Column: The pen is mightier than before 132

Russell Martin connects on a two-run blast in the second inning Tuesday at PNC Park. -- GETTY IMAGES

Russell Martin connects on a two-run blast to right-center in the second inning Tuesday at PNC Park. — GETTY IMAGES

DEJAN KOVACEVIC, DK ON PITTSBURGH SPORTS

Tony Watson held the game in his left hand, essentially, and only he and Russell Martin knew what was coming next.

Except that they really didn’t.

“I called for a changeup. I know that much,” the catcher was telling me after the Pirates’ 4-0 blanking of the Red Sox on Tuesday night at PNC Park. “What happened to it after that …”

What happened to it after that was that Yoenis Cespedes, Boston’s light-tower-power with the 21 bombs, swung over it for strike three to end the eighth inning and, in all reality, bury any chance for a Red Sox rally. Two were aboard, two were out, and it was all or nothing.

Nothing won in a landslide.

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On location: Pirates 4, Red Sox 0 170

First pitch from Charlie Morton to Mookie Betts, 7:06 p.m., 66 degrees, gorgeous. — DEJAN KOVACEVIC

DEJAN KOVACEVIC, DK ON PITTSBURGH SPORTS

Getting ready for the first pitch …

Game: Pirates (79-70) vs. Boston Red Sox (66-84), 7:05 p.m., PNC Park

Pitchers: RHP Charlie Morton (5-12, 3.84) vs. RHP Anthony Ranaudo (3-2, 5.40)

TV, radio: Root Sports93.7 The Fan

Online: Live box score / Multimedia / Official media notes

Tuesday Twelve Qs: Charlie, Rocky, Pascal, Teke 96

DEJAN KOVACEVIC, DK ON PITTSBURGH SPORTS

photoWelcome to Tuesday Twelve Qs, our chat that takes place each week at 1 p.m., shortly after the Mike Tomlin news conference. I won’t be covering that this week because of Pirates-Red Sox tonight, but I’ll be as riveted as the rest of the city, if not the Nation.

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

All topics welcome, as always.

IndyPittFan: I thought starting Charlie Morton tonight would allow the Pirates to reset the rotation in advance of the Brewers/Braves series. Now seeing that Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole will still make planned starts against the Red Sox. Isn’t it a bit risky to plug a less-than-100-percent Morton in at this point?

DK: Risky might be too kind a word. It really doesn’t make much sense, and that’s independent of the wholly justified debate as to whether Morton should be supplanting Vance Worley at all.

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News/views: Pitt can’t pass on passing 37

    Chad Voytik breaks loose for a 32-yard touchdown run Saturday at Florida International. -- PETE MADIA / PITT ATHLETICS

Chad Voytik breaks loose for a 32-yard touchdown run Saturday at Florida International. — PETE MADIA / PITT ATHLETICS

DEJAN KOVACEVIC, DK ON PITTSBURGH SPORTS

NEWS: Paul Chryst spoke about Pitt’s offense being capable of an upgrade, all the bodacious numbers aside, at his weekly press conference Monday on the South Side. Even the running game, which has averaged, um, 344.4 yards.

VIEWS: Well, yeah.

Because, as Chryst tried to put it carefully in respecting the three teams over whom the Panthers have run roughshod: “The numbers are misleading on a lot of things. We can be cleaner. We can do a better job of the receivers blocking, we can do a better job getting through the second level, getting on our pulls. I mean, there are a lot of things we can get better at in the run game.”

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Exclusive: Teke has successful heart transplant 60

DEJAN KOVACEVIC, DK ON PITTSBURGH SPORTS

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Tekulve

Kent Tekulve, the closer for the Pirates’ World Series champions in 1979 and popular analyst on their current games for Root Sports, had a heart transplant Sept. 5 and is “feeling surprisingly great right now,” he told me Monday night.

Details of the transplant are expected to be made public at a Tuesday press conference by the Pirates, Root and Allegheny General Hospital.

Tekulve, 67, had a heart episode on Christmas Eve 2013 that he described as “the heart basically quitting on me.” A pump was installed shortly thereafter, and in April, he was placed on the heart transplant list. Earlier this summer, he and Root agreed he would take a break from his duties as postgame studio commentator and, at the time, he asked for privacy and did not divulge his condition.

“The pump was never designed to be a lifelong thing,” Tekulve said. “It was a bridge to a heart replacement.”

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