The Pirate are in Detroit wrapping up a three games series today. They managed to ride Andrew McCutchen
to a victory last night and with a win today they would have a winning road trip at 4-3 against three pretty tough opponents.
However, Clint Hurdle seems to refuse to throw out his best lineup at the opponents. It's nothing new, but we're getting to the point where you really should start questioning it. Nate McLouth
is playing left field and Kevin Correia
is on the mound. McLouth is hitting .154/.228/.192 this year. He has eight total hits on the year, six of them being singles. He is 0 for his last 14 with five strikeouts. He hasn't looked like a professional hitter since 2009, so this isn't just a slump. McLouth can't hit anymore; make no mistake about it. In his time with Atlanta (848 at bats) he hit .229/.335/.364 - which for some reason was good enough for the Pirates to give him $1.5 million for this year. This isn't a guy that you should be expecting to bust out of the slump and start hitting again - he's simply not a major league player anymore. Yet Clint Hurdle keeps giving him chances to play. It doesn't make sense. The team called up Gorkys Hernandez
on Friday and he has sat through 18 innings on the bench since his call-up. What did you bring him up for? Hurdle has played McLouth over him twice and even had Hernandez benched against a lefty in favor of Yamaico Navarro
who has been awful at the plate and isn't a good defender. This stuff doesn't make sense to me. Let Gorkys have a shot, you already know you aren't going to get anything out of McLouth.
A similar move was made this morning. Jason Grilli
was put on the bereavement list due to a death in his family, so the Pirates called up Jeff Locke
. Instead of starting Locke against a lefty dominated Tigers lineup, they are putting him in the bullpen and letting Correia, who has been awful his last four starts, go at them. Today would be a game that Locke could start, he last pitched on the 15th which puts this exactly 5 days later, which would be right on track with how he's been throwing this year. Locke has been great in Indy and looks like a big league starter at times, but the Pirates insist on giving Correia the ball today.
The Pirates have lost the last four games that Correia has started. He has gone 22 innings in those games and given up 16 earned runs (17 total). He's allowed four home runs and has just five strikeouts with TWELVE walks. That's a 6.55 ERA and a .307 batting average against. I'm pretty sure that facing Miguel Cabrera
and Prince Fielder
aren't going to help him get well.
The good news is that the Tigers are throwing out a bad starter as well in Max Scherzer
. While I'd gladly take him over Correia, the starter should be Locke and Hernandez should be in left field. Now those two moves don't make the Pirates THAT MUCH better today. Hernandez isn't a good hitter and Locke could very well get beat up by a big league lineup, but at least give these guys a chance to surprise you. We all know that we're going to get an 0/4 day from McLouth and at least 4 runs allowed from Correia. The Pirates are going to lose this game, and you can give a lot of the thanks to Clint Hurdle for it.