    What I really reacted to was putting this on the player… I highly doubt Russ wanted the day off, I think it more likely CH and NH gave him the rest to protect him.

  109. tomf says:

    when was Josh Harrison ‘disappointing’ in the outfield ?

    he is a second basemen – and he made 3 or 4 ESPN Top Ten plays playing in the outfield

  110. cmat0829 says:

    it’s a results business. Yesterday Cole gave up 5 in a combination of walks and well-placed singles… I’d greatly prefer warning track outs to that.

  111. cmat0829 says:

    HAHA Colon channeling Carlos Gomez on that swing…. time to put one under his double chin?

  112. tomf says:

    Cutch has not been ‘bad’ defensively


  113. JRay3 says:

    You might be on to something as Gallardo surrenders another in 2nd…4-0 Rockies

  114. tomf says:

    he learned this from his ‘mentor’

    (AJ Burnett)

  115. JRay3 says:

    Man does JHay love to flash his opposite field power. Just can’t pitch him away or he will make you pay.

  116. tomf says:

    agree – unless you have Granderson playing OF


  117. cmat0829 says:

    don’t look now, EL Toro getting hot…. a 3/4 swing it looked like from Pedro and that one is 10 rows deep in RF>

  118. JRay3 says:

    Clear the deck El Toro goes yard!!! 3 RBI day for Alvarez and it’s all Buccos 5-0!

  119. Barb says:


  120. Barb says:

    Or should I say Daydro!!!!!

  121. JRay3 says:

    He’s actually had a really good June at the plate.

  122. dennis g says:

    Here’s the thing. You like Martin and lean over backwards to support him. The fact is, even for a catcher he misses a lot of time. Yes he plays hard. Yes the Pirates have a great record since his return from the DL. However before he went on the DL, when he was presumably at his healthiest, we were 7-9. He has played 44 games in the first half, a little more than 50% and is on his way to the fewest games in his career and the sentiment on this blog is to sign him at all costs. I say that is ridiculous if he cannot play “sore.”

    However, that is just my opinion. I grant you the right to yours, but you have no right to personal comments about me or “the blog.”

  123. Baywatch says:

    Yee-Ha!! Pedro off our trading block for a day!

  124. cmat0829 says:

    calling an opinion ridiculous is not a personal attack. some of my opinions are ridiculous too.

  125. The Gunner says:

    From Section 209

    Pedro is awakening from his hibernation!

  126. 21sthebest says:

    We’ll be debating extension soon!

  127. cmat0829 says:

    DANA EVELAND alert, warming up for the Mess….. good God, why a team like this doesn’t go for a youth movement and clear out all this old trash, including Colon who would go to a contender, I’ll never know. Call up all your youngsters and let em play. Abreu? on a team like this? Colon? Eveland?

  128. Baywatch says:


  129. cmat0829 says:

    So Neverett back on the narrative that the “Mets are only 6 games out in their division” crap. This is exactly what the Pirates of old used to cling to… the good ol Jim Tracy and McLendon days…. ‘we’re still in it’ when there was no way in HELL this team is anything close to even a .500 team. 70-92 is likely high water mark for this Mess team….

  130. cmat0829 says:

    he cannot ride the pine vs. RHPs. vs LHP, yea. But JHey will need to find another spot most nights vs RHP. The one swing, 2 and 3 runs is too important to this team.

  131. dennis g says:

    Maybe we should get some video.

  132. JRay3 says:

    Well played

  133. JRay3 says:


  134. cmat0829 says:

    be nice to give Watson, Hughes and Melancon another day off… 5-0 lead with Volquez pitching well, let’s hope he can go 7 or 8 and let someone mop up. Pimentel saved the pen yesterday, and we didnt use Watson Friday, so that would give Tony, our most important reliever, with an extended 4 day break going into Tuesday.

  135. KING says:

    A Pedro blast HR & 6K’s for the Volcanator. Edinson should qualify for a win here soon. Would be 6-6 for a 5 starter. Not bad pick up for Neal H.

