Results tagged ‘ dbacks ’
The Pittsburgh Pirates (8-8) will open up a three-game series against the Florida Marlins (8-6) tonight at7:05 PM ET in Miami, Fla.
Left-hander Paul Maholm (0-2, 2.33 ERA) will face righty Josh Johnson (2-0, 1.35 ERA)
Maholm has had three strong starts for the Pirates, but has had little run support during his outings. Maholm has allowed just five runs over 19.1 innings this season. During his last start against the Brewers, Maholm allowed two runs to score in the first but then tossed six scoreless frames after. He allowed four hits with three walks and six strikeouts over seven innings. Maholm is 3-4 with a 4.89 ERA in seven career starts against the Marlins.
Johnson had a no-hitter going until giving up a hit to the Braves Freddie Freeman with one out in the 8th inning. He’s allowed just three earned runs in three starts this season (20 innings).
News and Notes:
- Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan has not been comfortable throwing his slider this season, but despite that, he has still managed to pick up five saves.
Hanrahan told Kevin Goheen of MLB.com, “If something’s not working, you still have to figure out a way to get guys out. Sometimes you just make things up when you’re out there. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but for me, it comes back to believing in it and trusting in it.”
Hanrahan has allowed three runs on 11 hits with two walks and eight strikeouts over nine innings (eight appearances) this season.
- Kevin Correia’s complete game on Monday’s 9-3 win to the Cincinnati Reds was the second of his career. His other complete game came on September 25, 2009 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- It also marked the second complete game by a Bucs starter in the past four games (Charlie Morton, the other). The Pirates had just one complete game in 2010 (Paul Maholm). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first season for the Pirates to have more than one complete game win in April since 1992 –the last year the Pirates had a winning record.
- Seven different players (Jose Tabata, Matt Diaz, Steve Pearce, Chris Snyder, Neil Walker, Lyle Overbay and Ronny Cedeno) had at least two hits in last night’s 9-3 victory over the Reds.
- The Pirates took three of four from the Reds –the first series win in Cincinnati since 2008.
- They also have won three straight road series for the first time since April in 2002. The Bucs have won seven of 10 games on the road this season.
- Pedro Alvarez is back in the lineup tonight after given the day of on Monday. Alvarez is batting just .193 on the season. Known for his slow starts to the season, Alvarez has been working extensively with hitting coach Gregg Ritchie and Manager Clint Hurdle.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Kevin Goheen of MLB.com, “We’re just trying to help him find his way back to finding some consistency on offense. His recovery period hasn’t been what you would want at this level. Every hitter is going to go through some periods when they’re down and their stroke’s not right, but what creates separation at this level is the recovery time. You want it to be shorter than longer, and there’s been some length to this.”
Andrew McCutchen CF, Jose Tabata LF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Garrett Jones RF, Ryan Doumit C, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Ronny Cedeno SS, Paul Maholm LHP
Chris Coglan CF, Omar Infante 2B, Hanley Ramirez SS, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Logan Morrison LF, Mike Stanton RF, John Buck C, Emilio Bonifacio 3B, Josh Johnson RHP
The Pittsburgh Pirates (7-8) will face the Cincinnati Reds (9-6) for the fourth and final game of the series.
With the Bucs 7-6 wild victory last night, they are looking to win their third road series in as many tries. The last time the Pirates won three consecutive road series was in April of 2002 (Mets, Cubs, Brewers).
Right-hander Kevin Correia (2-1, 2.70 ERA) will start for the Pirates against left-hander Travis Wood (1-1, 3.86 ERA).
Correia suffered his first loss against the Brewers last start. After tossing five no-hit innings, Correia allowed four runs in the 6th (including a three-run homer to Prince Fielder). Correia has been solid for the Bucs so far this season. He allowed just two runs during his first two starts (13 innings). Correia has also pitched at least six innings in each of his first three starts this season.
Wood is coming off a no-decision in which he allowed just one run on five hits, over 6.2 innings against the San Diego Padres. His second start of the season, wasn’t as pretty. He allowed six earned runs over five frames against the Diamondbacks. Wood has pitched into the seventh in two of his three starts this season.
