Chan Ho Park is still undecided if he wants to return to the majors next year for his 18th season. There are many factors that would determine if he wants to pitch again in 2011.
“I have to think about it and talk about it with my family,” Park said. “I don’t know. I hope so. I’m not sure exactly where.”
What does Park think about the Pirates’ organization and would be consider coming back for the ’11 season?
“It’s a good team with a good future,” Park said. “If I play for this team next year, a .500 or winning record is going to be a big goal for this team. I want to be a part of that and have that. We have so much talent here.”
General Manager Neal Huntington said they have discussed him returning.
“We’ve talked about it,” Huntington said. “We’ll certainly talk this offseason, but at this point in time, he’s not expressed a definitive interest in coming back to us, nor have we expressed a definitive opportunity to have him come back. But out of respect to each other, we’re keeping the door open.”
“He seems like a quality guy and a guy that the players rally around,” Huntington said. “They genuinely like him. He was candid in that he didn’t know what he was getting into when he came to the Pirates, but to his credit, he’s come in here and he’s wanted to be an asset. He’s wanted to help us and he really has.”
Park has a 1.93 ERA in his past 21 appearances with the Pirates.
The Pirates and Manager John Russell are impressed with Alex Presley’s versatility.
“It’s nice, because when he’s not playing, I look down on the bench and I’ve got a weapon,” Russell said. “He can do some things to help you win a game. He gives you a good at-bat. He gives you some speed and can play defense. He’s a guy you look down on the bench and you like having him around because he can help win a game for you because there’s a lot he can do.”
· The Pirates are 12-12 in their past 24 games.
· Pedro Alvarez has homered in back-to-back games and has hit the long ball five times in the last 10 games. His 16 home runs are the most by a Pirates rookie third basemen since Aramis Ramirez hit 17 in 2002.
· Jose Tabata extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games during Friday’s 5-1 win over the Marlins.
RHP Charlie Morton (2-11, 7.94 ERA)
RHP Jorge Sosa (2-3, 5.23 ERA)
Morton his 17th and final start of the season. He got a no-decision his last start against the Cardinals. Morton allowed four runs on 10 hits through six innings, striking out four. He is 1-0 with a 4.24 ERA in his last four starts.
Sosa is starting in place of Alex Sanabia who was scratched due to right elbow stiffness. He is making his second start –22 appearance– of the season. Sosa is 2-2 with a 4.45 ERA when pitching from the bullpen. His only start of the season came on September 15th against the Phillies where he allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits with three walks in 2.1 innings.
The Pirates are 57-103 this season with two games remaining. A disappointing season for the organization, but how does all the losing effect the young players? And how do they stay positive and battle every day?
“I see guys who have winning attitudes,” Beasley said. “Walker and Tabata have been comfortable all along, and Pedro, you’re starting to see that now, too. The game’s starting to slow down for him a little. But these are all winning guys, and that’s what’s gotten them through this. And what you can see now is that these are the players who are going to penetrate that for our team as a whole. That’s exciting.”
“Sometimes, it hurt,” Tabata said of the record. “I know I’m hitting good. At the same time, I’m feeling bad for the team losing. I don’t know how to explain that. I wanted, in my first year in the big leagues, a lot of wins. And now, it’s like … wow. But I’m looking for next year to be better. I really am.”
“In anything that you do, you learn a lot more from failure than succeeding,” Walker said. “We’ve all had that feeling of being in ballgames and not feeling like you’re going to come back. But I think that adversity, that grind-it-out mentality, that’s going to help us down the road. Obviously, there’s a lot of talent here. And the people in here believe in each other. We’ve had six weeks here where we could have shut it down or thought about ourselves individually, and that hasn’t happened. We’ve played pretty good baseball, stayed together.”
“You still have to compete,” Alvarez said. “That’s the one thing that you can control, how hard you compete. But I like to win. We all like to win and, hopefully, that’s coming.”
Ronny Cedeno is having a rough final stretch of the season. After being labeled as one of the locks for the 2011 season, recently, Cedeno has made the organization unsure about his future.
Cedeno has had five errors in the last seven games and 17 in 134 games this year. His 17 errors is second highest in his career –23 in 2006 with the Cubs–
“He gets frustrated. I think that’s it,” Russell said. “He takes a lot of pride in what he does, and when he doesn’t do it, it gets to him. He’s an emotional player. A lot of times that’s a very good thing because it drives him. It can drive the rest of the team when he’s aggressive and emotional in the right way. But sometimes you have to take a step back and relax a little bit.”
“It’s been tough for me because I’ve been struggling a lot right now,” Cedeno said. “I think I’m trying to do everything too quick and I’m making too many physical errors. I’ve got to quit with that and just finish strong.
“Next year, I have to get better with that. Sometimes I bring too much emotion to the game and try to do everything quick. I’ve got to calm down a little bit and make the routine plays. That’s what they bring me here for.”
Paul Maholm missed his final start of the season on Friday due to left-knee irritation.
Maholm said he had some minor discomfort in his knee during his last start but that it “wasn’t a big deal.”
“Everything is good,” Maholm said. “It’s not a setback. We felt there wasn’t a need to push it. Would I like to have started? Yeah. But you have to look at the risk and the reward. It just got to where it’s not 100 percent and there is no need to push it for one more.”
Although he has had trouble with his knee last season, Maholm will not require additional surgery and is hopeful with an altered workout it will lessen the discomfort for next season.
“I’m going to make sure that I stay a lot more consistent doing the smaller maintenance stuff,” Maholm said. “I did it, but I need to make sure that’s one of my main goals in between starts. I need to make sure I get a couple days of rehab for it to keep it where it needs to be.”
