Found May 30, 2013 on
Let’s get right to the stat of the day for the 2013 Pirates:
93 runs scored in first five innings (0.34 per inning)
103 runs scored from the 6th-9th inning on (0.49 per inning)
Clint Hurdle called Neil Walker the “hottest hitter on the club.” (Photo Credit: David Hague)
I don’t know whether this difference shows a team that makes good offensive adjustments as the game goes on or if it’s just random variance. Either way, the difference is a big reason for the Pirates’ 15 comeback wins (3rd in MLB behind Oakland and Atlanta).
Wednesday night’s 5-3 comeback victory was a prime example, as Neil Walker was the only Pirates player who reached base on Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez before the Bucs scored four runs in the 7th inning off him.
“He hadn’t left anything up yet, let’s just keep battling, and they did,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Thursday. “It’s that World Cup soccer game. It’s overtime hockey. All you’re doing is working extremely hard and you’re not seeing any benefits from it. But you wait for an opening.”
Most of the conversations about in-game adjustments run through hitting coach Jay Bell. Players can also review video with new assistant hitting coach Jeff Branson, whom Hurdle called “a wonderful addition” to the Pirates’ staff.
“Sometimes it’s good to actually walk away from the dugout,” Hurdle said, “And see what the guy’s throwing on a video screen and just kind of go ‘Wow. It felt nasty at the plate. It really is.’”
Pedro Not in Clubhouse
Third baseman Pedro Alvarez is home resting after having two wisdom teeth removed Thursday.
“We sent him home,” Hurdle said. “If he feels better, he’ll come back.”
If you were wondering, and I know you were not, Hurdle still has his wisdom teeth.
OF Jose Tabata (oblique strain) resumed physical activity Wednesday. Hurdle said he also had a root canal operation. The Pirates ought to get some 2-for-1 deals at the dentist.
RHP James McDonald (right shoulder) will pitch Saturday in Portland, Maine with the Double-A Altoona Curve, expected to throw five innings or 80 pitches. In his last start, McDonald walked four batters and did not get out of the 1st inning.
Morris Escapes Lion’s Den
Rookie reliever Bryan Morris faced a difficult task Wednesday night: keep the Pirates within two runs in the 7th inning against All-Stars Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.
“Obviously [they] are three of the better hitters in baseball,” Morris said. “Whoever I’m facing, my job is to get them out.”
Morris hit Hunter with a 1-2 fastball, but then drew ground balls from Cabrera and Fielder for a double play and the third out. The Pirates followed it up with their four-run offensive inning.
On Thursday starter Jeff Locke, who has pitched 14 straight scoreless innings: “The transformation is special… Locke’s showing up going for six straight [quality starts] tonight. I didn’t have that going in. Did you? Coming out of Spring Training?”
On if he puts more weight on this weekend’s Reds series: “No, I don’t. I’m not wired that way… I need to be the guy they can depend upon every day to show up the same way every day. If I show up with a heightened sense of awareness, that might electrocute some in a good way, that might electrocute some in a bad way. Every game has value to me.”
On his involvement with the Pirates’ draft: “I’ve just asked questions, basically, and every once in a while I’ll get asked to look at some tape and give some feedback if it’s a position player.”
Detroit Tigers (29-21, 1st place in AL Central)
2B Omar Infante (.296 batting average)
RF Andy Dirks (.250)
3B Miguel Cabrera (.368, 15 home runs)
1B Prince Fielder (.272, 9 HR)
SS Jhonny Peralta (.337)
LF Matt Tuiasosopo (.320)
C Brayan Pena (.314)
CF Avisail Garcia (.231)
RHP Doug Fister (5-2, 3.65 ERA)
Pittsburgh Pirates (33-20, Tied for 2nd place in NL Central)
LF Starling Marte (.296)
2B Neil Walker (.266)
CF Andrew McCutchen (.289, 7 HR)
1B Garrett Jones (.270)
C Russell Martin (.250, 6 HR)
RF Travis Snider (.263)
3B Brandon Inge (.224)
SS Jordy Mercer (.291)
LHP Jeff Locke (5-1, 2.45 ERA)
BEST OF MAXIM
The performance of the bullpen has played a role in the the Pirates’ winning ways, especially given the many close games they have won. Pittsburgh’s relievers are ranked 2nd in the National League in ERA, 3rd in strikeout percentage and 4th in FIP.
Justin Wilson may see more late-inning relief outings in place of Mark Melacon. (Photo credit: David Hague)
That success has not...
