Results tagged ‘ clint hurdle ’
The Pirates (5-6) will face the Milwaukee Brewers (6-5) on Thursday at 7:05 PM/ET for the final game of the home stand.
Following the game, the Bucs will fly to Cincinnati for a three-game series starting Friday against the Reds.
Lefty-hander Paul Maholm will face lefty Randy Wolf.
Maholm is 0-1 this season, despite only allowing three earned runs over 12.1 innings.
- Jose Tabata’s 10-game hitting streak came to an end on Wednesday, after going 0-for-2 with two walks against the Brewers.
Manager Clint Hurdle was very impressed with Jose Tabata’s plate discipline during his final at-bat in the 8th inning yesterday. Tabata, with the 10-game hitting streak on the line, drew a six pitch walk.
Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I’m not saying it’s normal, but you’ll find players at times that will put individual accomplishments in front of the game from time to time. A young man going up there, knowing what he needed to do and got down early in the count… took a walk. He’ll have other 10-game hitting streaks. He’ll have longer ones than that. But it was very encouraging to see that that’s his mindset. His mindset is not that he can have an 11-game hitting streak.”
- Evan Meek pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning on Wednesday. It was his first appearance since April 6th (right shoulder tightness).
- Catcher Chris Snyder is back in Pittsburgh tonight and will be the lineup tonight. Snyder was activated from the disabled list on Wednesday.
- Left-hander Joe Beimel should be joining the club on Friday in Cincinnati. He completed his rehab assignment with the Triple-A Indians. The Pirates will need to add him to both the 40-man and 25-man roster.
- Third Baseman Pedro Alvarez will get the night off, giving Steve Pearce the start at third.
Alvarez, who is notorious for having a slow start to the season, is batting just .200. Manager Clint Hurdle and Alvarez were out early taking batting practice.
Hurdle told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, What I’d like him to do is go up there and be reactionary. He hasn’t gotten off to the start that he would like or we would like but it’s still early and I’m just trying to get him to focus on a couple absolutes at the plate. See the ball, number one, get a good pitch to hit, number two, know that he can attack the ball anywhere in the strike zone, it doesn’t need to be in a teacup. And just hit it hard where it’s pitched. I can tell you that.”
Rickie Weeks 2B, Carlos Gomez CF, Ryan Braun LF, Prince Fielder 1B, Casey McGehee 3B, Yuniesky Betancourt SS, Erick Almonte RF, Jonthan Lucroy C, Randy Wolf LHP
Jose Tabata LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Matt Diaz RF, Steve Pearce RF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Chris Snyder C, Ronny Cedeno SS, Paul Maholm LHP
Right-hander Jeff Karstens will start against the Cincinnati Reds, filling in for Ross Ohlendorf who was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder posterior strain.
Manager Clint Hurdle announced his decision to place Karstens in the rotation but it is still undetermined which of the three game series against the Reds he will start (April 15-18).
The plan was for Karstens to pitch on Thursday, in the third game against the Milwaukee Brewers but plans where changed because of the rain postponement tonight.
Karstens, who serves as the teams long reliever, threw 3.1 innings (67 pitches) in relief on Friday after Ohlendorf was pulled from the game with his injury.
Karstens is up for any task the Pirates ask of him. He appeared in 26 games with the Bucs last year, 19 of them starts.
“I’m just used to the role,” Karstens told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. “I roll out of bed with a smile on my face. I get to put the big league uniform on every day and I’m proud of that.”
Right-hander Daniel McCutchen will serve as the long inning man with Karstens in the rotation.
*Photo credit: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Pittsburgh Pirates (5-3) will face the Colorado Rockies (4-2) tonight at 7:05 PM/ET at PNC Park.
Right-hander Charlie Morton will face Righty Greg Reynolds.
Morton is coming off a fantastic spring and first start of the season. He limited the St. Louis Cardinals to just one run on three hits over six innings with five walks and two strikeouts.
The 27-year-old is making his first start at home this season after struggling at PNC last year. Morton posted a 7.57 ERA last year and frequently heard boo’s when he was on the mound.
Morton told Colin Dunlap of the Post-Gazette, “Heard them, oh yeah. But look at what my ERA was. At the beginning of the year, I had a 14.00 ERA. I deserved it, right?
