Results tagged ‘ cubs ’
Despite losing 6-0 to the Marlins on Tuesday evening, the Pirates have been successful on the road this season. The Bucs are 7-4 away from PNC Park this year. A huge difference from 2010 when the Bucs went 17-64 on the road.
The Pirates have won all three of their road series (Cubs, Cardinals, Reds) –the first time they have three straight series wins on the road since April of 2002.
So what is the team doing differently this year?
Manager Clint Hurdle told David Villavicencio of MLB.com, “We’ve tried to simplify it. You throw first-pitch strikes, get the first batter of an inning out, and on offense you get the first hitter on base. When there are opportunities to score, you get them in. These are the baseball staples.
“I wasn’t here last year but I know these are some areas that we weren’t very good in. They’ve taken it to heart that for us to go where we want to go, we’ve got to become a much better ballclub on the road. We’ve gotten out of the blocks pretty clean so far. There are a lot of games left to play, but I’m pleased with the effort and the attitude on the road, and I anticipate it will turn around back home when we get there.”
- Third baseman Pedro Alvarez was back in the lineup on Tuesday, after getting the day off on Monday. Alvarez was moved down the order, batting in the seventh spot –for the first time in his career.
Hurdle told David Villavicencio of MLB.com, “There is ownership to a lineup, and you give guys the opportunity to move, and when guys aren’t getting things done, you shuffle them around. I’m going to be proactive rather than reactive with it. Right now, Jones has earned five and Pedro has earned seven.”
- Right-hander Jeff Karstens will start for the Pirates on Friday against the Washington Nationals in D.C. Karstens will make his second spot start for Ross Ohlendorf (right shoulder posterior strain) who was placed on the disabled list (April 9th).
- Jose Ascanio (right elbow tightness) was scheduled to make a rehab appearance for Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday but the game was postponed due to weather
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 (2-1) will face the St. Louis Cardinals (1-2) tonight at 8:15 PM/ET. The first of a three-game series.
Right-hander Charlie Morton will face Right-hand pitcher Kyle Lohse.
- Morton had a great spring training where he had a 2.63 ERA. The 27-year-old allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 15 hits with six walks and 12 strike outs over 24 innings.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Cash Kruth of MLB.com, “Charlie pitched better than anybody in camp, and good for him. That’s why the next step will be the more interesting step. The season will come and we’ll see what that brings. But confidence has been built.”
- Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington said that the club has not yet decided whether left-hander Scott Olsen will need to make some Minor League rehab appearances before rejoining the big league club. Olsen (left shoulder inflammation) is currently in Bradenton, Fla., for extended spring training.
- Neil Walker’s decision to score home in the 9th inning against the Cubs on Pedro Alvarez’s dribbler, was a gutsy one. Walker said, “Had to take the chance, just had to.”
Thanks to aggressive base running, Walker’s run turned out to be the winning one in the 5-4 victory on Sunday.
Walker told Colin Dunlap of the Post Gazette about his decision.
- Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted some good news for Pirates fans: they may not finish in the basement of the National League Central this year. “Talked with several scouts who think the Pirates will finish ahead of the Astros this year — PITT is better, to them, and Houston is worse.”
Jose Tabata LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Ryan Doumit C, Garrett Jones RF, Ronny Cedeno SS, Charlie Morton RHP
Ryan Theriot SS, Colby Rasmus CF, Albert Pujols 1B, Lance Berkman RF, Allen Craig LF, David Freese 3B, Yadier Molina C, Skip Schumaker 2B, Kyle Lohse RHP
- Following today’s game, the team will travel to St. Louis, where they open up a three-game series against the Cardinals. Right-hand Pitcher Charlie Morton will face Right-hander Kyle Lohse.
- The Pirates struck out 12 times against Cubs starter Matt Garza in the 5-4 victory on Sunday. Garza’s 12 k’s were a career high.
- Third Baseman Pedro Alvarez is looking forward to the Pirates home opener on April 7th –his first home opener as a big leaguer.
Alvarez told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “They are great fans to play in front of. I don’t think there are any fans out there like the Pittsburgh fans. You can tell, obviously, with the Steelers and the Penguins and with us. I’m definitely very excited, and I feel very fortunate to be able to play in front of them this year.”
- Manager Clint Hurdle was late to post the lineup before today’s game against the Cubs. There were discussions on whether Andrew McCutchen would sit out due to a stiff neck he got from a diving catch in Saturday’s game. “My neck’s a little sore. It’s from diving on that cement out there (in the outfield).”
The lineup was posted, McCutchen’s name in the 3rd spot, but about 30 minutes before the game, he was scratched from the lineup. He was given treatment and was sitting for precautionary reasons.