News and Notes:
- Ronny Cedeno’s bunt in the 8th inning of the Pirates 7-6 victory of the Reds’s was his idea. With runners on first and third, Cedeno bunted towards pitcher Logan Ondrusek, who fielded the ball and threw it to catcher Ryan Hannigan, to barely tag out a sliding Garrett Jones at home plate.
A controversial play that got twitter a buzzing.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Bill Brink of the Post-Gazette, “Actually if the bunt goes another foot, we’re safe. It didn’t go enough, the guy made a great play. We take chances.”
- As It was pointed out yesterday, Garrett Jones is swinging a hot bat as of late. Last night he continued to hit as he went 2-for-4 with a run, RBI and a walk.
Jones has been putting in extensive time with hitting Coach Gregg Ritchie and Manager Clint Hurdle to make a few adjustments on his swing.
Jones told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “It’s all starting to come into place, feel better. I feel like I’m using my hands a lot better. I have hit some balls good the last few days and have had some good at-bats. I’m just going to try and keep that going, and keep that consistent. Every day I’m starting to feel better and where I want to be.”
Jones taking batting practice at great American ball park. *Photo credit: BucsInsider
Andrew McCutchen CF, Jose Tabata LF, Matt Diaz, RF, Neil Walker 2B, Steve Pearce 3B, Lyle Overbay 1B, Chris Snyder C, Ronny Cedeno SS, Kevin Correia RHP
Drew Stubbs CF, Edgar Renteria SS, Joey Votto 1B, Scott Rolen 3B, Jonny Gomes LF, Jay Bruce RF, Miguel Cairo 2B, Ryan Hannigan C, Travis Wood LHP
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
Former Pirate Doug Drabek, who is now a pitching coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks minor league system, sees differences in the game from when he used to play.
“The game has changed a little bit,” Drabek said. “But it is still, basically, that you show up on time, you go out and play hard. The fundamentals, the basics are all the same. It is still throw strikes, catch the ball, hit the ball. It is the same game.”
The big difference he says, is pitch counts.
“There is a pitch count that I had to learn,” he said of when he transitioned to a coach. “At first, I didn’t believe in it. I figured that you’d go until you get tired, and hitters will let you know if you are tired or not or if you are just stinkin’ that bad.”
“But I saw how [throwing too many pitches] affected some. Where you could tell, toward the end [of a season] that they weren’t used [to throwing so many pitches].
“A lot of guys were asking, ‘Why does my fastball not feel like it normally does?’ … I see where it is best, now, for these guys to give their arm, and their body, a little break.”
On Tuesday’s edition of Hot Stove on MLB Network, they showcased the Pittsburgh Pirates in part of the 30 Clubs in 30 Recaps.
Here is what the analysts had to say:
“1992 was the last season in which Pittsburgh finished with a winning record. For a once proud franchise the Buccos have become somewhat of a forgotten team in their own city. It also doesn’t help the Penguins won a Stanley cup two years ago, and Sunday, the Steelers can win their third super bowl in six years. We look back at the 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates.”
*Video clips through out the season were showed. Garrett Jones two run homerun on opening day, Evan Meek’s first career save (against the Dodgers), Andrew McCutchen’s hot month of May (.327 avg), the rookie debuts of Neil Walker, Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez, the 12 straight losses, Alvarez’s walk-off three run homer against the Rockies, notching the 18th consecutive losing season, John Russell getting fired, and the hiring of Clint Hurdle.
Greg Amsinger: “Another rough season in 2010 for the Pirates. Hence all of these changes:”
Pirates Notable transactions this offseason by MLB Network:
RP Joe Beimel
SP Kevin Correia
OF Matt Diaz
3B Josh Fields
SP Scott Olsen
1B Lyle Overbay
SS Cesar Valdez
SP Zach Duke
SP Dana Eveland
RP Chan Ho Park
3B Andy LaRoche
RP Joe Martinez
OF Lastings Milledge
Amsinger: “Zach Duke is gone. He’s not going to be in that rotation. Andy LaRoche is not going to be at third base. Lastings Milledge is still a free agent so who knows where he’ll go. But you see all the additions. The biggest addition though, is the skipper of this club, Clint Hurdle.”