“You can’t replace love and support that you get when you are down, when you are going through a tough time, when you are struggling. I’m so grateful to the people who stuck with me. I am extremely grateful to people who stopped me on the street and said kind things.
“I’m excited about getting out there and pitching for them again. Really, I mean that. There were a lot of people in this city who stuck with me.”
Morton has made a few adjustments and is much more mentally confident on the mound –and his numbers have proven that.
Reynolds will be making his first big league start since September of 2008. The 25-year-old is a former first round pick (2nd overall) in the 2006 draft.
The right-hander struggled in 2008 (2-8 record, with an 8.13 ERA) and faced arm injuries in 2009.
Reynolds was called up from Triple-A Colorado Spring after Ubaldo Jimenez was placed on the 15-day dl.
- Jose Tabata extended his hitting streak to eight games. He’s had at least one hit in each of his eight games this season.
- Mike Crotta surrendered his first hit of the season (four appearances) in the 7th inning of last night’s game. He still has yet to allow a run this year.
- Manager Clint Hurdle has a hard policy of not allowing a reliever to pitch in three straight games.
According to Jenifer Lanogsch of MLB.com, Hurdle developed this firm stance after numerous studies as a hitting coach. He found consistent increases in injuries and ineffectiveness when relievers pitched three consecutive games.
Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “It just doesn’t make any sense. [There is] too much to lose. The risk versus the reward isn’t good enough for me. You want to be tied to their arms as much as you can, not just to the results.”
Dexter Fowler CF, Jonathan Herrera 2B, Carlos Gonzalez LF, Troy Tulowitzki SS, Seth Smith RF, Jose Lopez 3B, Ty Wigginton 1B, Jose Morales, Greg Reynolds RHPPirates:
Jose Tabata LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Ryan Doumit C, Garrett Jones RF, Josh Rodriguez SS, Charlie Morton RHP
Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf was pulled in the third inning of the Pirates 4-3 win with right shoulder discomfort. After Carlos Gonzalez flew out to center, Ohlendorf shook his arm, walked off the mound and motioned for a trainer.
Ohlendorf told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “We’re not sure yet what it is. We’re going to see how it is the next couple of days.”
After experiencing right shoulder discomfort during the 2010 season, Ohlendorf was placed on the 15-day disabled list and missed the final five weeks of the season.
He told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune that this injury was “similar” to the one he suffered last year, “but not as bad”.
“I felt it a couple pitches before I came out (of the game). I felt some discomfort, so I threw two more pitches and I knew I had to come out.”
There is no MRI scheduled as of yet and Ohlendorf will be reevaluated on Saturday.
Right-hander Evan Meek was the only reliever that was not used in the 14 inning game on Friday night. He was unable to pitch due to tightness in his shoulder he felt during catch that afternoon.
Meek volunteered to warm up, but the staff stuck with their decision and used left-hander Garrett Olson in the 13th.
Manager Clint Hurdle did not seem concerned with Meek, according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com and should be ready to pitch as early as Saturday.
Meek told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I was down there a little bit frustrated, but I appreciate the day to heal. They’re smarter than I am. I wanted to pitch, but the smart thing was to give it a day. The last thing we want is to go out there and pitch and then have something not right turn from a day or two into a week or two. Just patience.”
After 14 innings and five hours and 11 minutes, the Pittsburgh Pirates delivered a walk-off win in the bottom of the 14th inning to win, 4-3, at PNC Park during the early hours of Saturday.
Josh Rodriguez drew a walk off of Franklin Morales and Jose Tabata hit a double off the Roberto Clemente wall to score the winning run.
Since the run came after midnight, the win came on the 10th birthday of PNC Park.
Jose Tabata told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I’m looking for one pitch. I’m thinking if he throws a fastball, I’ll [take] a good swing. When he threw the pitch, I swung the bat. I stayed with my approach, middle-away, and [you] see what happened.”
The Colorado Rockies took advantage of right-hander Ross Ohlendorf’s early struggles. After allowing a leadoff walk to Dexter Fowler and a single by Jonathan Herrera, Jason Giambi launched a three-home run into the right field seats. The Rockies quickly took a 3-0 lead.
That was the only run the Rockies would score through the 14 inning game.
Ohlendorf was pulled after 2.2 innings with right shoulder discomfort.