Right-hander Mike Crotta made his major league debut in the 7th inning of a 4-3 game at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Sunday.
Crotta told Root Sports, “I was nervous. Just like I’m sure everybody else was. It’s still baseball. I’ve been playing my whole life.”
He sure didn’t seem nervous on the mound. He pitched a perfect inning with one strikeout, needing just eight pitches (six for strikes) to get through the heart of the lineup.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Root Sports, “He was very efficient. He sunk the ball very well today. He kept his adrenaline in check. A very efficient inning.”
Crotta made the team from spring training after allowing just two earned runs over 13.1 innings.
“It was great. I was obviously nervous to go out there but after I got the first out I felt very at home. “
The Pirates beat the Cubs, 5-4, at Wrigley Field on Sunday after a two run rally in the 9th inning.
Cubs closer Carlos Marmol, who shut the Bucs down 1-2-3 in the previous game, walked the lead off batter, Garrett Jones. Neil Walker followed with a single and Lyle Overbay advanced both runners over with a sac bunt.
Pedro Alvarez hit an infield single which scored two runs –including Walker who scored from second base– to take the lead a 5-4 lead.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Root Sports, “It goes back to the aggressive base running. Trying to be smart, trying to be aggressive…Nick’s [Leyva] a very aggressive third base coach and Neil plays the game that way, when he’s on the bases. Once he saw the play develop from second base, he knew there was a very good shot that he might be able to pull something off. And he did. He’s a ballplayer.”
Alvarez told Stan Savran of Root Sports, “He’s [Marmol] a tough pitcher. I think we just did a good job of trying to figure our pitches. He’s one of the best pitchers, closers out there. When we stick to our approach and swing at strikes and balls that we can hit, I think it goes to show you. We’ll get the walks when needed and we’ll get the big hits when necessary.”
“We stayed resilient. We battled and we played to the end.”
With two runners on, Joel Hanrahan forced Marlon Byrd to hit into a game ending double play tp give the Pirates a 5-4 victory and pick up his second save of the season.
The Bucs combined for 16 hits –all singles– and picked up their first road series victory. A rare feat that happened just four times last season (And hasn’t happened since July 27-29th in Colorado last year).
Ross Ohlendorf made his first start of the season after a rocky spring training. He allowed four runs on eight hits over six innings with four walks (one intentional) and three strikeouts.
Ohlendorf told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “I didn’t show him much in spring training, but I’m planning to do well from now on. I feel like I did better than I’ve been doing.”
Hurdle told Root Sports, “He was building confidence today…That was the best he’s thrown, I’ve ever seen him throw. The things he worked on the side with Ray [Searage] came into play. His direction to the plate, his sink, his command.”
With a 2-0 lead in the 4th inning, Ohlendorf ran into trouble. After allowing three straight singles, and the bases loaded with no outs, Carlos Pena hit a two run double off the right field wall just feet from a grand slam. Pena’s hit was just several feet from a grand slam. Right fielder Garrett Jones jumped to catch the ball and during the play a Cubs fan in the stands spilt his beer on Jones head while reaching for the ball.
Ohlendorf worked out of the inning, not allowing anymore runs to score and keep it a 2-2 game.
Lyle Overbay hit a RBI single to score Jose Tabata in the 5th to take a 3-2 lead but the Cubs fought back in the bottom of the inning. Starlin Castro hit a lead off triple and Darwin Barney hit a sac fly to quickly tie the game back up at 3.
The Cubs tacked on another run in the 6th after Rafael Soriano hit a solo home run off of Ohlendorf.
“It was supposed to be down and away,” Ohlendorf told Root Sports. “It was up. Probably middle away. He did a good job hitting it.”
After a tough loss to the Cubs the night before, a comeback win today means a lot to the players.
Alvarez told Root Sports, “It shows character. We gotta’ play all 9. We gotta’ play all 27 outs…That’s the beauty about baseball. You come back the next day and you either redeem yourself or you keep the ball rollin’. Tomorrow we’ll try to keep the ball rollin’ with another W. I can’t stress enough, we just have to play nine, every game.”
Joel Hanrhan added, “Anytime you can start off the season with a road series win is awesome. Especially with all the stuff that has been said about us and our record last year on the road. Our goal is to go out there and win a series. We were fortunate to do that here and we’ll go to St. Louis and try to do that again.”
Update: McCutchen was a late scratch to the lineup. Garrett Jones will now bat second and play right field. Matt Diaz moves to play left and Jose Tabata moves to center field.
As It was reported earlier, Manager Clint Hurdle was late posting his lineup because Andrew McCutchen had soreness in his neck from a diving catch in Saturday’s game.
There was discussion this morning about whether to take McCutchen out of the lineup, but he informed the coaches he was OK to play.
