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Vacation thread: Tuesday, July 8

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

I’m on vacation until July 21 but, because the blog never rests, one of these threads will go up every morning to provide a discussion forum. All the regularly scheduled game threads also will go up, three hours before the start.

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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.

Comments

  1. Stuart says:

    Another first! What a coincidence.

    Really tough loss last night. Had to feel bad for Charlie, who was practically unhittable. Easy to blame Pedro, but he certainly wasn’t alone.

    Polanco a little worrisome, second straight night he K’d on bad pitches. Hope that’s not a trend.

    Vanimal as the stopper?

    Stuart

  2. Radio wave says:

    Cole back on dl, Compton goes Wednesday.

  3. Tom P. says:

    Tough loss, but the Pirates are 5-5 against the Cardinals this year, with 9 games left. Four of the games have been decided by 1 run; two games by two runs.

  4. JAL says:

    JAL’s Theme from Miami Vice Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jswHsTJQL_c

    3rd and final TV theme song top reach number is Miami Vice by Jan Hammer

    GENERAL UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dDNkaWxFNWIwNDVUQzEwYXp5SlpGNkE&usp=drive_web#gid=0

    4 Pirates Prospects

    2014 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014draft

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Even With Polanco in the Majors, Pirates Well Represented in Prospect Rankings

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/first-pitch-even-with-polanco-in-the-majors-pirates-well-represented-in-prospect-rankings.html

    Prospect Watch: Rehab is the Theme For Monday’s Minor League Games

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/prospect-watch-rehab-is-the-theme-for-mondays-minor-league-games.html

    Pirates to Place Gerrit Cole on the DL and Call Up Brandon Cumpton

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/pirates-to-place-gerrit-cole-on-the-dl-and-call-up-brandon-cumpton.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Cardinals walk off as Pirates lose 2-0

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/7/8/5879975/cardinals-walk-off-as-pirates-lose-2-0

    2014 All-Star Game: Pirates lack genuine All-Stars, but have balanced roster

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2014/7/7/5877593/2014-all-star-game-pirates-lack-genuine-all-stars-but-have-balanced

    7 Rumbunter

    Pirates Lose as Charlie Morton out-duels Adam Wainwright

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/07/08/pirates-lose-charlie-morton-duels-adam-wainwright/

    The Player The Pirates Can’t Take Out of Lineup

    http://rumbunter.com/2014/07/07/player-pirates-cant-take-lineup/

    8 Green Weenie

    Bucs Do Everything But Score In 2-0 Walkoff Loss To Cards

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2014/07/bucs-do-everything-but-score-in-2-0.html

    9 WHYGAVS

    GAME 89: CARDINALS 2 PIRATES 0

    http://whygavs.com/july-2014/game-89-cardinals-2-pirates-0.html

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Cardinals 2, Pirates 0

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2014/07/cardinals-2-pirates-0/

  5. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Des Moines Register

    Iowa native, MLB All-Star Tony Watson honors late mom

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/sports/baseball/2014/07/07/pittsburgh-pirates-tony-watson-major-league-baseball-all-star-game/12313145/

    12 Philly Com

    Worley fixes mechanics, lands in Pirates’ rotation

    http://articles.philly.com/2014-07-07/sports/51110132_1_vance-worley-minnesota-twins-pirates-roster

    13 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Cards Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20140708_PIT@STL/pirates-cardinals-preview

    14 Chicago Sun Times

    Jake Arrieta eager to keep plugging

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/28534334-573/jake-arrieta-eager-to-keep-plugging.html#.U7vO0m1EPv8

    15 Pirates Site

    Morton’s stellar effort goes for naught as Bucs fall

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2014_07_07_pitmlb_slnmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Tight lat lands Cole on the disabled list

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140707&content_id=83527646&notebook_id=83528106&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Orange sky at night, Reds’ delight, top Cubs 9-3

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2014/07/07/reds-cubs-hamilton-bruce-series-opener-9-3/12324897/

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Offensive woes continue for Brewers in loss to Phillies

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/offensive-woes-continue-for-brewers-in-loss-to-phillies-b99305817z1-266147871.html

    Central Division rivals have Brewers in their sights

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/central-division-rivals-have-brewers-in-their-sights-b99305818z1-266151891.html

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Adams’ walk-off blast sinks Pirates

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/adams-blast-sends-cards-over-pirates/article_851c4889-fb74-595c-a561-40a4696579af.html

    Burwell: ‘Perplexing’ is best word to describe this day, Redbirds team

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bryan-burwell/burwell-perplexing-is-best-word-to-describe-this-day-redbirds/article_02282c99-6512-591c-8243-efcd5a844684.html

    19 Fangraphs

    A Physics Comparison of Great Throws From Years Past – Part II

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/a-physics-comparison-of-great-throws-from-years-past-part-ii/

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    The 2010 Redraft

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=24097

  6. JoeyBats says:

    REMEMBERING “RECENT” PIRATE PITCHERS:

    1. Jason Grilli……Los Angeles Angels
    W- 0 L – 1 HLD – 3, ERA 0.00………G- 6, IP-5, H -4, ER – 0, K- 5, BB- 1, WHIP 1.00
    .
    2. Bryan Morris …..Miami Marlins
    W- 2 L – 0 HLD – 3, ERA 0.00………G- 15, IP-19.2, H -15, ER – 0, K- 17, BB- 5, WHIP 1.017
    .
    3. AJ Burnett ….Philadelphia Phillies
    W- 5 L – 8 ERA 3.92………G- 19, IP-124, H -113, ER – 54, K- 102, BB- 53, WHIP 1.34

  7. tomf says:

    Cole should have been shut down

    (earlier)

  8. Baywatch says:

    Maybe I’m finally getting hardened, I don’t know, but I don’t feel as rough on the Pirates about last night as some. 8 or 9 hits vs. Wainright, and nothing to show? Yeah, but he’s a big time pitcher who made big pitches when he needed last night.

    WILSON, on the other hand … You can’t throw anything but heat to a guy like Adams – lefty-on-lefty. A batting practice round house Little League curve!

  9. Steve B. says:

    A hot Pirates team goes on the road to face a slumping Cards team and the results are as expected…gift wrapped and all.

    Well, the litmus test has begun and in some areas, it doesn’t look much better for the Pirates than it did earlier in the season. Back to stranding an inordinate amount of runners on base and of course, the bullpen has to give up at least one home run. I can think of about a dozen better pitches to throw a pure pull hitter in Adams than the fat meatball of a pitch he got a hold of there. Nothing better than watching those Budweiser swilling Cards fans celebrate a victory they shouldn’t have had. Shades of 2013.

    Pedro of course is if anything else, more consistent than any previous seasons so there’s that. We now know what we’ll get from him game after game. Just 4 RBI’s in more than a month now? Still waiting for that solo HR with the game already in hand to announce he’s hot again for at least a day or two.

    I mentioned Polanco’s bad at bats previously, and that trend is continuing. At least for the time being, the Phillies still clearly have the better of the Right Fielder’s.

    There, I’m done with my rant. Back to positive things. ;)

  10. Nastynate82 says:

    You’re actually positive sometimes? Don’t take one game to heart too much. It’s not football.

  11. Maz in Iowa says:

    Vacation thread?I was afraid someone was going to post a Go Go’s video link. :)

  12. The Gunner says:

    4 RBIs for Pedro in a month is absolutely unacceptable. Then there’s the throwing issue.

    It is a miracle the Bucs are doing as well as they are given virtually no positive 2014 contribution from #24.

  13. Maz in Iowa says:

    Great defense by the Bucs.Same with pitching except for one pitch.These teams bring out the best in each other.

  14. Baywatch says:

    +++

  15. Johnny Styles says:

    I hate playing the Cardinals. That is all.

  16. Andrew says:

    Such a true statement.

  17. tomf says:

    where is the nearest bridge ?

