Found August 15, 2012 on Pirates Prospects:

Since the Pirates acquired Wandy Rodriguez from the Houston Astros for three prospects, the left-hander hasn’t pitched well. After allowing five earned runs to Los Angeles in the Pirates third straight loss and their sixth of their last seven games, Rodriguez hasn’t posted numbers as expected.

Since the trade, Rodriguez has a 5.58 ERA (15 ER, 24.2IP) over four starts after getting his third loss as a Pirate on Wednesday.

Rodriguez gave up  his first run in the first inning, although none of the balls were squared up hard. The first batter of the game reached on an infield single. The wild throw from Josh Harrison at third base allowed Shane Victorino to advance to third. Mark Ellis followed with a single to put runners on the corners.

Matt Kemp hit a broken bat grounder to Neil Walker, who fielded the ball, then ran to second base for the force out. After Ellis slid into second, Walker threw the ball to first, which was ruled safe, but fell on his wrist. Victorino scored on the play, but Walker was rolling on the ground in pain holding his hand. Walker was removed from the game with a dislocated right pinky. Rodriguez gave up a fielder’s choice and a single, but was able to escape the inning with just the one run scoring.

“I threw a lot of good pitches and they hit the ball like a softball. Base hit, base hit,” Rodriguez said. “I had runners on second and third and I threw a very good pitch to Hanley and he hit the ball to right field. Bad luck for me.”

A second run scored off Rodriguez in the third. After tossing a scoreless second, Rodriguez ran into trouble again in the frame. Ellis led off the inning with a base hit, and after getting a fly out, a walk and a second single to right loaded the bases. Juan Rivera drove in the go ahead run with a sac fly.

“I tried to put the ball where I would,” Rodriguez said. “I threw good pitches but they hit them soft. Base hit, base hit.”

Rodriguez gave up three more runs in the fourth. Back-to-back one out singles started the rough inning for the left-hander. After getting a ground out to push both runners into scoring position, Matt Kemp ripped a double to right field to drive in a pair. Hanley Ramirez followed with the second straight extra base hit by lining a two bagger down the left field line to drive in the third.

“That was some what of a [turning point] of the game,” Manager Clint Hurdle said. “He got to a count that he wanted to get to on him. We had a pitch that we wanted to throw but we just missed our location.”

Overall, Rodriguez allowed five runs on 10 hits over 5.2 innings. It marked the first time since being acquired that he didn’t pitch at least six innings. He walked one and struck out one while throwing 106 pitches, 74 strikes.

“I think tonight Wandy’s line showed just some of that — just inconsistent location,” Hurdle said. “Fastballs were up more than they have been in the past. The curveball didn’t have the bite at times so it’s come and go. There were an assortment of hits, but the overall command was what probably was challenging for him tonight.”


Do the Pirates Need to Look Elsewhere for Help?

With the current struggles from the club, there’s been questions raised to should the Pirates look outside the organization or to the minors to help? The starting staff hasn’t put together a quality start since the 8th of August, which has caused the bullpen to over work and ultimately struggle as well.

Can the Pirates break out of the slump with the personnel here?

“The core group of men here have gone out on that field and played extremely well for the bulk of the season,” Hurdle said. “If somebody says, ‘Here’s where you’re going to be on August 15.’ You say, ‘This ain’t too bad. We can work with this.’ But then you add in what’s going on at the time, the momentum, and then you think, whoa, we’ve got to find a way. We’ve got the people here.”

Hurdle said he recently talked to some of the players and correlated to what they are going through with ‘you are what you eat.’

“What are you putting in your mind coming into the clubhouse before you take the field?” Hurdle said. “Are you putting in good information? Are you putting in doubt? Those kind of things. I just took some time with some individual areas. We are what we eat. What we think about when we walk in. Everything starts with a thought from the day you walk in.”

“As quickly as these things get moved in the wrong direction, they can be moved back into the right direction. It’s got to be a concentrated effort. It’s got to be complete focus from pitch one from the last pitch of the game regardless what happens during that process. That’s the way you dig yourself out of the hole.”


Pirates Players Held Players Only Meeting Before Game

With the recent struggles that the team is going through — having lost five of their last six and six of their last eight — the players decided to take the matters into their own hands and held a players only meeting on Wednesday.

“I think it’s all part of players taking ownership of what they do and how they do it,” Hurdle said. “I’ve been a player and been on the other end of it…I think it’s all a part of the growing up process.”

“Who’s to stay how many times they’ve taken it? Or when they’ve taken it? I think they’re appropriate with their feelings, appropriate with their timing. They have been throughout the season. I trust them.”

The team held the closed-door meeting prior to taking batting practice at PNC Park to discuss their recent slide. The meeting was called from veteran A.J. Burnett.

“I think they say what they need to say,” Hurdle said of the meetings. “There’s always a couple individuals who try and take the initiative to get it moving in that direction and try to get feelings out, thoughts, observations, comments. More or less it’s a self-cleaning, honest evaluation from the players. The players can be helpful at times. I think it’s always, at least the group I’ve had here, have always come out in a much better place.”


Injury Updates

Neil Walker was diagnosed with a dislocated right pinky. Here’s an update on his status.

Juan Cruz was checked out by trainers during his inning of relief after stumbling on the mound after a pitch. Hurdle said after the game that Cruz was dizzy and felt light-headed for a second. It was not related to his shoulder injury that forced him on the disabled list earlier this month.

