Tigers Wrap Up

Friday: 4-1 Win vs Detroit. A.J. wins his 8th. Box score.
Saturday: 4-1 Win vs Detroit. Cutch with the big blast. Box score.
Sunday: 3-2 Loss vs Detroit. 2 against Verlander not enough. Box score.

Season Record: 38-33, 2nd place in NL Central, 1.0 games back

Notes: The Bucs take two out of three from the Tigers to split their season series 3-3. The Pirates finish Interleague play with a 10-8 record, scoring 77 runs and allowing 66. Andrew McCutchen and Alex Presley were each on base five times. Pedro Alvarez continued his latest run of good at bats with three hits and a walk. Josh Harrison was the only position player to not get a hit. Michael McKenry threw out Austin Jackson in the third inning Sunday. It was the first time the Pirates have thrown out a baserunner since May 10. All three starting pitchers turned in quality starts. Despite his best outing of the month, Brad Lincoln is being moved back to the bullpen to make room for Jeff Karstens.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R   H  RBI  BB  SO  LOB     AVG     OBP
McCutchen, A, CF 11 1 4 3 1 3 2 0.364 0.417
Presley, LF 11 2 4 0 1 0 2 0.364 0.417
McGehee, 1B 10 1 1 0 0 5 7 0.100 0.100
Alvarez, 3B 9 2 3 0 1 4 1 0.333 0.400
Jones, G, RF, 1B 8 1 1 2 0 1 3 0.125 0.125
Walker, 2B 7 1 2 2 1 3 4 0.286 0.375
Barmes, SS 7 0 2 0 0 1 3 0.286 0.286
Harrison, SS, 2B 7 0 0 0 0 2 4 0.000 0.000
Barajas, C 6 1 2 0 0 0 4 0.333 0.333
Tabata, RF 4 1 1 0 0 2 0 0.250 0.250
McKenry, C 3 0 1 0 0 1 1 0.333 0.333
Hague, PH 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.500 0.500
Burnett, AJ, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Lincoln, P 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0      —-      —-
   Totals 89 10 22 7 4 25 31 0.247 0.280

Doubles (3): Presley 2 (9), McGehee (8)
Home Runs (2): McCutchen (13), Jones (9)

CS: Tabata (8), Walker (1)

Double Plays: (Barmes-Walker-McGehee)


Burnett, AJ(W, 8-2) 6.0 2 0 0 3 4 0 0.00 0.83
Lincoln(W, 4-2) 6.0 2 1 1 1 7 1 1.50 0.50
Correia 6.0 6 2 2 1 4 1 3.00 1.17
Grilli(H, 16, 17) 2.0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 0.00
Hanrahan(S, 18,19) 2.0 1 0 0 1 3 0 0.00 1.00
Resop(L, 0-3) 2.0 1 1 1 2 1 0 4.50 1.50
Cruz, J(H, 12) 1.3 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.00
Watson(H, 8, 9) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Hughes, J 0.7 2 1 1 1 0 0 13.50 4.50
  Totals 27.0 14 5 5 9 25 2 1.67 0.85

Transactions: Optioned IF Jordy Mercer to AAA. Recalled RHP Bryan Morris from AAA. Transferred RHP Charlie Morton from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. Claimed IF Drew Sutton off waivers from Tampa Bay.


Where’s the Scoring?

Strong pitching and missed opportunities were the story of last night’s game. The Pirates had a runner on third and no outs in the fourth AND bases loaded with no outs in the sixth and failed to score each time. There’s no excuse for not scoring in both situations. Even worse, they completely wasted a top notch start from James McDonald.

No one’s out of the prediction contest yet though. The Pirates highest scoring games this year have been 9, 7 and 6 runs, plus 5 runs five times. Predictions came in between 2 and 16 runs, although last night’s shutout lowers the “sweet spot,” which should have been in the 9-11 range, down to 5-8.

Back at it tonight. The lineup:
Jose Tabata LF
Neil Walker 2B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Casey McGehee 1B
Yamaico Navarro RF
Clint Barmes SS
Michael McKenry C
Charlie Morton P

Daytime Double Header.

The Pirates came back twice last night to beat Jamie Moyer and the Rockies 5-4. As a whole, the team was 11/33 with five walks and only three strikeouts. Today they’ll play two to make up for Monday’s postponement.

Game one lineups:

Alex Presley LF
Jose Tabata RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Neil Walker 2B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Clint Barmes SS
Michael McKenry C
James McDonald P (0-1, 3 GS, 15.2 IP, 6 K, 1.21 WHIP, 3.45 ERA)

Marco Scutaro 2B
Tyler Colvin CF
Carlos Gonzalez LF
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Jason Giambi 1B
Michael Cuddyer  RF
Wilin Rosario C
Chris Nelson 3B
Juan Nicasio P (1-0, 3 GS, 16 IP, 12 K, 1.44 WHIP, 6.19 ERA)

Game 2:
Jhoulys Chacin (0-1, 3 GS, 15 IP, 14 K, 1.40 WHIP, 4.80 ERA)
Charlie Morton  (0-1, 2 GS, 10 IP, 8 K, 1.40 WHIP, 3.60 ERA)

A new rule this year allows teams to call up an extra player for doubleheaders. Jared Hughes has been recalled from AAA to fill this role. He’ll be returned to the minors tomorrow.