  18. The Gunner says:

    Ha ha Tom – please don’t let this Pedro thing make you do anything rash!!

  19. Jim S. says:

    Charlie Morton may have pitched our best game of the year. He had the Cardinals eating out of his hand. I would have allowed him to bat there, given our bench. He may have had 2 more innings in him, and we were already into the Cardinals bullpen. Let it play out. But, I know 100% of MLB Managers pinch hit there so I can’t fault Clint too much.

    I probably would pinch hit there also, except that our options were very limited. Martinez, who cannot hit at all, and Stewart, who can not hit at all, were our righties off the bench. Polanco, who is struggling with LHP and has not hit many balls hard lately, or Snider were our lefties. I think it is pretty telling that Snider doesn’t even get to grab a bat in that situation before a rookie who is slumping. Given all that, why not let Charlie bat? I know I’m probably alone in that, but I was asking that question during the game. I’m probably also alone in that I would have allowed Watson, who threw a whopping 5 pitches in the 8th inning, to throw the 9th.

    Oh well, not all the moves are going to work out. We knew going into last night’s game that it was going to be a tall order beating Wainwright. He’ll throw any pitch in any count, and he’ll paint the corners. I sure wish Colton Wong would have caught that ball.

    No hits with RISP for the Bucs. Ok, time to regroup tonight. Still need a split in this series, which means either Worley or Cumpton must come through.

    I’m very concerned about Cole. Have been since he was originally injured.

    Go Bucs!

  20. Steve B. says:

    Yup, I am actually. I generally use this blog as a complaints section to unload my more critical observations with others who might agree, just to get it out there and let me get on with my day. It’s therapeutic actually and lets me move past things quicker than some who will go on and on fighting with everyone about things all day.

    It’s really no different than those who have to find a silver lining in every bad situation to help them sleep at night. By “back to positive things”, I really meant, back to you. Not you specifically, but in general. I like reading the positive posts as well, I just feel no need to contribute or expound upon them and further most times.

    Baseball is not football?! Wow, I learn something new everyday. ;)

  21. Jim S. says:

    Good point about Wilson, Bay. That pitch was not a good one, obviously.

    We’ll square the series tonight.

  22. The Gunner says:

    Jim

    This Cole thing is quite upsetting – I am hoping TJ surgery isn’t the answer.

    Then there’s the Pedro issue, 4 RBIs in the last month……..my God!! That’s worse than awful!!

  23. tomf says:

    almost impossible to determine exactly where Alvarez is – without observing him in BP

    (and speaking of BP – it is possible a slightly different approach for Alvarez is warranted)

    if Alvarez is lighting it up in BP – keep sending him to the plate (with the hope he will do it in a game)

    but if Alvarez BP is not quality and issues remain – adress the issues (first)

  24. Maz in Iowa says:

    TJ is an elbow thing.

  25. tomf says:

    Gaby Sanchez

    showed promise early – less lately

    still contributing – but not exactly trending up

  26. 21sthebest says:

    I think Polanco bats there over Snider because of his speed. He’s more likely to beat something out. And I think you absolutely had to pinch hit for Morton there.

    As to Watson, I’m guessing he didn’t pitch the 9th because he never throws an inning, sits, warms up again, and pitches. Just not used to it. We can disagree all we want but I think that’s how Hurdle operates.

  27. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think BP is an indicator of anything really. I mean, I’m awesome at the driving range.

  28. Maz in Iowa says:

    They showed some stats on Petey last night and his BA against some pitches.He is struggling to hit much over .100 on curve balls.Very doubtful he gets to look at a hittable fast ball.He is simply not(or can’t) making adjustments.

  29. Jim S. says:

    I think this is shoulder related. First it was called shoulder fatigue. Then, lats soreness. Lats connects to the shoulder, right?

    I don’t want to be an alarmist, but something just has not sounded right to me all along. The velocity has been down, and clearly his command was bad when he pitched in his last outing.

    Hopefully, this is just precautionary.

  30. 21sthebest says:

    Well Cole averages 16 pitches per inning and he threw 80 in his last outing which was 5 innings with 1 walk. Thought his command was okay. My concern would be labrum.

  31. Johnny Styles says:

    His velocity was okay at the beginning of the game, but you could tell he was just off. He had no command. I was going crazy because he couldn’t throw a first pitch strike to anyone. Thank goodness the Phillies were so inept because a good team might have actually taken advantage of Cole not being right.

  32. bradthedad says:

    Me too. It has morphed from arm fatigue to sore back to a lat – not to go all gloom and doom but my limited knowledge of it is 6 to 8 weeks – give it enough time and if you’re lucky, it doesn’t morph further to rotator cuff or labrum. A lat was the beginning of the end for Halladay.

  33. Jim S. says:

    If that is the at bat you are going to get, and it was exactly the at bat I was expecting, I say there is no point in taking out a pitcher who is totally dominant. But, obviously Clint expected a better at bat.

    I know why Watson didn’t come out for another inning, and I know that is how Hurdle operates. Does that mean we can’t question it?

    If you ask Watson there, I bet he says he is always good for 25 pitches and he doesn’t care one bit if they are spread over 2 innings. It’s only Managers who think good pitchers will pee themselves if you ask them to change their routine a bit. I think Tony Watson realizes he is fully capable of going out for another inning there. If there is anyone we can trust to adapt it is Watson.

    I also don’t get the “if it’s not a save situation, the closer doesn’t pitch mentality. Again, I know every Manager does it that way, pretty much.

  34. bpn8pitt says:

    tomf, something that really worries me? He goes somewhere else, they change his swing or something even slighter and he becomes Jose Bautista/Brandon Moss…Drives me nuts seeing guys like that, Casey Mcgehee, Jesse Chavez have success.

    Maybe we’ve had our share with Burnett, Liriano, Volquez etc, but still doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.

    Pedro probably goes to the AL to DH/1b, hits 40-50 bombs a year.

  35. The Gunner says:

    Gaby Sanchez stinks

  36. Baywatch says:

    On the bright side: It’s JHay’s Birthday! That guy … I tell ya, he’s made my year! I mean real PERSONALLY! A real inspiration! “HE BRING FEELING TO MY LIFE!” – Peter Cetera

  37. Jim S. says:

    I think one hit and one walk through 5 should be done in less than 80 pitches. But, it was probably more his first outing after the layoff where I thought his control was off.

  38. Maz in Iowa says:

    I’m not a doctor and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express. That being said they have never said anything about an MRI.If they didn’t bother with an MRI and just relied on X rays then it’s prolly not that bad.He’ll be off till after the break and then we’ll know more.They did fine without him before.Hopefully other guys will step up.Keep the faith

  39. Baywatch says:

    Dude! I did not even KNOW about Jesse Chavez! I was getting ready to say, “He’s out of baseball,” and I figured, well, I’ll look him up: STARTING FOR THE A’S? 7-5, with a 3.06 ERA? That is TOTALLY depressing!

  40. 21sthebest says:

    “I know why Watson didn’t come out for another inning, and I know that is how Hurdle operates. Does that mean we can’t question it?”

    Jim, did you give an explanation as to why Watson didn’t come back out for the 9th? No. So I thought I would. And where did I say or come anywhere close to implying that you can’t question it?

    I have no idea what Watson would say and I don’t care what he would say. I can’t be guaranteed that players would be objective about themselves. And I could see letting him come back out for the 9th imposing an injury risk.

    And I can’t tell if you would or would not have let Charlie bat in that situation.

  41. Baywatch says:

    Thanks for slapping me on the shoulder pads, Jim. I needed that!

  42. The Gunner says:

    Pedro will blossom once he leaves the Bucs. In the meantime, they need to run him out there everyday.

  43. Jim S. says:

    Remember the much maligned Nate McLouth trade? I heard people complaining about giving him up as late as last year.

    We got our 2 best starters for this season in that trade – Morton and Locke.