The Pirates bullpen, which consisted of Jeff Karstens, Mike Crotta, Jose Veras, Joel Hanrahan, Chris Resop and Garrett Olson, pitched 11.1 innings allowing six hits, no runs, seven walks and 12 strikeouts.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 11.1 scoreless innings by the Bucs bullpen was the longest by the club in a game since 1900.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “My goodness, Scoreless? That’s a good hitting team over there. Our guys stepped it up. Every single one of them. There will be a couple who won’t be able to go [Saturday].”
The Pirates tacked on a run each of the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings.
After back-to-back walks to Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen by Jorge De La Rosa, Matt Diaz grounded to short in a 10 pitch at-bat, to score Walker and cut the lead, 3-1.
Jose Tabata hit his first home run of the season, as well as the first home run hit by a Bucco at PNC Park this year in the 5th inning.
Matt Belise walked both Lyle Overbay and Pedro Alvarez in the 6th, and Jason Jaramillo hit a RBI single to right field to tie the game at 3.
The Pirates showed their patience at the plate on Friday, after walking for a total of eight times.
The Rockies had plenty of chances during the late innings to score the go-ahead run. After Chris Resop allowed a lead-off double to Herrera, Carlos Gonzalez lined to shortstop. Troy Tulowitzki was intentionally walked and Jose Morales struck out for the second out. Seth Smith drew a walk to load the bases. Ty Wigginton hit a liner to third base but Pedro Alvarez made a spectacular play, diving for the ball and then threw from one knee to first baseman Lyle Overbay to end the inning.
The Pirates were out of bench players and only right-hander Evan Meek was left in the Pirates bullpen. It was reported that he was not available to pitch and even tried to convince the staff to let him warm up, if needed.
During the bottom of the 14th, and Josh Rodriguez on first base with two outs, Jose Tabata stepped up to the plate. Rockies Manager Jim Tracy received a lot of critism for not walking Tabata to get to Garrett Olson, who was on deck.
Although, it didn’t appear that way. Manager Clint Hurdle sent Andrew McCutchen to the on deck circle in hopes Tracy didn’t realize the batting order (There was a double switch in the 10th inning, so the pitcher was batting in the two hole).
It proved out to be the game winning play, as Jose Tabata hit a double off of the Roberto Clemente wall to score Josh Rodriguez and win in the 14th inning.
Colin Dunlap of the Post-Gazette asked Hurdle if it was a decoy to make Tracy think McCutchen was up next, “No, come on, why would we do that,” Hurdle said with a sly chuckle.
What was Manager Jim Tracy’s reasoning? “To walk him into scoring position … I know they have somebody over there that maybe takes a swing and not have to hit the ball very far at all to end up winning the game that way also,” he said.
An incredible ending for the Pirates on their first win at home this season.
Jeff Karstens, who pitched 3.1 innings after taking over after Ohlendorf was injured, told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I don’t even think words can describe what we did tonight. Just guy after guy came out; the situation didn’t matter, they just kept pitching. We were able to get out of it.”
Hurdle added, “My goodness. That’s a good hitting team over there. Our guys stepped it up tonight, every single one.”
The Pittsburgh Pirates (4-3) will face the Colorado Rockies (4-1) tonight at 7:05 PM/ET for the second of a four game series.
Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf will face Left-hander Jorge De LaRosa.
Ohlendorf is making his second start of the season tonight. He picked a no-decision against the Chicago Cubs on April 3rd. He allowed four runs on eight hits over six innings with four walks and three strikeouts.
De La Rosa will also be making his second start of the season. He picked up the win against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday after pitching 5.1 shutout innings allowing just three hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
- Tonight marks the first time this season the Pirates have faced a starting lefty. The Bucs went 13-10 at PNC Park last season against a left-hander.
- Jose Tabata has had at least one hit in each of the first seven games. His seven game hitting streak in the longest in the majors.
- Neil Walker has hit safely in six of the first seven games this year. He also is tied in the National League with the most RBI –8.
- Rookie Mike Crotta has yet to surrender a hit or a run over his three appearances.
- Troy Tulowitki’s home run off Paul Maholm yesterday was just the second homer allowed by the Bucs pitching staff this season. That is tied with the San Francisco Giants for the fewest in the National League.
- Tonight is buc night at PNC Park. Although all the $1 tickets are sold out, you can still fill up on all popcorn, Pepsi and hot dogs for just one buck each.