    Nice depth for Pirates. Also play many 20-something Guys. Dont see them wearing down. Brewers dont have Pirates depth. A few key injuries & you never know. Those Mets teams looked strong all year & collapsed in the final weeks. 2 years in a row. In baseball, anything can & will happen. KING

  136. 21sthebest says:

    If Tony got an inning today, I wouldn’t be shocked.

  137. cmat0829 says:

    me neither but it would be wrong. if his usage was such he could’nt be used in a tie game on Friday, I’d take the opportunity to give him an extended break. After Monday, we will play 13 straight through to the All Star Break.

  138. Florida Steeler says:

    ROOT SPORTS is setting a new record for fan scans today. It is so annoying.

  139. Tom P. says:

    I understand what Dennis is saying. There is a saying (I think from football) about guys who were always in the trainer’s room instead of on the practice field: “You can’t make the club in the tub.” My guess is that the Pirates will evaluate Martin’s value (including his ability to actually play) and see if they can come up with a value that makes sense. From the early ’90s (I know, I’m old), Mike LaValliere and Don Slaught were a good combination. Maybe next year’s Pirates need someone like that for Martin. It may be Stewart, it may not.

  140. cmat0829 says:

    on volquez, no doubt he has exceed expectations. No Liriano level of a pick up, but that shouldn’t be expected. The best part is we have plenty of depth if he were to regress in the 2H….

  141. Volquez out for the 7th? 98 pitches so far.

  142. 21sthebest says:

    Wrong? There’s a fine line between rest and staying sharp, IMO.

  143. 21sthebest says:

    Young gets to third on a two base error and wants those towels waved, down 5-0 in the 7th.

  144. LonelyLibertarian says:

    C’mon – a good first baseman stops that ball – Davis can’t hit and is only slightly better than GI Jones on defense and gets trotted out there every day.

  145. 21sthebest says:

    Lucky! Hope you’re recovering well!

  146. cmat0829 says:

    Ike sucks on D. Period.

  147. cmat0829 says:

    Ridiculous. Teams all have their flash signs (I recall the Brewers with Fielder had their ‘bear hug’ motion well before the Pirates’ Z), and that is one thing, but waving towels is just ridiculous.

  148. LonelyLibertarian says:

    AND he is the master of the flare single to left or the walk with runner on base…


  149. cmat0829 says:

    Is Tim Neverett being paid by Terry Collins’ agent? He just can’t shut up about this team still being in the race… and guess what, THEY ARE NOT. Zero chance this team battles for the playoffs. ZERO. ZILCH. SHUT UP ALREADY.

  150. Barb says:

    Hi Revvie hope all is well with you.

  151. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Funny but when you look at wild- card standings, I look at Cards and Dodgers as both being teams that’ll end up up in the top three. Completely changes the view.

  152. Andrew says:

    Career UZR/150 at 1B

    Davis: 1.6
    Jones: -7.8

  153. JRay3 says:

    Sure beats Travis Ishikawa

  154. War_Horse says:

    Davis does not seem to realize that there is no value at all in having your foot on the bag if being anchored to the bag means you miss the throw, wild though it may be. I was taught to play the ball, not the bag, and put your foot on the bag when you could see which side the ball was coming to. David simply cannot scoop up thrown balls on the hop.

  155. JRay3 says:

    I look at Dodgers winning the West, bringing the Giants back to the pack and the Giants recently came off of 9 game losing streak, don’t see many playoff teams that suffer this during season.

    Cards no doubt seem to be in middle of things but boy their pitching depth is really about to be tested.

    Could be Reds, Cards and Bucs fighting for two WC spots with Central getting both spots again this year.

  156. Florida Steeler says:

    First base is still a hole on this team.

  157. Andrew says:

    Russel Martin has played the 7th most games in the major behind the plate since 2011.

  158. 21sthebest says:

    Watson in to pitch! ;-)

  159. JRay3 says:

    Couldn’t Jeanmar just finish today’s game up?

  160. Arriba Wilver says:


  161. War_Horse says:

    I am waiting faithfully for the much-heralded “regression” by the Brewers to happen.

  162. JRay3 says:

    Maybe it starts today as Rockies are pounding Brewers 8-2.