    Good news on Frankie last night to balance the disappointing news on Cole. Could it be that this little mid-season break was exactly what Frankie needed? He has never really been the sort of guy who gives you 200+ innings. Maybe he will be healthy and refreshed for the stretch run now.

  44. Maz in Iowa says:

    I had rotator cuff surgery.If it was a torn rotator cuff problem he wouldn’t be pitching.I could hardly pull a tee shirt on without searing pain.It was almost 10 months for my recovery btw.

  45. bpn8pitt says:

    Change of scenery I guess, Bay.

    Somebody tells you to do this, instead of that. Boom! Production.

    Benedict did it with Worley Bird, too. Hard to figure still though.

  46. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah, in the month of June the team went 17-10 without Cole and Liriano for the most part.

    And 16-9 last year without A.J. and Wandy. Obviously you want Cole in the rotation but this sort of thing doesn’t put my hair on fire.

  47. Jandy says:

    ++++

  48. Maz in Iowa says:

    However they are looking at cutting down on his innings already.He has never pitched very many innings before

  49. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    My friends, I don’t know about you, but I am tired of facing St. Louis 19 times every year. While I might not be some big city geographer, last time I checked, the city of Atlanta is far closer to the Central time zone than is the city of Pittsburgh. Folks, it’s high time that we move back to the NL East, where we belong. Good day!

  50. The Gunner says:

    Correction:

    Gaby Sanchez really stinks!

  51. Johnny Styles says:

    I hope that he’ll be back after the ASB, refreshed and ready to go for the second half of the season.

  52. Arriba Wilver says:

    An interesting look at great throws from the past in JAL’S Link # 19.

  53. Maz in Iowa says:

    They might have to rely on the Benedict/Searage team to nurse the pitching staff for a while..NO it’s not a legal firm Bay. :)

  54. bradthedad says:

    The perils of trying to be concise. I didn’t mean to imply it was a cuff – I believe it is only (!) a lat. But it requires a lot of time. The last thing you want is a guy trying to throw 97 in pain – the change in mechanics could lead to something far worse.

  55. Milo Hamilton says:

    Here’s how you know it’s not your night. The fact that Kolten Wong stinks might have cost the Pirates that game last night.

    2 on, 2 outs top of the 8th & Jordy Mercer hits a routine grounder to Wong at 2nd base. He mangles it like he’s never seen a baseball before loading the bases with no outs. That leads Hurdle to pinch hit for Morton & Polanco struck out. If Wong wasn’t so awful & just did his job Morton goes out for the bottom of the 8th having thrown only 84 pitches. That leaves Watson for the 9th & who knows what happens. Now the way things were going they probably could have played that game til next Thursday & the Pirates wouldn’t have scored.

    But that’s the Cardinals for you, they win the game because Kolten Wong stinks.

  56. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    HAHA nice an NL East call this morning…I love it…I agree.

    Pedro about to catch fire…place your bets.

    Lariano coming back…nasty

    Trade likely….all about money for the Phillies….any takers?

  57. Jandy says:

    PLAYOFFS!!!!!

  58. tomf says:

    the breaking pitches I can understand – especially the good breaking pitches

    less so breaking pitches well out of the zone – or early in the count

    but in one recent game he missed or did not square up on a few pitches he could/should have crushed

    hopefully they are examining video of the at bats and discussing with him to determine where to focus

  59. Maz in Iowa says:

    Butterfly effect?

  60. Jim S. says:

    21:

    If I came off as jumping on you, I apologize. My issue is with every Manager in MLB, and the strange way I think they handle bullpens. I thought you were saying there is no point in discussing it because we know that is how Clint operates.

    I think we all know Clint and his 29 counterparts do pretty much the same thing. All I am saying is I don’t get these roles that Managers have created just for relief pitchers. You can ask a 22 year old rookie like Polanco, who is a lefty batter and struggling vs. LHP to come up cold off the bench and expect him to put a good PH at bat together and get a hit in the most pressurized situation of the night. But, your best relief pitcher can’t be asked to throw a 2nd inning when he retired the side on 5 pitches the previous inning? Watson has pitched more than 1 inning plenty of times in his career. Managers seem to think there is something magical about certain innings that only some guys can handle them, and they also think only your lower level relievers can throw more than 1 inning every time out but no one else can.

    As for not knowing whether I am saying he should PH for Charlie or not there, I am saying I would not PH if my options were Polanco, Snider, Martinez, Stewart and Charlie is totally shutting down St. Louis. If Tabata or a competent righty bat was on my bench, I absolutely PH there. I realize I am still probably in the minority, but I thought Polanco had very little chance to succeed there. I don’t think he is hitting the ball particularly well lately, and he is really struggling vs. lefties.

    On another note, does anyone know why Charlie was hitting away the previous at bat with a runner on 1st and no outs in a 0-0 game? If ever there was a spot to bunt, that seemed to be it.

  61. Maz in Iowa says:

    I’m ok with playing the Cardinals.It’s playing the Milwaukee Brauns that I’d like to leave in the dust.JMO

  62. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Kolten Wong effect. He projects his stink onto the opposition.

  63. Jim S. says:

    Well, I’ve never been a butt slapper, Bay. Well, maybe in co-ed softball back in college. :-)

  64. Jim S. says:

    The good news is at least Milwaukee lost. They might be in a bit of a tailspin here. Estrada sure does give up some HR. He’s closing in on 30 gopher balls already. I still say they’ll be looking for rotation help at some point. Not that McCarthy or Hammel are superstars, but I’m kind of glad they are unavailable to Milwaukee.

  65. tomf says:

    much discussion about Alvarez last night – but he had company

    in addition to Alvarez:

    McCutchen – zilch

    Mercer came up empty with baserunners

    Martin also

  66. Johnny Styles says:

    He’s right up there with the great Pete Kozma.

  67. 21sthebest says:

    “I thought you were saying there is no point in discussing it because we know that is how Clint operates.”

    Not at all. I’m not even sure that’s how Clint operates all of the time. But it seems like he likes to use some guys to start innings only, some in the middle, some go multiple innings. I haven’t checked this out but I’d bet there are some exceptions.

    Jim, I’m guessing that bullpens are handled the way they are these days because managers also think they’re protecting pitchers from injury by getting their arms and bodies used to one thing. I don’t agree with it either but I haven’t looked at any data. Personally, I wouldn’t compare how Watson was used to how Polanco was used for that reason. And I would have gone with Snider.

  68. Baywatch says:

    Hey, Milo! Nice analysis. I never would have thought of that in a million years. I guess that’s why they pay you the … BLOG Bucs … or something. :-)

  69. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey Bay !

  70. chethejet1 says:

    after ASB, Cole and Franky have to perform at their best. If not can’t see the bucs in the playoffs. Now as to trades, if I can get a LT deal with Headley, then I ship Pedro to SD for him and Street. If not, not sure what really improves the buccos with out Cole and Francisco at their best.

  71. NMR says:

    I like you, Steve.

  72. Arriba Wilver says:

    Milo posted this last night:

    “LOB tonight:

    Mercer 6
    McCutchen 5
    Alvarez 5
    Martin 4″

  73. Maz in Iowa says:

    BTW Walker hasn’t exactly been ablaze since his return either

  74. Jim S. says:

    I think we’ll need that to overtake Milwaukee.

  75. Johnny Styles says:

    Well that’s a good way to get shutout.

  76. NMR says:

    @bpn – Toronto Blue Jays. I can’t think of any other team that has more success getting the most out of talented, underperforming hitters.

  77. Jim S. says:

    No, he hasn’t. He does have a hitting streak going, but I don’t think he is squaring the ball up a lot or hitting for much power. Being off for a couple of weeks puts some guys right back to square one, almost like spring training again. Maybe he’s close to getting it going again. He had a couple of hits and drew a walk last night.