Todd Zeile: “I agree with you 100 percent. Clint, you heard him in the press conference say, ‘It’s got to turn eventually. We’re not going to back down to anybody.’ That’s the kind of mentality Clint Hurdle has. I think he truly believes in it. I think he instills that kind of confidence in his players –especially young players. In 2002, Clint took over for Buddy Bell, when Buddy Bell was fired. We were on the ropes. We had a bunch of veteran guys that he just let play. But at the same time, we had a guy named Juan Uribe, who we saw in the world series last year, this guy was as raw and unfettered as you could find. Clint found a way to get him to hone in his skills, but still let him play and didn’t destroy his confidence. He made sure he knew every time he walked out there, Clint believed in him. I think he’s got that same kind of capability. Look, realistically, they are looking to the future. While they got a lot of kids on that team that have a lot of potential in the future, including Pedro Alvarez. You showed the highlight of him, Alvarez had a really rough start but finished really strong. A guy like Clint I think can help take him to the next level.”
Al Lieter: “I agree. I love Clint. You mentioned about Alvarez, Greg Smith their scouting director, whole new deal there. Neal Huntington a whole lot different from Dave Littlefield, cleaning up the mess. You have a $40 million payroll. I think about all the additions and what is important. I think what is important is your starting rotation. No question about it. I go to what the Padres did last year. You have really nice quality pitchers like the Padres did in [Clayton] Richard, [Mat] Latos, and [Wade] LeBlanc. You have to get something out of your guys and look for the future. You got James McDonald, nice pickup with the Dodgers. Paul Maholm, making a lot of money right now for what he’s bringing in. Ross Ohlendorf was 1-11. You bring in a guy with some innings, that you can bring in a Kevin Correia that can maybe hold over for the future. This is about draft picks, this is about your player development. Everything that goes on from the bottom up, to eventually find that diamond. That’s what I would be sitting on and I look to the Padres. Last year, two teams under $40 million dollars in payroll: both the Pirates and the Padres. It starts with pitching.”
Harold Reynolds: “It does. It actually starts with draft also. I love what Clint Hurdle can bring to the table. You got to be positive with the young guys. You heard me say, ‘You got to play the young talent’. Some of the guys they are bringing in, the draft they had last year. They had two top picks, you get [Jameson] Taillon and you also get [Stetson] Allie, who should have been a number one pick as well. So they get those two guys to get it going in the minor leagues. It starts with pitching. You can move pitching and you can add players with having good pitching. But I love the fact that guys they have in the big leagues already. With [Andrew] McCutchen, I love [Neil] Walker the second baseman, and you look at Alvarez. Those three guys are a great core to start with and you go from there. The Pirates are on up!
Amsinger: “It’s a great sports city. They love the penguins, of course they love the Steelers, if they can get a winning product there for the Pirates they will come fill the most beautiful ball park in the game.”
Pirates Projected Rotation (According to MLB Network)
First baseman Lyle Overbay’s decision to come to Pittsburgh this season had a lot to do with Manager Clint Hurdle.
“I’ve got three boys,” Overbay said of his sons who are 7, 6 and 2. “And Clint Hurdle is a man who is, in a sense, raising boys here in this clubhouse. He is an inspirational person and I’d like to coach someday and that is the kind of man I want to surround myself with.”
“Things are changing here and I want to be part of something special,” Overbay said.
Overbay made his major league debut in 2001 with Arizona and spent three years with the Diamondbacks. He then spent two seasons with the Brewers and the last five with the Blue Jays.
“I was with Milwaukee when we lost just as much and my second year there [in 2005], we turned it around. It was like we had won the World Series [finishing 81-81]. That same kind of stepping stone can be done here, things are changing, confidence is here, people here are not accepting losing. It doesn’t take long around these guys to realize it.”