  163. JRay3 says:

    Just another 1-2-3 for Watson, or Mr. SURE THING.

  164. 21sthebest says:

    As I said above, I think it’s a fine line between resting relievers and keeping them sharp.

  165. Andrew says:

    I think you would definitely like to see some more power, not sure what can be done at this point.

  166. Arriba Wilver says:

    Was thinking the same thing yesterday.

  167. War_Horse says:

    How about replacing Ike Davis at first base with Josh (a/k/a “Spiderman”) Harrison for a trial period? Even at 5′ 8″ I bet he could catch more errant throws and make the putouts than Sleepy Eyes.

  168. Maz In Iowa says:

    Be nice to get a victory AND give Cutch/Melancon and company a couple days off.

  169. Milo Hamilton says:

    Interesting four pitch mix.

  170. Stronger every day. Thanks.

  171. Baywatch says:

    Us: “Lurch!”
    Hughes: “You rang?”

  172. 21sthebest says:

    You just can’t put a guy that short at first.

  173. cmat0829 says:

    If that’s the case, and I agree with that, then Brewers have a strangle hold on one WC…. and Reds, Bucs, Nats looking up at the Giants for the 2nd.

  174. cmat0829 says:

    this isn’t fantasy baseball. I’m underwhelmed by Ike to be sure, but other than Gaby or a trade pickup (which is highly doubtful), nothing else can be done. If anything, in the offseason, I’d highly recommend they work Pedro over to 1B, undoubtedly over the protest of his uber agent Scotty B.

  175. Maz In Iowa says:

    Shutouts are overrated.Just finish this thing!

  176. cmat0829 says:

    Eveland sucks so much you can’t just say “Eveland sucks”… we might need to change that phrase for other pitchers….i.e.. “he’s Eveland”.

  177. cmat0829 says:

    it hurts our uber important run differential and therefore playoff % on the myriad of websites that employ that methodology….. dang it Lurch… you cost us .001% of playoff odds.

  178. tomf says:

    how about Alvarez at first base – next season

    with Walker at third and Harrison at second

    trade Ike for a prospect middle infielder or pitcher

    get Snider some reps at first base in the off season

  179. Maz In Iowa says:


  180. War_Horse says:

    I was joking. Sorry.

  181. War_Horse says:

    Hughes pitched well. Nothing down the middle. No breaks.

  182. cmat0829 says:

    i’m with you, except no need to move Neil..JHay natural position is 3B. And no need to keep Lunchie around.

  183. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Managers LOVE the save.

  184. Florida Steeler says:

    Hurdle has an obsession.

  185. tomf says:

    I believe Harrison played middle infield HS thru college

    played 2B at Cincy

  186. 21sthebest says:


  187. War_Horse says:

    So do fans!

  188. Patrick(ri) says:

    Does seem counter-intuitive that the team with the 5 runs uses 5 pitchers?

  189. aglebagel says:

    I’m just gonna stop watching ninth innings.

  190. JRay3 says:

    Behind six shutout innings from Edinson Volquez who improves to 6-6 and a three RBI day from Pedro Alvarez who parks one above the Clemente Wall the Buccos defeat the Mets 5-2 to take the series and there was noooooooo doubt about it.

    With the win the Bucs finish June with a 17-10 mark and move back to two above .500 at 42-40. The Pirates have now won three consecutive series and 5 of their last 6 series.

    The Pirates will continue the 10 game home stand on Tuesday evening as the Arizona Diamondbacks come to town. Jeff Locke is scheduled to take the ball in the opener.

    Well off to Mexico for the week so bring home some W’s inmates and Go Bucs!

  191. Maz In Iowa says:

    Raise it!!

  192. Bizrow says:

    3 of 4, not all I wanted, but will take it, thank you very much ;-)

  193. Maz In Iowa says:

    4 hits and 5 RBI from Davis/Alvarez I’ll take it

  194. Andrew says:

    Mets were 2-15 with RISP, bet there was a lot complaining on their blogs.