- Right-hand pitcher Tyler Yates is facing yet another setback. Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Yates has been diagnosed with a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. The diagnosis came after a visit with Dr. James Andrews.
Yates had Tommy John Surgery back in 2009 and was pitching in his first spring this year since the recovery.
Langosch also reports that the Pirates will provide an update after being reexamined in six weeks.
- The Pirates, through the first five games of the season, have a team total of 50 strikeouts –the most in major league baseball.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Root Sports on Wednesday, “We’ve been doing too much of that. You know, you add fly balls and strikeouts together in account of soft outs. Tonight we had 17 soft outs. You get 27 in a game. It’s hard to score a lot of runs when you’re playing with 10 outs. The guys are aware of it. Just got to go a better job with two strikes. I think some of our problem is we’re still not aggressive enough in the count early. Taking a lot of pitches getting two strikes.”
- The Bucs will face their NL rivals, the Milwaukee Brewers, for a three game series that starts on Tuesday. Over the past several seasons there have been players plunked, words said and high emotions.
Andrew McCutchen told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, We know it’s going to be a battle. They’re thinking they can step all over us. We’re going to wake them up and tell them, ‘Hey, we’re not that team anymore.’
“We want to be that team that wakes everyone up. Then the next time they play us, they’ll know, ‘We’ve got to have our big-boy pants on.’ It’s up to us to do that.”
Dexter Fowler CF, Jonathan Herrera 2B, Carlos Gonzalez LF, Troy Tulowitzki SS,
Todd Helton 1B, Jason Giambi 1B Seth Smith RF, Ty Wigginton 3B, Chris Iannetta C, Jorge de la Rosa LHP
*Helton was a late scratch.
Jose Tabata LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Matt Diaz RF, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Jason Jaramillo C, Ronny Cedeno SS, Ross Ohlendorf RHP
The Pirates (4-2) will face the Colorado Rockies (3-1) today at 1:35 PM for the first of a four game series. The Bucs kick off the season home opener today. Left-hander Paul Maholm will face right-hander Esmil Rogers.
- Maholm will be making his second start of the season. He’s coming off a great start where he pitched a shutout over 6.2 innings, limiting the Chicago Cubs to just five hits. Maholm walked two and struck out three but picked up a no-decision.
- Rogers will be making his first start of the season after winning the 5th spot in the rotation. Rogers appeared in 28 games (eight starts) and last year with the Rockies where he posted a 6.13 ERA.
- Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle will be facing his former team, the Colorado Rockies, in the home opener. Hurdle spent 2002-09 as the Rockies Manager before getting fired during the 2009 season. He went 534-625 and led the Rockies to their first and only World Series appearance in 2007.
Hurdle was replaced by Jim Tracy, who managed the Pirates from 2005-07.
Hurdle told Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, “It drips with irony. I’ll leave all that up to [the media]. It’s perfect. Matter of fact, it’s a layup. The irony of [Jim] Tracy managing over there and I’m managing over here. I haven’t given it any more thought than that. You can’t write this stuff up by yourself. Life takes care of things and sports takes care of things.”
- Reliever Evan Meek pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning during Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Meek was coming off back-to-back bad outings. It was reported that he was under the weather, but Meek did not use that as an excuse. He wanted the ball back to prove himself.
Meek told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “(I wanted the ball) really badly, actually. It was one of those things where I knew I wasn’t far off. You don’t want to sit on it, you don’t want to wait, and that’s one of the good things about being a reliever is you get thrown back out there. I love that (manager Clint Hurdle) put me back out there with a two-run lead, I love that he has the confidence in me and that was big for me. Now I can build off that, take that into my next outing and just get on with it.”
- Happy Birthday to PNC Park, who turns 10-year-old on Saturday, April 9th. Re-live some of the memories from the stadium (read more here).
- President Frank Coonelly hosted a web chat with fans on Wednesday afternoon (you can read the entire transcript here).
- The Pirates currently lead the league in strikeouts. The pitching is picking up the slack and keeping games rather close. I know it still early in the season, but is this of any concern?
Coonelly: “The pitching, particularly the starting pitching, has been strong to date. On the high strikeout totals, yes, that is a concern for Clint [Hurdle] and his staff, and Clint has addressed the issue with the players. Giving the opponent free passes and making outs without putting the ball in play are both issues that we have prioritized”
- Will Pedro move to first base?
