John Mehno

Pirates pay attention to pitch counts

PITTSBURGH — That hit down the third base line on Sunday probably saved Clint Hurdle from hundreds of hateful e-mails. The single by Paul DeJong came with two outs in the seventh inning and provided the St. Louis Cardinals with their first base runner of the game against the Pirates’ Nick ...

Wait and see if you like Steelers’ draft

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers got rid of a problem, and the Pirates may have reacquired one. Here’s some commentary to go with the headlines: n The NFL holds its draft, and the Steelers make a trade. You want a letter grade on the Steelers’ draft? It’s W, which stands for wait and ...

Are Capitals due for one this time?

PITTSBURGH — They meet again. The Penguins open the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in Washington on Thursday evening, starting what has become an almost annual series between the rivals. The only thing more predictable than Penguins-Capitals is the outcome. There ...

Mehno: Flyer fans love to hate Crosby

PITTSBURGH — If you root, root, root for the home team, does that mean you have to hate the guys on the other team? That question is relevant as the Penguins’ Stanley Cup playoff series against the Flyers returns to Philadelphia this afternoon for a sixth game. They don’t think much ...

Wrestling fans adored one of the Steel City’s biggest stars

PITTSBURGH — He was one of those one-name performers. Bruno. One name suffices. Roberto. Franco. Mario. Bruno. Back in the day, there was a wrestling show every month at the Civic Arena. On those Friday nights, the phones in the Post-Gazette sports department would ring constantly from ...

Being up 3-1 will be huge for Pens

PITTSBURGH — The Penguins can’t clinch their playoff series tonight, but they can essentially put away the Philadelphia Flyers. Winning tonight would give the Penguins a 3-1 edge in games, and the Flyers won’t be able to come back from that. So while winning tonight’s game won’t ...

Bucs’ Hurdle walking a fine line

PITTSBURGH — Clint Hurdle has gray hair, two artificial hips and a fondness for 1970s rock anthems like Grand Funk’s “We’re An American Band.” But he never seemed older than he did the other day when he invoked the unwritten “respect for the game” statute against the Chicago ...

Mehno: Path to Cup not easy for Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — The 82-game, 185-day play-in round is finally over. The Stanley Cup playoffs begin tonight with the Pittsburgh Penguins facing the Philadelphia Flyers at PPG Paints Arena. Some thoughts on the match-up: n The Penguins swept the four games in the season series, but that ...

Tomlin knows what battles to fight

PITTSBURGH — You know how angry you get when the Pittsburgh Steelers have those silly pre-planned touchdown celebrations? Turns out Mike Tomlin shares your feelings. That must have come as a shock to those who figured that Tomlin was on board with the high-stepping, preening and booty ...

Trust Hurdle on no-hitter debates

PITTSBURGH — “But he had a no-hitter.” There was a lot of social media consternation Sunday afternoon when Pirates starter Trevor Williams was removed from his start in Detroit after six innings. Williams hadn’t allowed a hit. Clint Hurdle thought the pitch count (85) was more ...

Mehno: MLB teams at mercy of nature

PITTSBURGH — It’s a cruel April Fool joke that’s being played on the Pirates. They get extra time in Detroit. Two of their first three scheduled games had to be postponed because of weather, including the Thursday opener and Saturday’s matinee. So at 6:10 p.m. this evening — about ...

Capel hiring checks off many of Panthers’ boxes

PITTSBURGH — It took a while for Pitt to find a new basketball coach, but it looks like a solid hire for a program that needs a lot of help. Duke assistant Jeff Capel is expected to be introduced at a news conference today. Then he has to get busy —hire a staff, establish a recruiting ...

Pirates good? Just watch the pitchers

PITTSBURGH — You can slice and dice baseball statistics many ways, but this holds up as a basic truth: a team’s success will be determined in large part by the quality of its starting pitching. The Pirates enter the 2018 season with a lot of promise in their rotation, but not a lot of ...

Mehno: Another new league has promise

PITTSBURGH — We are one week and one day from the start of a new baseball season. That’s practically a holiday for hardcore baseball fans. People wax poetic about how the first pitch brings an official end to winter, never mind the snow you cleared from the sidewalk this morning. The ...

Mehno: Walker deserves share of blame

PITTSBURGH — Baseball players are funny. That’s not just by the “give him a hot foot” or “whap the star of the game with a shaving cream pie while he’s being interviewed on TV” definition of funny, either. Major league players get to the major leagues in part with a ...

Mehno: Walker victim of new MLB economics

PITTSBURGH — Some non-Tournament thoughts as you wrestle with your brackets: After an agonizing four and a half months on the free agent market, Neil Walker has a job. The former Pirate signed with the New York Yankees for one season and a deal that’s reported at a maximum of $4.5 ...

Tough part begins now for Pitt

PITTSBURGH — Heather Lyke’s first major decision as Pitt’s athletic director turned out to be easy. Kevin Stallings had to go. He was fired as basketball coach not long after his team concluded an unprecedented 0-19 season in the ACC. The ineptitude spoke for itself, but was there a ...

Report: Steelers, star are millions apart on deal

PITTSBURGH — Le’Veon Bell has an unconventional running style. He’s equally quirky when it comes to contract negotiations. The Steelers made it official on Tuesday when they again designated Bell as their franchise player. They retain the rights to keep him for $14.5 million, should ...

Pens’ trade might not be enough

PITTSBURGH — The NHL trading deadline has passed, so now we know what the Penguins will look like in the playoffs. What we don’t know is whether they can win the playoffs for a third straight season. General manager Jim Rutherford made his big deal well in advance of the deadline, ...

Pens, Bucs GMs help their teams

PITTSBURGH — The Pirates and Penguins both made trades to plug significant holes in their lineups. Jim Rutherford mercifully ended six months of talk show blather by landing a third center, while Neal Huntington called an end to open auditions for the Pirates’ left field vacancy. The ...