  78. A1C McG says:

    does anyone else have a feeling this may be the last yr for the Blackhawks “dynasty?” wrapping up 2 players for 8 yrs at 10.8 is a big chunk of the salary cap to 2 players who barely have an arguement that they are the best at their respective positions. Not saying they arent good they are really good, even great when the season ends and playoffs begin as evident by the hardware they have taken home but seriously 21.6 is a lot. The cap needs to go up to over 80 mil (its 69 now) for these contracts to almost take up under 25% of the cap. Really makes you thankful for the 2 MVPs we have that took the paycuts to stay in Pittsburgh now if only we can get that supporting cast part worked out.

  79. Maz in Iowa says:

    One double(only extra base hit) and 2 RBI his last 10 games.

  80. Jim S. says:

    That’s an angle I hadn’t thought of, 21. I was thinking of it being done more from the comfortability (is that even a word?) aspect.

  81. Maz in Iowa says:

    Wainwright has a way of making almost everyone look bad…..even though he doesn’t throw 95+

  82. NMR says:

    Ha, I’d love to treat you to a beverage sometime, Gunner. I just can’t get a read on you sometimes on here.

  83. Thundercrack says:

    Yes, the A’s picked up a couple of pretty good pitchers this past weekend/

    :-)

  84. Arriba Wilver says:

    No, that appendicitis really messed with his season.

  85. NMR says:

    No hitter in baseball has been thrown less fastballs and less strikes overall than Pedro Alvarez.

    If anyone could use “lineup protection” on this team, it is him.

  86. chethejet1 says:

    Can’t keep everyone and Sharpe is rumored to be available. If I am the hawks, I shop Kane. Even cap going to 72 to 74 million next year as cap has a 3 million kicker with new Canadian deal, still paying two guys 20 mill is restrictive to the cap.

  87. Thundercrack says:

    See, it isn’t just Pedro that stinks :-)

  88. Jandy says:

    Sure looks that way.

  89. Arriba Wilver says:

    Isn’t that where we got Snider? Maybe they’ll take him back. ;-)

  90. bpn8pitt says:

    For some reason I think the break is gonna do him a lot of good. And I hope Hurdle has a good plan for him when he comes back….They need him, to get ahead in this division or grab a WC. Last night was a perfect example.

  91. The Gunner says:

    I would be very open to meeting you, too, my man. I live in zip code 15220, how about you?

    I am extremely disappointed in Pedro’s 2014 contributions. However, it is unlikely he will be traded during this season. So, take a risk & run him out there daily – maybe he’ll get lucky & be productive offensively & defensively.

  92. NMR says:

    We’ll always be able to put the blame on the appendicitis…

    But I have a real hard time believing a couple weeks off derailed his season from reaching some new level of production. I think the guy was just “hot”.

  93. NMR says:

    Just awesome.

  94. NMR says:

    I’ll take 21′s plan over anything Hurdle has for him at this point.

    Just go hit. Hit like you always have. Guy just doesn’t look like he knows what kind of hitter he wants to be, or they want him to be. Lines one of the hardest hit balls all night off Wano in his first AB, then almost looked protective from the start in his next two AB’s.

    Yeah, a lot of guys look ugly against Wano curveballs, but PA just doesn’t seem comfortable.

  95. NMR says:

    Bryan Freaking Morris?

  96. JohninOshkosh says:

    Seinfeld premiered 25 years ago this week, July 5, 1989.

    My top 5 episodes:

    5. “The Chicken Roaster.” Vile weed.
    4. “The Contest.” Groundbreaking episode skirting the censors with brilliant innuendo.
    3. “The Yada Yada.” Bryan Cranston establishing himself as one of the great actors of his generation.
    2. “The Chinese Restaurant.” Unparallelled in the history of comedic television. A self-contained episode taking place in one locale-the waiting area of a restaurant. Brilliant in concept and execution.
    1. “The Strike.” A Festivus for the rest of us! Greatest. Holiday. Episode. Ever. My favorite line ? Elaine: -Hey, how did my horse do? Bookie-He had to be shot.

  97. Thundercrack says:

    I never played, but I think that 2 weeks off could screw up the swing you had going. Maybe he just hasn’t found that groove again

    And he’s worried that JHay is going to take his job :-)

    If JHay isn’t busy taking Pedro’s job. :-)

    Hey, I like these :-)

  98. Jim S. says:

    Comments from Cole after his throwing session yesterday:

    “I wasn’t myself today, and if you can’t be yourself in the bullpen, you can’t really be yourself if you’re trying to pitch.”

    “Getting on the mound today, getting elevation, putting some extra force into it, it didn’t feel good.”

    “Stewart caught me and I asked him, hey man, did I look like myself? He said no, it just didn’t look the same.”

    “I had my heart set on this series. I don’t think you could really ask for anything more than a 4 game series in St. Louis.”

    None of that sounds very promising to me.

  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    Well, since his production has been pretty different once he came back, I think it’s more than coincidental.
    None of us obviously has any idea how his overall season would have turned out, but this little stretch seems like it can reasonably be attributed to the health problem. I think people underestimated it’s effect,
    But you know what they say about opinions.

  100. Arriba Wilver says:

    They showed a clip of his bullpen session last night. He looked kind of distraught.

  101. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++++

  102. Jim S. says:

    “Cartwright!”

  103. Jim S. says:

    Ugh!!

  104. Andrew says:

    No issue with the rant, I just thought Nate’s point was prescient, only the 1906 Cubs had a winning percentage over .750.

  105. Andrew says:

    What is the point of Travis Snider?

  106. Thundercrack says:

    Pedro’s walks are up. So maybe he should figure it out that he shouldn’t swing at pitches out of the zone. Take more walks. Be prepared when he does get thrown a fastball or a strike.

    Who was Pedro’s protection in the lineup last season?

  107. Andrew says:

    I don’t think there will ever be any dynasty’s in the salary capped NHL with 30 teams.

  108. Johnny Styles says:

    Well, on the bright side, Cumpton has performed very admirably during his time with the big club, and Liriano’s rehab assignment was lights out. Would I rather have healthy Cole? Of course, but it’s nice to have options.

  109. bpn8pitt says:

    NMR, all

    Did the Pirates overuse Cole since his callup last year?

  110. NMR says:

    Oh I can certainly see the time off being blamed for this specific stretch since he’s returned. I think it’s pretty bold for anyone to come right back into action without a rehab stint, just for timing purposes.

    I just meant that the only thing really different in his offensive game was the power, right? The homeruns. Guy has hit for high average before, but never with 20+ HR. He still may very well get there, or he may not. I just don’t think I’d blame the surgery if it is the latter.

    But as you said, opinions!

  111. Jim S. says:

    He hammers fastballs that are strikes, usually.

    Unfortunately, he swings at all sorts of pitches that are nowhere near the strike zone. I think the way to resolve not seeing enough strikes is to not swing at bad pitches so often.

  112. NMR says:

    Honestly, I don’t think anyone can claim to know enough about the human arm and pitching at this point to say one way or another.

  113. Wild Bill says:

    The Bucs’ Dominicans should be up for a game against a Dominican pitcher tonight – bragging rights. The rest of the team should just be in a Bad Mood after all the LoB last night. Time to even the series.

  114. Milo Hamilton says:

    I just learned that Josh McRoberts signed for the mid-level exception. Awesome.

  115. Andrew says:

    Not to jump on you, but I’ve heard Wainwright say something similar, in an attempt at self-deprecation, about how he has to do things a little different because he doesn’t throw 95+.

    Call me petty but I found it a little disingenuous, the guy is 6’7″ he didn’t draw the short straw in the genetic lottery.

  116. Jim S. says:

    So true. And every arm is different from every other arm. Too bad God didn’t make more Nolan Ryan-type arms.

  117. Rob Scott says:

    Anyone who thinks this team has playoff potential is just being silly. The bullpen is one of the worst in MLB. The bench is virtually non-existent and the lineup lacks power.