Travis Snider was out of the starting lineup today against the Dodgers, but said before the game that he felt fine. Snider hit a pinch-hit double and scored after Clint Barmes drove him in with a RBI single. The outfielder ran gingerly around the bases to not re aggravate the right hamstring injury that’s lingered him for several games.


Scoreboard Watching

NL Central

The Cincinnati Reds won 6-1 against the New York Mets. The Reds now have a seven game lead in the NL Central — their largest margin so far this season.


NL Wild Card

The Atlanta Braves beat the San Diego Padres 6-1. They are four games ahead of the Pirates for the top Wild Card spot.

The San Francisco Giants lost to the Washington Nationals 6-4. The Giants are now a game back of the Dodgers for first place in the NL West, and are half a game behind the Pirates for the second wild card spot.

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2. The Cardinals are now tied with the Pirates for the second wild card spot.


First Pitch: Garrett Jones Has Earned a 2013 Roster Spot and a Raise

Heading in to the 2012 season, if you would have asked me to guess whether Garrett Jones would have returned to the Pirates in 2013, I probably would have said no. The first baseman is making $2.25 M this year, and because arbitration heavily favors home runs, he could very easily double that salary next year in his second of four arbitration years. Jones looked like nothing more...

Prospect Watch: Cole Strikes Out Nine; Moroff and Ross Hit First Homers

TOP OF THE SYSTEM A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. Rankings are from the post trade deadline update. 1. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Altoona (3-5, 3.19) - 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 0 HR 2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Bradenton (6-7, 3.82) - DNP 3. Luis Heredia, RHP, State College (2-1, 2.28) ...

This Date in Pirates History: August 15

On a busy day for Pittsburgh Pirates history, we have two transactions that include Hall of Fame players and two pitchers that threw just one inning in their Pirates career. In his Jolly Roger Rewind, John Fredland goes back to 1951 to recap a first for an all-time Pirate great. The Transactions On this date in 1969, the Pirates traded Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning to the Los...

The Batting Title is Andrew McCutchen’s to Lose

Andrew McCutchen is currently in the lead for the batting title in the National League, and his .359 average leads the majors. The biggest threat to his league leading average this year has been Melky Cabrera, who currently has a .346 average. But today it was announced by Major League Baseball that Cabrera was suspended 50 games after testing positive for testosterone. The San Francisco...

Pirates News And Notes

Just some news and notes before the Bucs take on the Dodgers this week.   It was announced that James McDonald will be moved back to Friday, and AJ Burnett will pitch on Thursday, for the getaway game against the Dodgers.  This will give James another day to rest, and hopefully fix what is going wrong. It’s important that the Pirates get him right before the end of the season...

Indianapolis Indians Player Notes 8/14/12: Kyle McPherson and Bryan Morris

The West Division-leading Indianapolis Indians dropped a 4-2 decision to the Rochester Red Wings Tuesday evening at Rochester’s Frontier Field. In this game, right-hander Kyle McPherson made his second Triple-A start for the Indians. It was McPherson’s 11th start of the season. He missed the first two months of the season with shoulder right-shoulder inflammation. Indianapolis...

This Date in Pirates History: August 17

There have been four former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including one that played just one inning of one game. In his Jolly Roger Rewind, John Fredland covers a doubleheader against the Reds from the 1990 season. Before we get to the former players, one current player has a birthday. Relief pitcher Chad Qualls turns 34 today. He came to the Pirates from the Yankees...

Game 117 Live Chat: Pirates vs. Dodgers

Wednesday was a bad day

It was apparent right away that Wednesday’s game was going to be another disaster for the Pirates. To start the night, Shane Victorino hit a tapper towards third and Josh Harrison threw it away for an error. Then a single put men at the corners for the Dodgers with no outs and Matt Kemp up. Kemp hit a slow roller up the middle, which was hardly a bad result…until Neil Walker...

Minor League Schedule: 8/15/12

Jameson Taillon gets the start for Bradenton tonight. His 1.16 WHIP ranks him fourth in the Florida State League, right in between teammates Eliecer Navarro(1.13) and Casey Sadler(1.16). Justin Wilson makes his first start since his no-hitter last Thursday. State College returns tonight from their All-Star break. A full recap of yesterday’s games can be found here. Taillon has...

And now Clayton Kershaw

The Pirates head into tonight's game protecting a 1/2 game lead in the wild card race. That doesn't quite mean that a loss drops the Pirates out of the playoffs; the Dodgers are tied with the Giants and so a Dodger win coupled with a Giant loss (they're tied 2-2 with the Nats in an afternoon game as of this writing) and a Cardinal loss would still put the Pirates a 1...

Game 117: Dodgers 9 Pirates 3

Subtitle: Everything Sucked and Neil Walker Got HurtWait, that's not the subtitle, that's the recap. In the back of my head, there's a voice that is saying that Andrew McCutchen hit a line drive home run to dead center off of Clayton Kershaw and that maybe that's a sign that he's getting hot again, but that would just be blatantly looking for a bright spot where...

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – Game 117

Positive Recap From Mellie. You will get not get a positive outlook from me. I know most people disagree with my assessment, even on this blog, but this probably started at the All Star Break, and the Pirates have failed to clear hurdles, and in some cases Hurdle’s. ASB was one.  They couldn’t carry the [...]
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.