  195. 21sthebest says:

    The Mets play in New York. Bet there was a lot of complaining on their blogs. :-)

  196. Maz In Iowa says:

    Brewers coming back.It’s now 8-4

  197. Andrew says:


  198. War_Horse says:

    Buen viaje y feliz, JRay

  199. Thundercrack says:

    So do agents for the players

  200. chethejet1 says:

    If Pedro heats up and that is a bigger if this year, Bucs could go on a nice run at home. 7 wins or perhaps 8 would be a great homestand. On the road for big games with the Cars and Reds will determine the trade market for the Bucs.

  201. And so, the Bucs take 3 of 4 from the Mets at home, Volquez was sharp for 6 innings, Pedro sacked his 13th, and it was overall a satisfactory Sunday afternoon indeed for us Pirates fans.

  202. Thundercrack says:

    What happened to Ken Macha? Is he no longer doing the pre/post game show on ROOT?

  203. Barb says:

    Colorado scored 2 more to make it 10-4.

  204. War_Horse says:

    Now 10-4

  205. KING says:

    Raise The Jolly Roger!!! Pirates win 5-2 & boost record to 42-40.

    Hughes is a team player. Pitching just bad enough to give Melancon save chance.Melancon makes it Save #15.

    Great effort & plays all around. You can tell Pirates feed off the fans energy. With these large crowds, Pirates can re-create 2013 the way the fans cheer & wave Jolly Rogers. Home field advantage.

    Good to see Pedro emerging from the cocoon. 13th HR & 42 RBI not bad…Can get to 15HR & 50 RBI by All Star Break.

    J-Hay continues to impress. Hitting a good .305+ I like this Pirates team & their chances. Another Giants loss & they will be tied with Dodgers. Brewers losing…Things looking good in Pirates Land. KING

  206. War_Horse says:

    As much as we may love him, el Coffee is in a slump over the past week. .160 .300 .280 Four RBIs. Good defense in RF.

  207. Arriba Wilver says:

    I wondered the same thing the last couple days. He wasn’t very good, but I figured they’d give him some time.

  208. .And the Bucs have the day off tomorrow, so we’ll have a day to celebrate two months of overall Pirates success before they play the Phillies on Tuesday.

  209. Thundercrack says:

    I thought Macha had the perfect accent for that show

  210. Thundercrack says:

    He needs more seasoning!


  211. Maz In Iowa says:

    Record attendance for a four game series.Nutting adds more to his bank account.Doubtful he’ll spend it on the Pirates….but we all know that.

  212. Excuse me, the Pirates will play the Arizuna Diamondbacks, another lousy team, on Tuesday,and then the Phillies and AJ next July 4th weekend.

  213. Maz In Iowa says:

    Grilli just gave it up for the Angels.He blew a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the ninth.Surprised?

  214. Arriba Wilver says:

    No doubt!

  215. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m shocked he isn’t still hitting close to .400.

  216. Chuck H says:

    The Phenom, Polanco has fallen into a bad habit, as most of the Pirates have, of not swinging at that first pitch. I think Neil Walker started it. He never swings at first pitch.
    GO, BUCS!!!

  217. Jim S. says:

    But, he’s not. He allows less than 1 base runner per inning. How is that always dealing with base runners?

  218. Thundercrack says:

    ++++ Rev!

  219. In that case, I’m glad he’s no longer pitching for the Pirates.

  220. Jim S. says:

    Don’t look now, but Pedro may be heating up. And, his throws seem a little more sure as well.

    Polanco seems to be struggling now to me. Lots of soft 4-3s. I would have rested him over Cutch today, but it worked out. Hopefully, he gets a blow at some point in this homestand – like Tues, for instance.

    5 of the last 6 would be great, to go 6 games over .500. Go Bucs!

  221. 21sthebest says:

    Unearned run.

  222. Looks like Tabata is not motivated at AAA, Jim. Has a .143 average (SSS)

  223. Lad 9 says:

    Random Bloginess from the scene (with apologies to DK):

    Could not get the blog site working on my phone other than one time early. Got other sites to come up, but not the Trib. Not sure why, but I do have an older I Phone

    Volquez threw a lot of pitches and had a lot of base runners, but made every single pitch when it counted

    Daniel Murphy of the Mets, is really, really good. Not news for most baseball fans, but in person he is even better. Even got a big hand from the Pirate fans when he went way out of his way to give a little girl a ball after he caught a line drive.