Overbay attended the Bucs mini camp held this week where one of the things that was discussed was trust.
“I want to know where I am and be part of the solution and help,” Overbay said. “One of the questions Clint asked me, and he asked everyone was, ‘Do you trust me?’
“You have to trust him because he’s honest. He tells you where you stand with him. I’m a grown man and if he says something that I might not like, he’s not out there to hurt me, he’s out there to make me better. I understand that and that’s a big part of what is going to be the atmosphere around here — you have to trust Clint.”
Fans were not happy that the Pirates didn’t sign a bigger name free-agent first baseman (like Derek Lee) but instead signed Overbay. Hurdle addressed which players the Pirates acquire:
“At this point in time, people need to realize something,” he said. “We need to identify players who are out there, but who also want to come here, and then we have to go recruit those guys.
“There are a lot of people who say, ‘Well, you should have gone out and tried to get this guy or that guy.’ Well, you know what, maybe that guy never even wanted to come to Pittsburgh. And it is not about another million dollars or another 3 million dollars, there are some guys who are never coming to Pittsburgh. That’s the reality of where we are right now. And the reality is we aren’t going to get them until we start winning.”
As Pirates’ beat reporter Jenifer Langosch points out in her latest article, A look at Pirates catchers, this is how Ryan Doumit will fit in with the Bucs during the 2011 season.
- $11 is due to catchers Chris Snyder and Ryan Doumit, but it doesn’t look as unbalanced as it seems (The estimated payroll for 2011 is in the low to mid $50 M range). $3 M was sent along with Chris Snyder in the trade with Arizona, so once subtracted, the Bucs will owe him a reasonable $2.75 M for this season. Doumit will make $5.1 million in 2011.
- Doumit, if not traded, will serve as a backup catcher. General Manager Neal Huntington has said that Chris Snyder will be the Bucs primary catcher even if Doumit out plays him in Spring Training. Snyder is a huge defensive upgrade over Doumit, allowing only nine passed balls in 2010. Snyder also lead all catchers with a .999 fielding percentage since 2007, at the time of the trade.
- Don’t expect to see Doumit only one day a week (what normal backup catchers play). The Pirates believe Doumit will not battle as many injuries with less time behind the plate. He will play some time in right field and is an option at first base –if he improves on his defense at that position. Doumit can be a threat off the bench. The switch hitter batted .251 with 13 homers and 45 RBIs in 124 games last season.
- It appears there are no serious suitors for Ryan Doumit, but if he doesn’t make it to opening day with the Pirates, Jason Jaramillo could serve as a backup catcher. There is a chance, if Manager Clint Hurdle wants to use Doumit primarily as a pinch-hitter, that the Bucs could have three catchers on the 25-man roster. If not, Jaramillo will be the everyday catcher at Triple-A Indy.
Incase you missed Hot Stove from Wednesday night, or perhaps you don’t get the channel, here is what the analysts from MLB Network had to say about the Pirates 2011 season (P.S. It’s not pretty).
Matt Yallof: “The Pirates. Every single year. It seems to get worse. 57 wins last year. That seems difficult to do.”
Bill Ripken: “You wonder what direction they’re heading in. Our friend Clint Hurdle is taking over this club. I think he’s going to bring an attitude and a positive mentality to this club. But for me, I look at the pitching staff. In all these years that they’ve finished down to the bottom of baseball, I’m wanting to know where that number one is. We mentioned [Steven] Strasburg when we talk about the Nationals. Now, he blew out his elbow and he got hurt. But when you draft, you draft a number one. You draft some cheddar. When I look at the Pittsburgh Pirates rotation, I’m kind of wondering, ‘where’s the heat’? I’m not saying heats everything because you can pitch to spots and you can locate. When everybody on your staff is throwing 91, 92, then you drop down below 90, throwing 86, 88. There’s not that one guy that actually wows me. [Charlie] Morton throws the hardest. When you’re looking at 93 topping out, I’m wanting to know, ‘where the heat is?’ If you didn’t draft it, and you go out and you pick out other guys that are kind of throwing the same, ‘where’s the heat?’ I want somebody in that rotation that’s going to make somebody swing and miss at a fastball and maybe get yourself out of a jam instead of giving up big innings.”