Coonelly: “After not taking charge on two infield popups on Opening Day, Pedro’s defense at third base has been solid-to-spectacular at times. It has been very encouraging — even on nights when he has struggled at the plate, he has not taken that to his defense. Again, last night Pedro made several solid plays at third. The best answer to the question has been provided by Pedro himself, as I’m sure you have seen. Pedro is committed to doing what in necessary for him to remain at third base. He has, as we have said many times, all of the tools necessary to remain at third base given his commitment and his tools. A move to first base is hardly inevitable.”
Jose Tabata LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Ryan Doumit C, Garrett Jones RF, Ronny Cedeno SS, Paul Maholm LHP
Dexter Fowler CF, Ryan Spilborghs RF, Carlos Gonzalez LF, Troy Tulowitzki SS, Lopez 2B, Todd Helton 1B, Ty Wigginton 3B, Chris Iannetta C, Esmil Rogers
The Pirates will face the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:35 this afternoon for the final game of the three game series. Right-hand pitcher Kevin Correia will face Righty Chris Carpenter in the rubber match of the series.
- Some injury updates:
Right-hander Jose Ascanio pitched one inning in an intrasquad game.
Left-hander Joe Beimel (left elbow soreness) pitched one inning in an intrasquad game.
Right-hander Brad Lincoln (right forearm contusion) pitched three innings in an infrasound game.
Lefty-hander Scott Olsen (left shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen.
Catcher Chris Snyder (lower back tightness) caught five innings and had three at bats in an intrasquad game.
–All without issue on Tuesday.
- The Pirates are 3-2 so far this season on the road and are just one game from picking up back-to-back road series wins since August of 2007.
Manager Clint Hurdle has been trying different things this season and is trying to shake things up. He told Nate Latasch, “We’re just trying to do some things differently, trying to find a way to recreate an atmosphere … maybe a routine that they fall into more at home than on the road. You become a slave to routines in this game and on the road, you can get into some bad ones. You get home late. You eat late. You sleep in. You get up. You go right to the park and eat. We’re just trying to get them up and get them moving.”
Jose Tabata LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Ryan Doumit C, Garrett Jones RF, Josh Rodriguez SS, Kevin Correia RHP
*Josh Rodriguez, will be making his major league debut today.
Ryan Theriot SS, Colby Rasmus CF, Albert Pujols 1B, Lance Berkman RF, Allen Craig LF, Skip Schumaker 2B, Yadier Molina C, Daniel Descalso 3B, Chris Carpenter RHP
The Pirates (3-1) will face the St. Louis Cardinals (1-3) at 8:15 PM/ET tonight.
Right-hander James McDonald will be making his season debut against righty Kyle McClellan.
McDonald was limited to just 6.2 innings this spring. He was sidelined with left side soreness.
McDonald pitched well after being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in July last season. He posted a 3.52 ERA in 11 starts while striking out 61 batters in 64 innings.
- Some positive notes:
The Pirates are leading the league in several categories this season. Jose Tabata leads the National League with six runs scored, Neil Walker leads with six RBI and Joel Hanrahan is tied in the league with three saves.
Neil Walker has seven hits & seven RBI after his first four games this season. The last Pirates infielder to produce such totals in his first four games was Johnny Ray, 25 years ago.
The Bucs pitching staff also ranks fourth the NL with a 2.83 ERA (11 earned runs in 30 innings).
If the Pirates beat the Cardinals tonight (or tomorrow) and take the series, it would be the first time since 2007 that the Bucs have won back-to-back series on the road.
- Charlie Morton made a solid season debut on Monday allowing just one run on three hits over six innings against the Cardinals. He’s also coming off of a great spring where he had a 2.63 ERA over 24 innings.
Morton really looks like a different guy on the mound. Manager Clint Hurdle told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “I think he honestly self-evaluated (over the winter), he didn’t stick his head in the sand, he didn’t point fingers, he took responsibility and accountability for the breakdowns and the things that didn’t go well. He found focus points to work on all winter long and came out in spring training, put them into play and stayed with it. The first outing where he had some turbulence, might have been Port Charlotte where he had five runs, most he gave up in spring training, he still pitched through traffic and never let an inning get away. I think that had been some of the issues he had in the past. Just a kid who feels like it’s his time to start pitching the way he’s capable of pitching.”