One of the best ways to figure out when (or if) a player is going to be promoted is by looking at what the organization has done with previous players. For the most part, each player is an individual circumstance and should be treated with an individual approach. However, there are usually a lot of trends you can find with an individual team which can be used to predict the path...
The Pirates pitched their 9th shutout of the season, and second 11-inning shutout against the Tigers, and Russell Martin hit a walkoff single off the wall to beat Detroit 1-0 Thursday night.
Russell Martin hit the walkoff single in the 11th, his second walkoff in two weeks. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
Russell Martin smacked a fastball 400 feet to the North Shore Notch to score Neil...
The Pittsburgh Pirates have placed right-handed reliever Jose Contreras on the 15-day disabled list due to inflammation in his lower back, according to Tom Singer of MLB.com.
Contreras had trouble throwing strikes in his most recent appearance which came Monday against the Detroit Tigers. During the seventh inning of that contest he allowed two runs -- one coming on a bases-loaded...
James McDonald will be on the hill tonight for Altoona, hoping his second rehab start goes much better than his first. Two new teams on the schedule today as the Dominican Summer League season gets under way. For a look at the possible starters over the next few weeks, please check out our Probable Pitchers Chart. Check out the Recent Transactions section to the bottom of this page...
Top prospect Gerrit Cole takes the mound tonight for Indianapolis, coming off a start in which he allowed hits to the first three batters of the game, then followed that with six no-hit innings. He will face off against second place Columbus, who trail Indianapolis by 6.5 games in the standings. For a look at the possible starters over the next few weeks, please check out our Probable...
Rob Biertempfel of the Trib reported tonight that Scott Boras would be open to a long-term deal involving Pedro Alvarez and the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the article, Biertempfel quoted Frank Coonelly and Scott Boras, who both said they’d be open to the discussions. That doesn’t mean much, since discussions are far from a deal. The more important thing is what is said during the...
Keith Law has posted his second mock draft(subscription required) this morning and he has two names going to the Pittsburgh Pirates that we have heard often. With the #9 pick, he has High School catcher, Reese McGuire. At #14, he has the Pirates taking New Mexico first baseman DJ Peterson.
There has been a lot of talk with Peterson possibly going anywhere from sixth overall,...
Anibal Sanchez spent six innings toying with the Pittsburgh Pirates, his electric stuff rendering the Pirates innocent bystanders.
When the Detroit starter finally wobbled, Pittsburgh wasted little time knocking him over.
Pedro Alvarez's two-run double sparked a seventh-inning rally and the Pirates streaked by the Tigers 5-3 on Wednesday night. Travis Snider added an RBI double...
Neil Walker eyed Johnny Cueto's fastball and turned on it. Before the Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman could get the bat out of his hands, the ball was nestled into the glove of Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto.
In one motion, Walker flipped his bat in faux disgust, then turned back toward the dugout.
''You hit a ball hard and sometimes you see that it's the...
Johnny Cueto and the Reds dominated the Pirates on Friday night, as they cruised to a shutout victory that turned ugly in the late innings.
Cueto, as he almost always is against the Bucs, was phenomenal. Eight shutout innings, one hit. That’s all you need to know. The Bucs may have hit a few balls hard that didn’t drop, but it certainly wasn’t a smoke-and-mirrors type of outing...
Last night I realized something. Many Pirates fans are bloggers are really freaking annoying. Whenever anyone does anything good it’s not enough. Jeff Locke leaves em loaded it’s “well his strand rate is unsustainable”. It’s like you’re not allowed to enjoy what’s probably been the best series in the past 20 years. Some of you…
Neil Walker ended a lengthy pitching duel with a home run in the top of the 11th inning Tuesday night, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
The game was scoreless until Walker -- brother-in-law of Tigers center fielder Don Kelly -- homered off Jose Ortega (0-2) with one out in the Pittsburgh 11th. Former Tigers reliever Jason Grilli pitched the...
DETROIT (AP) -- Neil Walker ended a lengthy pitching duel with a home run in the 11th inning, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Detroit Tigers 1-0 on Tuesday night.
The game was scoreless until Walker -- the brother-in-law of Tigers center fielder Don Kelly -- homered off Jose Ortega (0-2) with one out in the top of the 11th. Former Tigers reliever Jason Grilli pitched the...
When it comes to head-to-head fantasy baseball league scoring, as the week ends you notice the categories in which you need a boost. What I intend to provide is a list of fantasy free agents to assist you in a victory come Sunday night.
Neil Walker (PIT) - Batting .448 (13-29) in the last week is enough to be signed on any fantasy baseball roster, but scoring six runs in...