  118. NMR says:

    I think they had a plan, one that seems to have had a lot of merrit, and they followed it.

    Maybe the extra work is what led to these issues, but maybe the Pirates don’t make the playoffs without it. As long as this isn’t career threatening, and I don’t see any reason for it to be, I would expect them to do the same exact thing if they had to do it over again.

  119. NMR says:

    Ok, who are we talking about?

  120. bpn8pitt says:

    We’ve argued about innings in the past. I know at UCLA he never went over 130? Less?

    I don’t know man. You add October with the past year, I think that’s a lot of innings on a young arm, IMO.

    It absolutely sucks him and Taillon are on the DL.

  121. Jim S. says:

    Adam Wainwright: Little engine that could.

  122. Jim S. says:

    Phils, I think.

  123. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Cubs.

  124. Jim S. says:

    I wasn’t thinking the surgery is having a lasting effect. Only the time off. I think he is completely healthy.

  125. Maz in Iowa says:

    After seeing Cutch is well over .300 W/risp.that is well……ummm……..maybe…….uhhh.They could put him at clean up(covers head).They could put Polanco,Marte,Walker in front.Right? Maybe?…..Ahhh fugetaboutit.Just trying to get someone who could bat 4th and not hurt the PBC

  126. NMR says:

    @Jim

    But are pitchers really going to throw him more fastballs and strikes with Jordy Mercer and the pitcher following him? Doesn’t seem like a very good idea.

    Note that I’m not necessarilly recommending he hit in front of Andrew McCutchen or anything, just stating that if anyone could see big improvements from having a decent guy behind him it would seem to be Pedro.

  127. Arriba Wilver says:

    Diamondbacks.

  128. Johnny Styles says:

    I wish I could get someone to sign me to a mid-level exception.

  129. NMR says:

    Can I be the one to ask why we’re so worried about who is hitting 4th?

  130. Maz in Iowa says:

    Muts

  131. A1C McG says:

    kings are close, and probably odds on favorites for next yrs cup if not the next 2

  132. Andrew says:

    Yeah no knows enough to even have an accurate guess on what is overuse.

    I think you can question the handling following the initial injury, this season. Cole showed the same trend in velocity loss in his past two starts as his one prior to the DL stint. Obviously the Pirates have more information but just seeing that trend should send of warning alarms. And why no rehab start it was an arm injury.

  133. Milo Hamilton says:

    Danny Granger was signed for the bi-annual exception. Why have a cap in the first place ? Maybe they could convince Thabo Sefolosha to take the bi-lingual exception ? I love the NBA.

  134. Arriba Wilver says:

    Please.

  135. NMR says:

    Hopefully some day we cross paths, or make it a point to. 15212.

  136. Johnny Styles says:

    The St. Louis Browns.

  137. Andrew says:

    Kings could certainly have a run like the 90s Red Wings, but no one is winning four in row. I think given the cap and how spread out the talent is that three conference finals in 5 years by the Blackhawks is impressive.

  138. Johnny Styles says:

    This is why there will probably be another lockout when the NBA’s CBA is ready to expire. This takes the soft salary cap to a whole new level.

  139. Naje says:

    It’s a 4 game series with three games at Cincy to follow. Seven straight days of tough games and that’s probably the reason Watson was only in the game for 5 pitches. He could conceivably pitch again today and Thursday, or tomorrow and Thursday. Not all games are Game 7 of the World Series or a one-game Wild Card play-in game.

    The season is a marathon… everybody has to do his part. Wilson is not pitching well…we know that. But we can’t burn up our guys just because the situation presents itself that way. Watson did his job and he’ll be ready to do his job again tonight and through the rest of the week. If it was a one-game playoff, sure, keep Watson in the game. But there are seven games this week on the road against formidable competition…Watson may well pitch in five or six of them (hoping he doesn’t have to do so, though).

  140. NMR says:

    Again, opinion, and maybe this is just my perception…

    But there seems to be an inordinate amount of time spent talking about the 4th hitter on a team that is 6th in the league and runs scored and has the second best park-adjusted offense overall.

    They’re scoring runs. Lots of them. They may not be coming from the 4th spot, but they’re coming from somewhere. I think these lineup manipulations wouldn’t amount to more than rearranging the furniture.

  141. Maz in Iowa says:

    Last night they had a stat that showed Pirate clean up hitters are barely hitting .200 w/risp as a team.Basically about the worst in MLB.One could”assume” that a BA near .250 would mean more wins.Plus protection for the batters in front.Look at almost every team and see which hitters produce the most for their teams…granted there are exceptions.Odds are your top 3 hitters have a very good statistical shot at being on base or in scoring position and your clean up hitter has decent odds of driving in a run.

  142. bpn8pitt says:

    Agree Johnny. Its headed that way.

    Funny how owners in all 4 major sports continually shoot themselves in the foot.

  143. Arriba Wilver says:

    To quote Coach Tomlin, obviously I don’t know. Either way there seems to be a connection. But when you say “completely healthy,” do you mean like it never happened? Like with Cole’s arm, hard to tell.

  144. Wild Bill says:

    Agree.

  145. Maz in Iowa says:

    Putting Polanco(.290)Marte(.260) or Harrison(.304) and Walker(.272) in front of Cutch(.350 w/risp) seems to make a lot of sense.

  146. Naje says:

    Then why so worried about someone protecting Alvarez, NMR…? Sounds like a correlation/causation thing here. So he drives in four runs in June, but it’s because no one protects him? Ok, so let’s turn the problems Alvarez has into a problem with who hits behind him.

    From what I’ve seen this year, the guy in the 3 spot has nothing, no one, hitting behind him and he’s playing and hitting at MVP-level.

    Correlation, causation or excuses?

  147. Jim S. says:

    Extra credit for correct spelling of Thabo Sefolosha.

  148. Arriba Wilver says:

    My opinion is the same as yours. So we’re probably both wrong. :-)

  149. Maz in Iowa says:

    Gotta say if I’m another team I just keep walking Cutch.Seems like a no brainer.JMO

  150. Milo Hamilton says:

    I just wish I could hear Dick Stockton say it. OK, maybe not.

  151. Jim S. says:

    That’s what I was thinking, AW. You’re right that we don’t know. But, I thought a person generally completely heals from this surgery in 2 weeks with no lasting effects, physically.

    I was just thinking the layoff screwed up his timing, pitch recognition, etc., and that some guys don’t get that back quite as quickly as other guys.

  152. Jim S. says:

    +++.

    Is he still married to Leslie Visser? I thought that was a good get at the time.

  153. Johnny Styles says:

    Well, since couldn’t pronounce “Tabata” correctly, I’m just gonna guess he’d have trouble with Thabo Sefolosha. I’d like to hear some random high school basketball announcer try to say that! :)

  154. Jim S. says:

    Would that be the Greentree vicinity, Gunner? I still recall quite a few Pittsburgh-area zips, for some odd reason. Haven’t lived there in over 20 years.

  155. Milo Hamilton says:

    They divorced shortly after their his and her facelifts. Quite sad really.

  156. NMR says:

    Well for one, I’m not “worried” at all about who is hitting behind Pedro Alvarez, and I can’t imagine how anyone could construe what I wrote to be that. I don’t know Pedro Alvarez. I literally said I’m not recommending moving him. He doesn’t need anyone to defend him. And frankly I think it’s silly that you seem to always frame conversation in that manner. Can we just get over it already?

    My comment was a thought excercise, and you absolutely nailed my position.

    The guy in the 3-spot, Andrew McCutchen, is one of probably the 5 best hitters on the planet. Not only does he not need lineup protection, but there’s almost literally nobody that could provide it.

    If the theory of lineup protection holds true at all, it is logical to suppose that an average hitter who happens to see very few fastballs and strikes would benefit from a situation where they would see more. Not rocket science.