Morton clearly has a new found confidence in himself this year. His teammates enjoy watching him pitch so well.
Closer Joel Hanrahan told Nate Latsch of MLB.com, “What Charlie did out there today was awesome. I told him it was fun to watch. When Charlie believes in himself and believes in his stuff, that’s what he can do, because his stuff is so good out there. He’s riding off that confidence he had in Spring Training and feeling good.
McCutchen added, “This is his first start and a good win for him. It’s good that he can have a good start like this and start off quick and get some wins and just get the confidence. … He went out and he did a great job. It’s good to be able to see that.”
- Andrew McCutchen sat out on Sunday’s game due to ‘upper body stiffness’. He told Root Sports that it was nothing serious, and just precautionary. “If it was a need for me to play [on Sunday] at that time, I would have played. Since it is pretty early you don’t want to turn something into something that could just take a day or two off. I just wanted to give it a days rest and see how I feel the next day. I feel good enough to play and I’m just going to go out there and go out and play.”
McCutchen went 1-for-4 with a two-run homerun against the Cardinals on Monday. I’d say he’s just fine.
- I’ve said it time and time again how much I love Manager Clint Hurdle and his impact on the players. I believe it was the best decision the Pirates made during the offseason in hiring him as skipper.
Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror wrote about how the great start of the season (3-1) is in large part because of Hurdle (read more here).
- The Pirates announced on Tuesday the festivities for the home opener against the Colorado Rockies on April 7th.
The gates will open at 11:30 am (first pitch is at 1:35 PM).
The Pirates will have a pre-game ceremony in honor of hall of fame manager Chuck Tanner who passed in February. Members of his family are scheduled to attend along with former players John Candelaria, Phil Garner, Grant Jackson, Bruce Kison, Jim Rooker, Manny Sanguillen, Dave Parker and Kent Tekulve. They will also unveil a tribute to Tanner that will be at PNC Park all season long and they will also have a video tribute prior to the first pitch.
There will also be a military tribute, a moment of silence for the victims of the earthquake in Japan. Pirates Charities will be collecting donations for UNICEF.
You can read more information regarding the pre-game festivities here.
- Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror reports that Bryan Morris will start opening day for Altoona Curve, Jeff Locke pitching game two. Double-A opens in Erie on Thursday.
Jose Tabata LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Pedro Alvarez 2B, Matt Diaz RF, Jason Jaramillo C, Ronny Cedeno SS, James McDonald RHPCardinals:
Ryan Theriot SS, Colby Rasmus CF, Albert Pujols 1B, Lance Berkman RF, Allen Craig LF, David Freese 3B, Skip Schumaker 2B, Gerald Laird C, Kyle McClellan RHP
Manager Clint Hurdle sure seemed to get a lot of criticism for deciding to bat Jose Tabata leadoff and dropping Andrew McCutchen down to the three spot in the lineup. But so far, it seems to be working nice out nice for the Bucs who are 3-1 this season.
Hurdle told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, It was just something I looked at during the winter to try to find a way to score more runs. That’s all. It’s not trying to do something that’s crazy, but so many people, as soon as I talked about it, I started getting all these responses about, ‘Why would you move (Andrew) McCutchen?’ We were last in runs scored (in 2010). I mean, why not? What have we got to lose?”
Hurdle’s decision to bat Tabata lead off is something he looked into a lot over the winter.
He told Nate Latsch of MLB.com, “One of the comments I kept hearing was from people in our organization and other organizations that you didn’t see from many young kids is the ability to hunt a breaking ball. Not that that makes you a good leadoff hitter, but it just shows discipline. It shows a kid that stays back and reads pitches and takes long looks. He’s not just interested in going up there and firing early. There’s times when you’ll see him ambush — he did it a couple times in Spring Training. First pitch of the game, he will ambush. But I thought the discipline was in a place that we could experiment with it in spring, see what kind of reaction, what kind of results we got from it.”
So far this season, Tabata is batting .429 (four games) with three walks, a stolen base and six runs scored. McCutchen is batting .273 (three games) with one double, two home runs, four RBI, and two runs scored.
“I do like having Andrew’s bat down in the lineup in the third position, Hurdle said. “We’ll see how it continues to play out. Right now, our top three hitters in the lineup have been very good for us. And I believe the other guys will catch on also.”
*Photo credit:Pittsburgh-Post Gazette