McCutchen told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “My neck’s a little sore. It’s from diving on that cement out there (in the outfield).”
Biertempel also went on to say that the warning track at Wrigley is “notoriously hard.”
The Pittsburgh Pirates will face the Chicago Cubs at 2:20 PM/ET today at Wrigley field for the final game of the series. The teams have split the first two games.
Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf will start for the Bucs against Right-hander Matt Garza, who is making his Cubs debut.
Ohlendorf did not pitch longer than 4.2 innings in a start this spring. He told Evan Drellich of MLB.com, “I feel really good with where I am right now. Pitching coach Ray Searage] and I worked on some things the last week or so that I think are really going to help. Also, my arm feels good, and that’s very important at this point.”
- If the Pirates win today, it would be their first road series win July 27-29 (Colorado) of 2010. The Bucs only won four road series last season (17 games overall).
- Following today’s game, the team will travel to St. Louis, where they open up a three-game series against the Cardinals.
- The Pirates Double-A team, Altoona Curve, announced it’s opening day roster.
The starting rotation is as follows: left-handers Jeff Locke and Aaron Thompson and right-handers Bryan Morris, Aaron Pribanic and Jared Hughes.
Farm director Kyle Stark told Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror, “I expect that staff to not be there long. Some of those guys have had success in that league and have a couple things they need to do, and if they do that, then we’re gonna look to challenge those guys [in Triple-A].”
Tim Alderson, a first round draft pick in 2009, will start the season in the bullpen.
Some notable position players include: Catcher Tony Sanchez (Pirates No. 2 prospect), Shelby Ford, Starling Marte, Brock Holt and Quincy Latimore.
Jose Tabata LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Matt Diaz RF, Jason Jaramillo C, Ronny Cedeno SS, Ross Ohlendorf RHPUpdate: McCutchen said he had little soreness in his neck from dive yesterday on ball hit in outfield.
*Manager Clint Hurdle says lineup is not up yet because they are waiting on health status of Andrew McCutchen who has “upper body” injury, according to Colin Dunlap of the Post Gazette.
Starlin Castro SS, Darwin Barney 2B, Marlon Byrd CF, Aramis Ramirez 3B, Carlos Peña 1B, Geovany Soto C, Alfonso Soriano LF, Tyler Colvin RF, Matt Garza RHP
*Photo credit: @MikeShaeffer
- Right-hand pitcher Evan Meek is the kind of guy that want’s to get back out there the next day and redeem himself from the previous outing. Meek told Root Sports, “That’s the good thing about being a reliever. You know, you go out there and you don’t have your best stuff you know your going to get back out there soon. You just have to have a short memory. You can’t leave the ballpark beating your head about it. It’s not going to do me any good, it’s not going to do our team any good to do that. Tomorrow’s a new day, it’s a new game.”
- Injury updates:
James McDonald threw a successful bullpen session today without issue. McDonald (left side) will be ready to pitch on Tuesday against the Cardinals in St. Louis.
Left-hand reliever Joe Beimel (left elbow) threw a live batting practice session today in Bradenton, Fla. Catcher Chris Snyder (lower back) caught the session. Both were reported to be successful and without issue.
- The Pirates are not expected to compete in the National League Central this season, in fact, the Bucs are expected to finish fifth or sixth in the Central with an estimate of about 70-75 wins. But don’t tell the players that. They believe this team can prove the naysayer’s wrong.
Andrew McCutchen told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “They have a reason not to talk about us right now, We have to change it around. We don’t listen to what everyone else says. We just focus on what’s in front of us.”
Pitcher Kevin Correia told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “Other people probably don’t have expectations for us. As a team — as an organization — we have high expectations. You have to. There is no way to start a season with no or low expectations. You’re already beat then. Just because no one else has high expectations for us, we still do.”
Third baseman Pedro Alvarez added, “I think we have a pretty special bunch of guys,” Alvarez said. “If there is one thing we do well here, it is live in the moment. We don’t live in the past. We don’t look too far into the future. We look at the present. Right now, we have a great group of guys that can do some damage. Offensively, I think we’re pretty balanced.”
- Pirates No. 1 pitching prospect Jameson Taillon will start the season in extended spring training instead of Low-A West Virginia Power, like it was previously reported.
Taillon, who was selected in the first round (2nd overall) by the Pirates in the 2010 draft, will have limited innings this season and the organization does not want him to be done before the season ends.
General Manager Neal Huntington told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “We’re going to keep him in a controlled environment and slowly stretch him out. That way he can hopefully still be able to pitch at the end of the West Virginia season and have some innings left in him for instructional league. It’s all about the innings.”
Langosch also reports the same will go for right-hander Stetson Allie who was the Bucs second round pick in the same draft.