  157. NMR says:

    Haha, and how’s that working out for them, Maz?

  158. Jim S. says:

    Probably not. I think that is a fair observation.

  159. Milo Hamilton says:

    Tab – a – Taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

  160. Jim S. says:

    The other side of regression?

  161. Maz in Iowa says:

    Agree to disagree.I’m not trying to pick a fight.I have no problem with anything anyone posts.I like reading opinions.Nice to get your ideas.Thx

  162. NMR says:

    Well for one, that is a very antiquated view of lineups in your last sentence.

    Two, your supposition of 4th hitter with a higher average leading to more wins is only true if you are assuming the extra runs produced from that spot are in ADDITION to the runs already being scored. In reality, that’s just not going to be the case. Moving the same hitters around will simply move the most of the same production around. Sure, there maayyy be some improvements, but the players are who they are.

    Andrew McCutchen has scored 48 runs. Most on the team. The 4th hitter may not be responsible for those, but somebody was.

  163. Johnny Styles says:

    Another potential back-up catcher is available. Per Hardball Talk, the Mariners have DFA’d former Bucco John Buck.

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/07/08/the-mariners-designated-john-buck-for-assignment/

  164. tomf says:

    +++++

  165. NMR says:

    @Naje – and as far as correlation vs causation, yes, there absolutely is a factual causative argument to be made that hitters fair better against fastballs vs. breaking balls and strike vs. balls. Nobody would argue against that.

    Putting a player in a position to see more of those two things would then seem like a fairly obvious idea. The only real argument comes in figuring out if the player hitting behind said hitter has an effect.

  166. NMR says:

    @Maz – absolutely! I wouldn’t post if it weren’t for hearing everyone’s ideas and thoughts.

  167. NMR says:

    Ha, I’m not even sure what the other side of regression means!

  168. NMR says:

    And aren’t we over moving guys around based on in-season RISP?

    You want players who hit well with RISP in the 4th slot? Put your highest batting average guy there. Otherwise, you’re just looking at noise. No predictive value at all.

  169. Arriba Wilver says:

    “They divorced shortly after their his and her facelifts. Quite sad really.”

    POTD

  170. Maz in Iowa says:

    Good post NMR.I see some of your points.This is why I like this blog.I’m open to almost any opinion.

  171. dennis g. says:

    It’s not 4 RBI’s in a month; Pedro has had 14 RBI’s every calendar month this year (July is going to be tough though.) Before last night he had 9 RBI’s in the previous month’s play, but he did it in four games. So he had 4 games in which he had an RBI (or more.)

  172. NMR says:

    And the fun thing is, we’re really closer to agreeing with each other than I think it sounds. Get guys on base in front of guys who hit them in often. I like it!

    FWIW, my comment was meant more in a big picture, Pirates are pretty good(!) sense.

  173. tomf says:

    2 weeks off is an eternity in baseball

    players often do 2 sessions per day ; T work, soft toss, front toss etc early – BP later in the day with the team

    often hundreds of swings per day

    then the game

  174. NMR says:

    Like I said to Naje down below, it’s a thought experiment more than an actual recommendation. I think the Pirates offense is doing just fine.

  175. dennis g. says:

    I agree with you; I thought when Wong flubbed that grounder that we were in trouble. I thought Snider should have pinch hit, but I agree they should have let Morton bat. I think we were just destined to lose that game, but a little thinking out of the box could not hurt at that point.

  176. NMR says:

    Prepare to enter the bomb shelter, Billy Beane about to explode some heads:

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/billy-beane-on-the-future-of-sports-a-tech-driven-revolution-1404762964

  177. dennis g. says:

    They should have Pedro take batting practice with Volquez and not let him play until he can hit him. He is 0 for 9 against him in games and he might be able to help him identify those dirt high outside pitches.

    Another thing; why has no one stopped the practice golf swing he has used between every two pitches since he has been here? How does it help to practice doing something the wrong way? As you practice, so shall you play. Last night he took the usual wedge shot practice swing and went in and used it at the plate to pop up. It does not make sense.

  178. 21sthebest says:

    That’s what I think Mercer has been doing. Have you seen him go to right or even try to go to right since he started hitting better? He was doing lots of that the first two months of the season.

  179. bpn8pitt says:

    Ah ah ah..thats not what Statcast said. Lol

  180. 21sthebest says:

    One of my favorites is The Switch. Where George and Jerry come up with the plan for Jerry to make the roommate switch.

  181. 21sthebest says:

    They also get Kramer’s first name in that one.

  182. 21sthebest says:

    Steelers.

  183. Bizrow says:

    ++++++

  184. Tom P. says:

    The Reds have put Joey Votto on the DL. Let’s see if that has an impact this weekend.

  185. bpn8pitt says:

    Do we see Cueto and Simon? That’s probably a bigger factor.

  186. Tom P. says:

    Latos, Leake and Cueto in that order, per ESPN.com

  187. Jim S. says:

    I think Bruce played last night, right Tom? Votto has obviously been trying to play through this. In that sense, I actually think the Reds might be better off without this version of Votto in the lineup. .255 with 22 XBH is not Votto-like.

  188. Bizrow says:

    So what is the official word on Cole, still a lat strain?

  189. NMR says:

    Ever watch Ryan Braun, Dennis?

  190. Jim S. says:

    Please … no.

  191. Tom P. says:

    You’re right, Jim. The question is whether Votto’s replacement is better than the injured Votto.

  192. NMR says:

    You know, I never put it together but that’s a really interesting observation. It does seem like just about all of Jordy’s hard contact has been to the pull side, and hard contact is something that he almost never made in the first two months.

    The more I think about this theory of yours the more sense it makes. I think Pedro is just good enough at hitting to the opposite field that it’s carrot the coaching staff is chasing.

    If he can do it a little bit, doing it more will make him better. Since hitting oppo makes all hitters better. Not so fast…

  193. NMR says:

    Imagine the laughter “thank goodness we miss Simon’s spot in the rotation” would’ve brought last year?

    cantpredictbaseball

  194. Jim S. says:

    I wonder about all the lineup switches. I would think Hurdle would be more in favor of putting a guy in a certain lineup slot and leaving him there – kind of like how the relievers have to have their defined roles. But, apparently not. You can bat #2, #4 and #7 in a 3-game series.

  195. dennis g. says:

    Yes.

  196. dennis g. says:

    Did you ever watch Roberto Clemente, Rocky Nelson, many Sanguillen? Different strokes for different folks. Success invites silence. Utter lack of success invites criticism.

  197. BillyBaduka says:

    Great show.

    Tough to argue with that top 5.

    I’d put the Contest at the top for me.

    Tough for me to leave out “the Place to be” or “the Parking Garage” (similar in construct to Chinese Resteraunt”) but can’t really remove any that you have.

    Thank you Larry David for all the hours of entertainment.

  198. dennis g. says:

    He had two hits last night, one off one of the toughest pitchers in baseball and the other off of a LH who looks pretty good. He also walked once and should have walked a second time but the umpire gave the strike to Wainright. If any of our other hitters get out of sync like that I will welcome it.

  199. As hard as the Bucs tried to win last night, there was definitely no way they were going to do much with Adam Wainwright on the mound in the Cardinals’ home park. And so, hopefully, they’ll be able to score in the next 3 games. Also, one can only hope that Gerrit Cole will heal up sooner than later. At least the Power beat the Voo Doo last night in Arena football.

  200. Cole is on the 15 day DL and he’ll be replaced by Brandon Cumpton.

  201. dennis g. says:

    Pedro drove in 14 runs in June.

  202. NMR says:

    I don’t think you can possibly contradict yourself more if you tried.

  203. 21sthebest says:

    I thought they had their chances with Wainwright. I would have liked to sees Ike bat in the first after Martin was hit by a pitch. But the ump made one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen. Then he let John Jay get away with the same thing he called Martin on.