Sunday 4/22 Pregame

Gametime: 1:35

St. Louis, 10-5, 1st place in Central
Pittsburgh, 6-8,  3rd place in Central

Kyle Lohse: 2-0 (3 starts), 0.89 ERA, 20 IP, 11 SO, 10 H, 2 BB
Erik Bedard:  0-3 (3 starts), 2.65 ERA, 17 IP, 10 SO, 17 H, 6 BB

The Pirates have scored only 29 runs, last in the NL. Next on the list is Philadelphia at 42 and Cincinnati with 49.

However, the Bucs have only allowed 39 runs all year, best in the NL. Next is Philadelphia at 40, with Washington and St. Louis tied at 45.

Today’s Lineup:
Nate McLouth LF
Jose Tabata RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Neil Walker 2B
Garrett Jones 1B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Clint Barmes SS
Michael McKenry C
Erik Bedard P

2012 Opening Day Roster with Trade Tree

The Pirates made their final roster moves yesterday, putting Chris Leroux, Charlie Morton and A.J. Burnett on the Disabled List and adding Juan Cruz to the 40-man roster. Here’s the to current roster for today’s 1:35 game vs. the Phillies.


LF Alex Presley
RF Jose Tabata
CF Andrew McCutchen
2B Neil Walker
1B Garrett Jones
C   Rod Barajas
3B Pedro Alvarez
SS Clint Barmes


C Michael McKenry
IF Matt Hague
IF Josh Harrison
IF Casey McGehee
IF Yamaico Navarro
OF Nate McLouth


Erik Bedard
Jeff Karstens
James McDonald
Kevin Correia


Juan Cruz
Jason Grilli
Joel Hanrahan
Jared Hughes
Evan Meek
Chris Resop
Tony Watson


A.J. Burnett (15 day)
Charlie Morton (15 day)
Gustavo Nunez (60 day)
Chris Leroux (60 day)

In honor of the best day of the year, I updated last year’s Whole Team Trade Tree to show how this current squad was built. (Click to embiggen.) Now play ball!

Spring Training 2012: Saturday 3/24 McKechnie Field Recap

Ed. note: Travel delays and prior commitments kept me from getting this posted sooner.

PirateFest was going on today, but I went to Pirate City instead. Luckily I arrived in time to get this shot:

Matt Hague (pirate ship hat) and Charlie Morton sign autographs.

Going inside I headed to the batting cages to see if anyone was hitting. Along the way I ran into club President Frank Coonelly and was able to ask him about the renovations that are going to happen at McKechnie Field. Specifically I asked if they considered making the outfield dimensions match those in PNC Park. Mr. Coonelly’s answers:

My thanks to Mr. Coonelly for his time. On to the game! Recap. Box Score.

Excellent: James McDonald. James was wild on the first two pitches of the game, causing me worry that it was going to be a long day. He would immediately right the ship and pitch 5 1/3 innings before giving up his first hit. Final line: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 3 K. McDonald also showed a good glove and was able to coax a walk out of Astros pitcher Kyle Weiland.

Good: Neil Walker‘s 2-run single and Garrett Jones‘ 2-run bomb accounted for all of the scoring. Walker’s hit came after Jose Tabata and Andrew McCutchen both failed to get a runner home from third with less than two out. Jones’ shot landed more than 90 feet past the right field wall.

Very Bad: Ryota Igarashi showed very little control and is looking at a steep hill to climb if he wants to make the team. The five batters he faced went walk, walk, homerun, ground out, infield hit.


Another beautiful day at McKechnie Field.

Lineups. (J.B. Shuck?)

Jose Tabata in the batting cage.

Garrett Jones followed.

A good day for autographs. Morton signed a lot on his way to the clubhouse after his appearance at PirateFest.

Rod Barajas signed after a turn in the batting cage. Someone asked him about possibly setting a new record for homeruns by a Pirates catcher.

Andrew McCutchen is good people. He signed every day that I saw him.

James McDonald does some long toss to get loose...

…and then warms up to Michael McKenry in the bullpen.
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Former Pirate outfielder and manager Bill Virdon watches.

Mini McGehee doesn't appear to like the mini-parrot.

When the gulls start landing on the field, you know the game will be over pretty soon.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a wrap up and final thoughts.

Exhausted (Jerry Meals redux)

Its been a long *two* nights now. I was only able to stay till the bottom of the 16th inning but I was home in time to see the ending. I’m actually glad my Dad and I had already left because he might have had a coronary over that call if we had seen it live. Kudos to the bullpen, especially Jason Grilli and Daniel McCutchen, for pitching 13 innings of scoreless relief. The offense missed so many chances to score, but McKenry, Walker and Paul did their part early.

A lot has already been written about this and I’m sure there will be more to come, so here are some links to the best stuff.

Video of the ending from MLB.com, and from Sports Grid.

Rob Neyer stretches his imagination and says the ump MIGHT be right.

Joe Posnanski says Rob Neyer is wrong.

Friend of the blog Larry Granillo imagines an alternate timeline where instant replay was in effect.

Pat Lackey has a quick, stunned take, a long ranting take and a more measured post too.

Via Rumbunter, a Benstonuim video of Jerry Meals calling bad things safe.

Brian McElhinney at Raise the Jolly Roger wasn’t so jolly.

Charlie Wilmoth is incredulous.

Jen Langosch has the inside scoop from the clubhouse, and the Pirates’ official statement.

I’m back at it tonight. I fully expect aliens to land at this point.