Maholm finishes the season with a 9-15 with a 5.10 ERA. No pirates’ pitcher was able to get 10 wins this season –for the second time in three years.
“We dwell on the negatives so much, but I’ve gone back and looked and I had 25 really good starts and I had seven where I should have been pitching in [Class] A-ball at that point,” he said. “You have bad starts, but mine were extremely bad. Seventy-five percent of my starts I was averaging almost seven innings. That’s what I expect, though I need to make sure those seven don’t creep back in and become more consistent.”
The Pirates had another reason to celebrate on Friday night in Miami. Not only did the Pirates defeat the Marlins 5-1, Chan Ho Park picked up the victory –his 124th– passing Nomo for the most wins by an Asian-born pitcher in major league history.
“One hundred, twenty-four is not great for the Major Leagues, but it’s very special,” said the South Korean native, who entered Friday tied with Japan’s Hideo Nomo with 123 wins. “It makes me think about 17 years ago, when I first came [to America]. I think about the people who brought me here and helped me. I’ve met a lot of special people through my career, and today, that means a lot.”
Upon entering the clubhouse, Park was doused with beer and celebrated with the Pirates team. He was given the lineup card and game used ball and Park even decided to keep everything, from his socks to his underwear –which was soaked in beer– as a memento of the milestone moment.
“Obviously, that means much, much more than a couple of weeks ago when I had the last win,” said Park, who tied Nomo back on Sept. 12. “Honestly, I thought it was going to be tough to get another one this season. Now that I’ve made it, it’s very special. It’s great for my family. And it’s very special for my fans in Korea.”
Even players of the team were excited and happy to share this moment with Park.
“To be a part of that was quite a highlight of my baseball career so far,” said Daniel McCutchen, who pitched the first four innings on Friday. “He came in and dominated. He’s the story of the day. That’s a huge accomplishment for him and his country.”
Dominated, he did. Park pitched three innings not allowing a hit or run and struck out six.
“He wanted it,” Russell said. “He was locked in. We were trying to get him that extra one and it was awesome. He threw the ball great tonight. I can’t be more proud of him.”
The Pirates pitching staff struck out 10 fish on Friday night’s 5-1 victory, giving them a total of 1008 strikeouts so far this season.
It is only the 10th time in franchise history that the pitchers have struck out more than 1000 in a single season.
The Pirates defeated the Fish 5-1 on Friday night. And with just two games remaining on the season, the Bucs aren’t finishing the season without a fight.
The Pirates finished the month of September 12-14 with a team batting average of .255. They scored a season-high 123 runs, as well as season-high doubles (53) and triples (7). The pitching staff’s ERA was the second lowest of the season (4.38) and picked up a season-high 12 wins striking out 180 batters.
Record aside; we are seeing a lot of good things coming from the team.
On Friday night, three of the five runs scored came from the long ball. Pedro Alvarez hit a line drive monster in the second inning tying the game at one and extending his hitting streak to 11-games.
“He hit that ball hard,” Russell said. “He really did.”
Alvarez now has 64 RBI since he was called up on June 16th –the most of any Major League Rookie.
Chris Snyder hit a two-run homer in the sixth, giving the Pirates a 3-1 lead –breaking his 0-for-18 streak.
Daniel McCutchen –who started in place of Paul Maholm–, pitched four innings allowing one run on five hits, walked one and struck out two.
“September wasn’t all that great, so to end on a positive note is good,” McCutchen said. “I know they’re a very aggressive ballclub and needed to stay out of the middle of the plate. For the most part, I did that. When I needed the big out, I got it.”
Chan Ho Park pitched three innings allowing neither runs nor hits and struck out six. He picked up the win –his 124th– passing Nomo for most wins by an Asian born pitcher.
The Pirates pick up their 17 win on the road this season. One more victory keeps them from tying the Mets for the worst record by a club playing 81 road games.
I missed the game due to yet another wedding. Thankfully i tivoed it and watched it when I got home. Here is a picture of me all dolled up.
· Jose Tabata extended his hitting streak on Thursday to a career high 13 games.
· Pedro Alvarez is continuing to have a hot month of September. He hit .311 in 27 games in September, is tied for second in the league with RBI (26) and shared the league with doubles (10). Alvarez also hit a team-high five home runs.
· The Pirates pitching staff has posted 998 strikeouts this season, which is the highest total of K’s since 2009 (1060). The Bucco pitching staff can strikeout over 1000 for just the tenth time in team history.
RHP Daniel McCutchen (2-5, 6.36 ERA)
RHP Adalberto Mendez (1-2, 4.19 ERA)
McCutchen is making his ninth start of the season (28th appearance) for Paul Maholm who was scratched due to a sore left knee. His last start came on 8/25 where he pitched six shutout innings allowing just three hits against the Cardinals.
Mendez is making his fifth major league appearance. He picked up his first major league win on his big league debut against the Phillies. Mendez pitched six scoreless innings striking out six. He got the loss against the Brewers his last start allowing six runs on six hits through two innings.
A. McCutchen 8
D. McCutchen 1
Paul Maholm will miss his final start this season on Friday due to left knee irritation. The club announced Daniel McCutchen will face the Marlins in his place.
Maholm was not available for comment after the decision was announced. Paul had surgery on his knee years ago and had problems with soreness during the ’09 season.
Maholm finishes the year 9-15 with a 5.10 ERA.
McCutchen will be making his ninth start this season and his first since August 25th. In his nine relief appearances since then he has thrown no more than 32 pitches so McCutchen will be limited on how deep he will be able to go.