  204. bpn8pitt says:

    Actually now that I think about it, Latos has always pitched well against us, or so it seems.

  205. hockeymonster says:

    Duncan Keith’s and Seabrook’s contracts work as a nice cap buffer for the toews and kane deals. Hawks are loaded and Saad is just entering his 2nd contract soon. They’ll be fine.

  206. JohninOshkosh says:

    So many good episodes. 21′s suggestion is a good one. Loved Soup Nazi, Face Painter and Puffy Shirt episodes as well.

    Tried to limit list to culturally significant or innovative and edgy concepts. Wanted to throw in a post Larry David episode as well, therefore, Chicken Roaster edges some of those mentioned.

    Really, with the exception of some in the first two seasons, not many clunker episodes at all.

  207. 21sthebest says:

    Before this year, I always thought Pedro’s hits to the opposite field were outside pitches that got a little deep. And he always pulled the low, inside pitch from a RHP. This year, as I have said a thousand times, he’s inside outing that pitch to left field. Although he did pull one over the fence last week.

    But last Wednesday, I got a little curious when he pounded a ball up the third base line. I thought maybe he was sending a message to the coaching staff. Probably not. The D’backs stop putting the shift on him after that.

  208. NMR says:

    Yes, because only looking at the immediate past game is really smart.

    Jesus.

  209. Jim S. says:

    Captain Strand.

  210. 21sthebest says:

    I put The Contest episode right up there with the All In The Family episode with Sammy Davis, Jr. which I always thought may be the most groundbreaking sitcom episode ever.

  211. Jim S. says:

    The more I think about this, and everyone brings up new ones, just about every episode is among my favorites.

  212. NMR says:

    The color guys were all over that Martin/Jay difference. Still have no idea how you make that call. Bush league.

    Wano last night was exactly what makes him so damn good, IMO. Rarely gives up extra base hits and walks, almost never gives up homeruns. Forces you to string together a bunch of hits, because oh yeah, he also masterfully controls the running game with Yadi Molina.

  213. Jim S. says:

    Kramer getting the old Merv Griffin set was a great one, as was Kramer putting the screen door on his apartment and calling it Anytown USA.

    Since I often reference Lloyd Braun and Serenity Now, I have to put that among my favs.

  214. Jim S. says:

    I think he and Pedro are both reminding themselves to keep their hands “in” with those practice swings. I have no problem at all with either one of them.

  215. Jim S. says:

    I missed the first inning, 21. Are you saying Martin got HBP in that long at bat, and the ump said he didn’t attempt to get out of the way?

  216. Jim S. says:

    We’ll see. That is a team that is challenged to score runs. But, man can that rotation pitch.

  217. 21sthebest says:

    The batter always used to get the benefit of the doubt on those.

  218. The Gunner says:

    NMR

    I am in Hilton Head for the remainder of this week & am tied up with some things the week I return.

    Maybe before the end of July or early August might work.

    Maybe we can meet at McFaddens one day – let me know.

  219. The Gunner says:

    Yes Jim – the Greentree area it is.

  220. 21sthebest says:

    Correct. Curveball headed straight towards Martin that didn’t break.

  221. 21sthebest says:

    Pretty my favorite place in the whole world Gunner. 38 more days and I’ll be there.

  222. Arriba Wilver says:

    He was better than Stewart, wasn’t he?

  223. Phil Irwin starting for Texas against the Astros tonight.

  224. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think you’re thinking of Latos’ wife. I think we did pretty good against him last year. ;-)

  225. Jim S. says:

    I was in the car yesterday, and flipped on Jim Bowden and Casey Stern on MLB Radio for a bit. They were critiquing the All Star selections, and lamenting the fact that Matheny chose Watson and Neshek. Bowden essentially said he knows that Watson and Neshek are good pitchers, and that Neshek is a “nice story” but that he can’t believe Matheny didn’t opt for more “closers” because they are high leverage guys, the kind of guys who pitch with the game on the line every night.

    Pat Neshek has allowed 16 hits in 36 innings. He has 36 strikeouts and 4 walks, and a WHIP of 0.56. Tony Watson has allowed 32 hits in 42 innings. He has 49 strikeouts and 10 walks, and a WHIP of 0.96. I watched last night, and the game was extremely close. Both of these guys pitched entire innings with the score tied. The high leverage closers never made it into the game.

    It is amazing how a little stat like “saves” makes even a guy who was a long-time GM of two different organizations automatically elevate every closer over guys who often pitch in more stressful situations. I think Bowden is an idiot, for the most part. But, I also think he ought to understand what leverage means when it comes to relief pitchers.

  226. toochca says:

    He doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt when he sticks his elbow out after removing his hand from the bat. Jay was hit on ball 4.

  227. Jandy says:

    That’s debatable lol

  228. JohninOshkosh says:

    University of Miami, thank you for Jill Arrington, now kindly give up football, please.

  229. NMR says:

    Very cool. Good for Phil!

    12th pitcher to start a game for Texas. Sheesh.

  230. Arriba Wilver says:

    John—have you watched The Leftovers? If so, what do you think?

  231. Jim S. says:

    I like Phil Irwin.

  232. Jim S. says:

    Great. That gets called … what … 2x per year?

    By the way, poor Starling and that hand. Even when he takes one in the back, he still gets it in the hand.

  233. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hey, we’re not dealing from the top of the deck here. ;-)

  234. Jandy says:

    bahaha, and I’m the Queen of Hearts…so?
    :P

  235. Jim S. says:

    Now, that’s a tough call. I would say, overall, Stewart is a better defensive catcher. Buck can definitely hit better.

    I’d say keep looking.

  236. Jandy says:

    And Jim is the King of Hearts :)

  237. 21sthebest says:

    Martin was hit on ball 4. Jay stuck his leg out.

  238. 21sthebest says:

    I keep waiting for Marte to break a bone.

  239. toochca says:

    Martin was ball 3

  240. Jim S. says:

    I’ve wondered that myself, Andrew. My uneducated guess is that Clint likes him, and lobbied for him to stay. The reason I say that is that, if the GM makes the call on who to ship out when Polanco was brought up, I think he bases it on production. There’s no way Snider wins that battle. So, maybe Clint told him Snider is a “good clubhouse guy” and Tabata not so much? Just a guess.

  241. toochca says:

    Here is the summary of Martin’s AB
    1 88 Cutter Ball
    2 89 Cutter Called Strike
    3 75 Curveball Called Strike
    4 89 Cutter Foul
    5 91 Fastball (Four-seam) Ball
    6 77 Curveball Ball (This is the pitch in question)
    7 93 Fastball (Four-seam) Foul (Runner Going)
    8 88 Cutter Foul (Runner Going)
    9 75 Curveball Foul (Runner Going)
    10 88 Cutter In play, out(s)

  242. Jandy says:

    Jinx!!!

  243. 21sthebest says:

    You’re right but I don’t see why it matters anyways. Horrible call. The ump decided to insert himself into the game for some unknown reason. If Martin didn’t get a base, Jay shouldn’t have either.

  244. Arriba Wilver says:

    I would have a hard time limiting it to 5, but The Contest would be on that list. One of my favorite lines, which I can’t quote directly, was when Kramer said “I’m in” and Jerry looked at him with disdain and said, “you? You won’t make it out of the restaurant.” Next scene, Kramer does his usual entrance to Jerry’s apartment and says “I’m out.”

    Also loved Elaine’s “dancing” episode. But the list goes on and on.

  245. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, it seems like he is going to break a hand every year at some point. You can only get hit there so many times before it happens.

  246. Jandy says:

    DOUBLE JINX!!!!

  247. Arriba Wilver says:

    Stewart’s “defense” has been a big disappointment.

  248. toochca says:

    To be honest, I thought the umpire made a difficult call and in my opinion the right one in regards to Martin. Jay got his base because it was Ball 4, whether it hit him or not it did not matter.

