Nutting: Martin approach will be big-time 31

DEJAN KOVACEVIC, DK ON PITTSBURGH SPORTS

The Pirates plan to approach catcher Russell Martin with an extension offer that will be “beyond rational,” owner Bob Nutting just told DKonPittsburghSports.com at field level at PNC Park.

No offer has been made to this point, Nutting said, because “we want Russ focused on this.” He motioned toward the batting cage as he spoke. The Pirates and Giants are playing in the National League wild card game tonight.

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On location: Pirates-Giants, NL wild card 183

The Pirates and Giants line up along their respective baselines for introductions. -- DEJAN KOVACEVIC

The Pirates and Giants line up along their respective baselines for introductions Wednesday night. — DEJAN KOVACEVIC

DEJAN KOVACEVIC, DK ON PITTSBURGH SPORTS

Getting ready for the first pitch …

Game: Pirates vs. San Francisco Giants, National League wild card, 8:07 p.m., PNC Park

Pitchers: RHP Edinson Volquez (13-7, 3.04) vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner (18-10, 2.98)

TV, radio: ESPN (national), 93.7 The Fan

Online: Live box score / Multimedia / Official media notes

Pirates’ lineup:

  1. 1. Josh Harrison, 3B
  2. 2. Jordy Mercer, SS
  3. 3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. 4. Russell Martin, C
  5. 5. Starling Marte, LF
  6. 6. Neil Walker, 2B
  7. 7. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  8. 8. Travis Snider, RF
  9. 9. Volquez, RHP

Giants’ lineup:

  1. 1. Gregor Blanco, CF
  2. 2. Joe Panik, 2B
  3. 3. Buster Posey, C
  4. 4. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
  5. 5. Hunter Pence, RF
  6. 6. Brandon Belt, 1B
  7. 7. Brandon Crawford, SS
  8. 8. Travis Ishikawa, LF
  9. 9. Bumgarner, LHP

Column: Hey, baseball, can you hear us … again? 276

Thousands of Pirates fans fill the heart of Market Square on Wednesday afternoon. -- PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Thousands of Pirates fans fill the heart of Market Square on Wednesday afternoon. — PITTSBURGH PIRATES

DEJAN KOVACEVIC, DK ON PITTSBURGH SPORTS

Hey, baseball, welcome back!

Been a while, but not too long, right?

We’ll trust you’re having an easier time navigating our tunnels and bridges and roads. We’ll also trust you’re familiar by now with the whole fries-in-the-sandwich concept, the absence of any steel mills remaining in city limits, the world-class waterfronts with our Fountain back at full steam, the breathtaking skyline with a new neighbor poking her head high, all that stuff.

We’re pretty good like that.

The baseball team’s pretty good, too, we’ll assume you’ve noticed before October this time around.

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News/views: Martin, Pirates expect him to play 33

Edinson Volquez takes questions at the National League wild card press conference Tuesday at PNC Park. -- DEJAN KOVACEVIC

Edinson Volquez takes questions at the National League wild card press conference Tuesday. — DEJAN KOVACEVIC

DEJAN KOVACEVIC, DK ON PITTSBURGH SPORTS

News with views on the Pirates’ National League wild card workout day today at PNC Park:

Russell Martin will play. “It’s the playoffs, man. It’ll be fine,” he said of his wonky hamstring. There’s nothing to see here. No issue at all. He’ll play.

Chris Stewart will back up Martin. Took batting practice today. Said he had no issues. He’s the only other real injury issue, and he, too, will be no issue at all.

• The mood of the Pirates’ clubhouse came across as business-as-usual, but don’t let them fool you. That place tends to be pretty empty this time of day before most home games — meaning empty of available players — but it was anything but today. With all the national cameras and microphones on site, nearly everyone was out at their stalls, eager to be interviewed.

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Tuesday 12 Qs: Cole, Wing, Greiss, Lance, racism 162

DEJAN KOVACEVIC, DK ON PITTSBURGH SPORTS

photoWelcome to Tuesday Twelve Qs, our chat that takes place each week at 1 p.m. and offers you a chance to dictate the discussion.

The format is simple: Use the comments section below to submit an entry, with no more than one per person, please. Submit it early if you prefer. I’ll pick from those to get the thing rolling, then monitor new entries once we go live. All topics welcome, as always.

Ghost: So, no Gerrit Cole tomorrow. Still like having Edinson Volquez take the ball, with how he’s pitched for the Pirates. Gotta beat Madison Bumgarner first. But once they do, isn’t Cole lined up to pitch twice vs. the Nats? If they can just beat Giants, looks like pitching lines up optimally, far as we can go.

DK: To start, welcome. Kind of surprised it was this hard to pick out a wild-card question from the bunch — as opposed to the usual Russell Martin angst — but hey, it’s your event!

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