Pre-game news and notes: Pirates @ Reds 4/16
The Pirates (6-7) will face the Cincinnati Reds (8-5) at 1:10 PM ET today for the second of a four-game series at Great American Ball Park.
Right-hander James McDonald (0-0, 5.56 ERA) will start for the Bucs against righty Mike Leake (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
McDonald threw 38 pitches in the first frame against the Colorado Rockies in his previous start, but settled in and pitched 6.2 innings. The four runs McDonald allowed in the first were the only runs the Rockies scored off him until the 7th inning (Two runs scored off Rookie Mike Crotta, one earned by McDonald). He struck out three and walked three during his outing.
Leake allowed six runs on nine hits over 4.2 innings his last start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He walked two and struck out four.
Leake was scheduled to throw on Sunday but was bumped up a day. Edinson Volquez was pushed to because of a stiff neck.
- With the Pirates 6-1 win last night over the Reds, the Bucs snapped a four-game losing streak. They also improved their road record to 5-2.
- The Pirates pitching staff ranks third in the National League with a 3.23 ERA. The only two staffs with better numbers are the San Diego Padres (2.70 ERA) and the Milwaukee Brewers (2.96 ERA).
- Second baseman Neil Walker batted cleanup for the first time in his career. He went 1-for-4 with a two-run homerun and a walk.
- Jose Tabata had his first career four-hit game in Friday’s game. He also swiped his seventh bag (in eight attempts).
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com pointed out that earlier this morning, Andrew McCutchen’s name plate above his locker read: McKKKKutchen (He struck out four times in yesterday’s game). McCutchen took the gag in good spirits. It’s great to see the players and the clubhouse so loose.
- The Pirates named Right-hander Jeff Karstens as the starter for Sunday’s game against the Reds. Although it was assumed, Manager Clint Hurdle made the announcement on Friday. Karstens will be taking the place of Ross Ohlendorf, who went on the disabled list with right shoulder posterior strain.
- Manager Clint Hurdle threw out the same lineup top of the order today. Andrew McCutchen will bat leadoff, followed by Jose Tabata second, Lyle Overbay third, Neil Walker fourth and Pedro Alvarez fifth.
Hurdle told Doug Miller of MLB.com, “I try to be more proactive than reactive. Normally, whenever I make a move with a player or group of players, I have a conversation with them about it. I thought about it overnight. We had a good first week, we had a bad second week. I pay attention to numbers, but I also rely quite a lot on my eyes and my gut. In watching those four guys, I thought if I could rearrange them, it would be best for the group.”
- Right-hander Charlie Morton threw his second career complete game last night. He allowed just one run on five hits over nine innings. He also threw 110 pitches, 73 for strikes.
Morton told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “It was a day that I will remember forever.”
Andrew McCutchen CF, Jose Tabata LF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Ryan Doumit C, Garrett Jones RF, Ronny Cedeno SS, James McDonald RHP
Drew Stubbs CF, Miguel Cairo 2B, Joey Votto 1B, Jonny Gomes LF, Jay Bruce RF, Juan Francisco 3B, Ramon Hernandez C, Paul Janish SS, Mike Leake RHP