    Speaking of little girls getting a baseball, the ten year old girl next to us got Pedro’s home run ball after her dad snagged the carom. Seeing her smile and say “and he’s my favorite player” was way cool. Even better was when a rep from the Pirates came by and offered to get the ball signed by Pedro and returned to her in a couple of weeks. Really nice program Buccos!

    Barmes’ play in the ninth was really special. Nice double switch for the skipper.

    Tony Watson is as good as it gets. Really fun to watch throw.

    Curtis Granderson has a serious case of rabbit ears. He was actually engaged with some of the louder denizens of the section when Jay Hay hit the fly ball that he got his glove on but couldn’t hold. Could that have made a difference? Can’t say for sure, but those are the facts.

    Nice win and enjoyable day. Let’s keep rolling Buccos.

  224. Flbucco says:

    Thanks for sharing


  225. KING says:

    Great news for Pirates fans. Reds blasted Giants again & Dodgers defeated Cards. Race tightening up. Pirates in the hunt. KING

  226. The Gunner says:


    Why should Jogata be motivated? He has a guaranteed $15 million contract and I believe he already has enough MLB time to qualify for a nice pension when he reaches either 45 or 50.

    Otherwise, the Bucs are looking good; we need to keep playing .667 ball whether we play the patsies or the contenders.

  227. The Gunner says:

    Also Lucky, hope you are feeling better. It is good to have you back in the saddle, my good man!

  228. Jim S. says:

    At this point, the Reds seem like a bigger threat to me than SF. I would have liked to see them not get swept 4 straight at home by Cincy.

  229. Jim S. says:

    Glad you had a great day at the ballpark, Lad.

  230. Jim S. says:

    Warts and all, I’ll still take him over soft contact Lunchie all day long, Lucky.

    Or, better yet, maybe Dickerson should get a shot. He’s dripping with speed.

  231. Jim S. says:

    In fairness to Grilli, Kendrick dropped a relay throw for a potential DP right before that.

  232. Jim S. says:

    Tim Neveritt certainly seems like a nice enough guy. But, man does he screw up a lot. And, I’m not just talking about how bad he is at tracking the ball off the bat.

    I was out today and am watching the recording of the game now. Over a 2 minute period of time, he called Bob Walk “Rob” and called Eric Young “Curtis Granderson.”

    Getting Walk’s name wrong was classic. “As you alluded to, Rob, it has begun to rain. Rob? Bob.” Walk remained silent through this.

    We all make mistakes, but for a guy who makes a living communicating, he seems to struggle at communicating.

  233. I believe the final score was 12-4.

  234. macchamp74 says:

    Neverett treats every radio broadcast as if he is doing TV. It’s madding how much of the game action he does not describe.
    I can not tell where ball is or throw coming from when he is doing games. Also does not keep up with pitches during an at bat.
    Goes from a 1-0 count to 2-1 so many times.
    Horrible radio play by play…I hope his contract is up at end of year.

  235. Arriba Wilver says:

    Great report.

  236. Lad 9 says:

    Thanks all. And I didn’t mean to slight Pedro, who was clearly great today.

  237. pattonbb says:

    Good stuff, Lad. Thanks for sharing.

  238. Chuck H says:

    Not the Phillies-it’s the Diamondbacks.

  239. pattonbb says:

    I’d like to see Dickerson get a look.

  240. War_Horse says:

    Neveritt suffers from what has been diagnosed medically as the Gerald Ford Syndrome. As Lyndon Johnson said of Ford, “The man can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.” There are other versions with various words substituted for “walk,” but the symptoms are the same: trying and failing to hold two thoughts or actions in his head at the same time. If Neveritt seems confused on the air, it is possibly because he is.

  241. Chuck H says:

    What’s going on with Gregory Polanco? His once lofty average in the high .300s has fallen to under .300. How long is it going to take for fans to be clamoring for his return to Indy?

  242. Chuck H says:

    Maybe a move from the leadoff slot would help.

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