Pirates projected rotation (according to MLB Network)
James McDonald (4-6, 4.02 ERA in 2010)
Paul Maholm (9-15, 5.10 ERA in 2010)
Kevin Correia (10-10 5.40 ERA in 2010)
Scott Olsen (4-8, 5.56 ERA in 2010)
Ross Ohlendorf (1-11, 4.07 ERA in 2010)
Mitch Williams: “There has to be a guy on every staff that at some point in the game, can reach back and throw the ball 95, 96. If you’ve got two outs and the bases loaded, two strikes on a hitter, you have got to have that guy that can blow that hitter up. Pittsburgh does not have that guy. They have guys that throw hitting speed.”
Matt Yallof: “You know what, they’ve had their chances to draft guys of note and guys that do what you’re taking about but they’ve missed. They’ve had high draft picks over and over. That hurts. Look at the guys they’ve passed on. They’ve missed those type of guys.”
Pitchers drafted in first round by Pirates since 2002:
Drafted – Right hand pitcher Brad Lincoln
Missed on – Left hand pitcher Clayton Kershaw, right hand pitcher Tim Lincecum, Right hand pitcher Matt Scherzer
Drafted – Left hand pitcher Paul Maholm
Missed on – Left hand pitcher John Danks, Right hand pitcher Chad Billingsley
Drafted – right hand pitcher Brian Bullington
Missed on – Right hand pitcher Zach Greinke, left hand pitcher Cole Hamels
(*As a note: Kevin McClatchy and Dave Littlefield were the General Managers during this time. Since Neal Huntington took over as GM in September of 2007, the drafting and minor league system has done a complete 180. Huntington really hasn’t gotten enough credit for what he has done so far and how much better the organization is heading.)
Harold Reynolds: “That’s the easy stuff they’ve missed on. Those are the number one picks. It’s the guys in the fifth round, six round, that your scouting is suggesting and going after. They’ve done a nice job with some players that have come up as of late (Williams: “position players”). But they’ve really missed it on the pitching.”
Ripken: “That term that comes into baseball now: Sign ability. Some of that might be their hands are tied a little bit but boy when you see that list and some of those players they’ve passed up on, wow! They’d look a lot different.”
Reynolds: “If you look back at the ‘we are family pirates’ they were international. They were: Puerto Rico, Dominican, they may not have had the funds back then but they went in those countries and developed players. I still think they had the market cornered. That’s when everybody wanted to be a pirate.”
Williams: “They won the World Series with the ugliest hats in the history of baseball.”
Yallof: “Last winning season: 1992. It’s really hard to believe.”
Notable Transactions (by MLB Network)
First baseman – Lyle Overbay
Outfielder – Matt Diaz
Right hand pitcher – Kevin Correia
Left hand pitcher – Scott Olsen
Left hand pitcher – Zach Duke
Right hand pitcher – Chan Ho Park
Outfielder – Lastings Milledge
The Pirates have acquired right-hand pitcher Cesar Valdez from the Arizona Diamondbacks for the player to be named later in the Zach Duke trade.
In nine games with the Backs (20 innings) during the 2010 season, Valdez allowed 19 runs (17 earned) while walking 10 and striking out 13.
“It’s a right-hander with heavy sink,” Huntington said of Valdez. “He gets a lot of groundballs. He’s going to mix-and-match. He’s going to hit his spots. He’s a guy that we feel can help maybe out of the bottom of the rotation or use as a long man. He’s a guy to add to our depth and our competition to make our club.”
According to MLB Trade Rumors, seven teams are interested in veteran right hander Octavio Dotel. The Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Orioles, Twins, Pirates and Yankees have reportably inquired.
Dotel, 37, spent the 2010 season with the Pirates, Dodgers and Rockies while posting a 4.08 ERA. He had 21 saves as the Bucs closer.