Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/19/12

Jose Tabata didn't just take a seat on the Pirates' bench. He took up singular residence in Clint Hurdle's doghouse.

Tabata's abysmal performance Thursday in Washington -- two outfield drops, 0 for 4 at the plate, grounding into a double play and a generally lazy effort -- prompted Hurdle to meet with Tabata in a closed office Friday in Detroit and informed him he wouldn't play. Hurdle then made it public, something he did only once last year for the same reason with Andrew McCutchen.

"He understands there was a lesson to be learned," Hurdle said. "He had a rough night all over the board. It happens sometimes to young players. Sometimes they need focus. He understands the importance he carries at the top of the lineup, the intensity he's got to play with."

With runners at first and second in the ninth inning Thursday, Tabata hit a ball no more than inches in front of home plate. He broke slowly out of the box, then didn't give a full effort in going down the line.

"We've seen it happen a couple of times," Hurdle said. "They understand here that when that happens, there's something else that's going to happen: You're going to sit with me and watch."

Don't expect Tabata's benching to last long. The Pirates are desperate for offense, and Tabata is the leadoff man.

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