  249. 21sthebest says:

    I didn’t think there was any way Martin gets out of the way of that pitch.

  250. A1C McG says:

    i dont know…lots of people up for new contracts next yr. The GM is gonna have to get really creative if Kane and Toews are about to almost double up.

  251. JohninOshkosh says:

    I have not, AW. I have it in my DVR queue.

    I read the book awhile ago and thought it was pretty good. My wife, whose opinion I value on such things, thought the show was just so-so.

    What say you ?

  252. JohnS says:

    I really hate the “closer” role. I liked the “fireman” role better. I don’t call starting the 9th inning with no one on and a lead a “high leverage” situation. Coming into a tie game in the 7th with runners on first and second with no outs is a “high leverage” situation. Give me that 7th inning guy that doesn’t let inheritted runners score and I’ll find anybody to pitch one clean inning.

  253. JohninOshkosh says:

    Kind of interesting that an institution of higher learning allegedly committed to free thought and the exchange of ideas is trying to have the courts seal the Paterno discovery stuff.

    I’m a big believer in open records laws and such. If their fear is that the Paternos will use the information for a PR campaign, then I find that pretty weak sauce. The University needs to stand by what it did and, if it believes such action was correct, then use that information to bolster the actions taken.

  254. hockeymonster says:

    Just looked them up on capgeek. And after they sign Toews and Kane they’ll have 3-4M to re-sign Saad, Leddy and Kruger as RFA’s. Will be tight but Kruger or shaw can be traded and replaced. If they have to trade Hjarmelsson they’ll have teams lined up from Hancock tower to china town down michigan ave to take his 4.1M cap hit off their hands. Oduya will be a UFA after this season but replacing him in house shouldn’t be a problem. They had a tighter cap squeeze a few years ago and came out fine cuz they drafted well. I think they’ll be fine. Seabrook and Keith for 11.3M combined gives them a good head start and they may only need to make one trade to get cap compliant with deep roster, again.

  255. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    dont forget to subtract his home runs, so he was actually driven in 35 times by someone else and with 26 doubles, 4 triples and 13 stolen bases, he was in scoring position at least 43 times for the cleanup hitter to do it.

  256. Jim S. says:

    +++

  257. Tom P. says:

    Sounds like the Pirates from time to time.

  258. Jim S. says:

    Am not!

  259. Jim S. says:

    I have to agree with you on that. I expected better defense from him – particularly throwing out base stealers.

  260. Arriba Wilver says:

    I definitely understand the so-so review.

    I usually wait till at least the second or third season on these things to decide whether to watch (Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Deadwood, The Wire) but things just worked out that it fit my timeframe. It is definitely different, and not up to the “must watch” category of the others, but I find it worth watching. Not sure exactly what’s going on, and there are 5 or 6 different threads (some if not all that will be related), but it has kept my interest through the first 2 episodes.

    But I also watch Under the Dome and plan on watching Extant with Halle Berry, so . . .

  261. Milo Hamilton says:

    I expect to see Josh Harrison start at shortstop tonight.

  262. Arriba Wilver says:

    Even blocking.

  263. JohnS says:

    I have tried to get into the Leftovers and am struggling. The first episode took me three sittings before I got all the way through. Still haven’t watched the entire second episode. I will continue to try because of HBO’s track record but it might lose me as it is supposed to be entering in the end.

    I made the mistake of really sticking with The Following. I continued to think it would get better but it never really did. I stuck it out for two seasons and I am ashamed.

  264. Bizrow says:

    3-0 Germany over Brazil

    So far

  265. Johnny Styles says:

    Holy mother of pearl! 3-0 Germany in the 25th minute!

  266. Bizrow says:

    Make that 4-0

  267. Arriba Wilver says:

    Fighting open records is SOP for Penn State. Might sound harsh, but it’s true. Not saying any other University would act any differently. Just a fact.

  268. Johnny Styles says:

    I think the entire nation of Brazil will be on suicide watch.

  269. Milo Hamilton says:

    A night off for Harrison. Maybe tomorrow.

  270. Bizrow says:

    No, make that 5-0

  271. Maz in Iowa says:

    Then you would be wrong.

  272. Maz in Iowa says:

    Gregory Polanco RF
    Starling Marte LF
    Andrew McCutchen CF
    Neil Walker 2B
    Russell Martin C
    Ike Davis 1B
    Pedro Alvarez 3B
    Jordy Mercer SS
    (Vance Worley P)

  273. Milo Hamilton says:

    This looks like one of those 80′s or 90′s Super Bowls.

  274. NMR says:

    And I’d spit out my coffee if I read Penn State actually claim they were an instituation committed to free thought and the exchange of ideas.

  275. Johnny Styles says:

    I guess that Neymar guy really makes a difference for Brazil.

  276. Pete in Dayton says:

    Right now, I feel for our Brazilian friend.
    Brazil is not supposed to lose, much less lose in this fashion.

    All of a sudden, the US 1-0 loss to Germany doesn’t seem so bad.

  277. Pete in Dayton says:

    Thiago Silva, the central defender and Brazilian team captain, is a huge loss. The Brazilian defense look lost without him out there.

    They still shouldn’t be losing by this much.

  278. NMR says:

    Not to defend Bowden, he very well may be an idiot, but MLB Network has to consider their audience.

    Wouldn’t surprise me at all if the majority of your run-of-the-mill baseball fans think exactly like Bowden, and people watch what they agree with. Every outlet has their old school guy and their new school guy now. Brian Kenny and Mitch Williams. Biertempfel and Sawchik.

    Now do I think the news and opinion should be more about educating the audience? Sure. But the audience doesn’t agree.

  279. Maz in Iowa says:

    Got a new bottle of Pepto.Al Hrabrosky is like a gallon of dreck that has been spoiled since Christmas.God I hate Cardinal announcers!!!

  280. Johnny Styles says:

    I forgot that Silva was suspended for this match, but as you said, being beaten down like this is unheard of for a team like Brazil.

  281. Johnny Styles says:

    If Jamie Dixon was the coach of the US Men’s Soccer team, he’d be telling everyone how they only lost to Germany by 1 goal.

  282. Pete in Dayton says:

    Agreed that it will be tight and that Chicago will be able to pull it off.
    Must be nice to have some draft picks that aren’t in the 27th round.

  283. Andrew says:

    Mario needs to sign more Germans.

  284. Andrew says:

    And he picked up that suspension by a completely senseless running into the keeper as he was releasing the ball.

  285. Milo Hamilton says:

    Channel 4 is on my street. Storm damage.

  286. JohninOshkosh says:

    The soundtrack on the road to hell is narrated by Mike Shannon.

    Like chewing on tinfoil while listening to screaming toddlers scratch a chalkboard.

  287. JohninOshkosh says:

    ++++ To both of you gents.

  288. Andrew says:

    Saad, Leddy, and Kruger already make $4.7 million. Chicago will be okay because they would still have two world class talents, but the Penguins demonstrate that isn’t enough. They better have a pipeline of guys coming because if those rumored numbers are correct they are going to have to move some people.

  289. Bizrow says:

    This is the POTD ;-)

  290. wvstarship says:

    How did the Riverhounds end up in Brazilian uniforms?

  291. JAL says:

    Lacks power? tied for 13th in MLB in HRs and 12th in RBI

  292. KING says:

    Pirates lose Wong HR 5-4. Another walk off. How many games is Bucs bullpen going to lose? I mean they could easily have 55 or 56 wins. Would be in A’s territory.

    I put some blame on Hurdle this time. He took out Watson early last night & it exploded in his face. Does the same thing tonight. Watson has to be closer period. Neal H has to be on speed dial with SD GM trying to acquire Huston Street.

    Enough is enough. This Cardinals team not as strong as other incarnations. Handed them 2 games. I love Neil Walker but you can’t get picked off at 3rd. KING

 
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