Results tagged ‘ jose tabata ’
The Pittsburgh Pirates (5-4) will face the Colorado Rockies (5-2) for the final game of a four games series at 1:35 PM/ET.
Right-hander James McDonald will face righty Jhoulys Chacin.
- McDonald missed time during spring training with left side soreness, but pitched well during his first start of the season. He allowed two runs on four hits over 4.2 innings, with four strikeouts and four walks. 51 of his 87 pitches were for strikes.
- Chacin seven scoreless innings against the Dodgers during his first start of the season.
- Ryan Doumit’s home run in the 2nd inning of last night’s game was his 48th of his career. He is tied with Smoky Burgess and Manny Sanguillen for fourth place all-time on the clubs homer list.
- Jose Tabata’s solo home run in the 8th inning last night extended his hitting streak to nine games. He has hit safely in each of the first nine games of the season. The streak is currently the longest in the majors. During that span, Tabata is batting .343 with two-home runs, six walks, four stolen bases and 10 runs scored.
Tabata also hit home runs in back-to-back night’s for the first time in his career (He also homered in the 5th inning of Friday’s game).
- The Pirates pitching staff’s 3.00 ERA through nine games (28 earned runs in 84.0 innings) ranks third in the National League behind the Colorado Rockies (2.71) and San Francisco Giants (2.92).
- The Pirates have their first off day on Monday after 10 straight games to start the year. No other team has had that long of a stretch without an offday to start the season.
- Catcher Chris Snyder was eligible to come off the DL on Saturday and it shouldn’t be much longer before he is back with the big league club. Snyder is scheduled to catch nine innings on Sunday and he is having no issues with his back. To make room for Snyder on the roster, Jason Jaramillo is most likely the one to be sent down to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune reports that Manager Clint Hurdle confirmed the team will not carry three catchers once Snyder is healthy.
If the Bucs need an emergency catcher, the No. 3 catcher would be Matt Diaz or Steve Pearce.
- Evan Meek (right shoulder soreness) is unlikely to see action until Tuesday for precautionary reasons. Meek threw long toss on Saturday and it was reported that he is feeling better.
- The Pirates placed right-hand pitcher Ross Ohlendorf (right shoulder posterior strain) on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday. Righty Daniel McCutchen was re-called from Triple-A Indianapolis.
- Righty Brad Lincoln (right arm contusion) is scheduled to start a rehab assignment today for the Triple-A Indians. He will pitch about four innings (65 pitches).
Dexter Fowler CF, Jonathan Herrera 2B, Jason Giambo 1B, Troy Tulowitzki SS, Seth Smith RF, Jose Lopez 3B, Ty Wigginton LF, Chris Iannetta C, Jhoulys Chacin RHP
Jose Tabata LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Ryan Doumit C, Garrett Jones RF, Ronny Cedeno SS, James McDonald RHP
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
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
- Prior to today’s home opener, the Pirates had a tribute for Hall of Fame Manager Chuck Tanner who passed away in February. They showed a wonderful video tribute and also unveiled a decal of Tanner’s No. 7 jersey on the right center field wall.
Injury updates (reported by Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com)
Catcher Chris Snyder (lower back) and Right-hand pitcher Brad Lincoln (right arm contusion) are starting a rehab assignment with Single-A Bradenton.
Snyder will play in Thursday’s game and Lincoln will start for the Marauders on Monday. The Pirates have not said how long the rehab assignment will last. This marks Lincoln’s first game since being hit on the right arm with a line drive by the Phillies Jimmy Rollins.
Lefty Joe Beimel (left elbow) will throw on Friday.
- Neil Walker started in his first major league home opener this afternoon. Walker, a Pittsburgh native, told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com prior to the game, “Well, it feels pretty good. Obviously, growing up in Pittsburgh and seeing a lot of home openers, I’m excited to be here. We’ve started the season off well. What more can you ask for? Thank you.”
- Manager Clint Hurdle met with media for a press conference prior to today’s game. He told Root Sports, “The home opener’s always special. Added significance this season for me personally; an opportunity to manage the Pittsburgh Pirates. I’m humbled by the opportunity. [I'm] Really looking forward to rolling my sleeves up with everybody in this organization and re-bonding the city with a ball club. And to finally get home, after starting on the road for a week, We’re happy to be home. Everybody in that clubhouse is happy to be home.”
- With a lead off single in the 1st inning, Jose Tabata extended his hit streak to seven games.
- The Pirates will face the Rockies again on Friday night at 7:05 PM/ET. Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf will start for the Bucs.
- Right-hand pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (right thumb) was placed on the disabled-list, so the Pirates will not face him this series. The starters for the following three game are as follows: Jorge De La Rosa will start on Friday, followed by Greg Reynolds (vs. Charlie Morton) and Jhoulys Chacin (vs. James McDonald).
- Monday will be the first off day for the Pirates since opening day. Pittsburgh is the only team to open the season with 10 straight games without a day off.
The Pirates combined for just four hits off of the Colorado pitching staff (lead by Esmil Rogers) in the 7-1 loss to the Rockies on the Bucs home opener.
Rogers allowed just one run on four hits over 7.1 innings with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Neil Walker told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “A lot of us were up there looking for certain pitches. When he’s throwing 93, 94, 95 (mph) on the inner half for strikes to righties and lefties, your eyes light up when you see balls over the plate then, when you go to swing at 94, 95, it’s tough to barrel it up. I think we’ll be more prepared next time we face him.”
39,219 fans –the second largest crowd in PNC Park history– packed the stadium in their black and yellow on a gorgeous afternoon but the Pirates unfortunately couldn’t at pull out the third straight home opener victory.
Left-hander Paul Maholm started his first career home opener for the Bucs, and his second start of the season.
Maholm allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits with one strikeout over 5.2 innings.
Maholm tweeted after the loss, “The fans deserved a better opening day performance from all of us. Sorry. We still expect to win the series. #letsgobucs!”
The first pitch thrown by the left hander was hit into center field by the Rockies leadoff batter, Dexter Fowler. With one out, Carlos Gonzalez hit a ground ball to second, but Walker’s throw to the base was off as it went past Ronny Cedeno and into left field. Fowler scored and Gonzalez advanced to third on the two base error. Troy Tulowitzki followed with a sac fly to put Colorado up 2-0 in the 1st.
Walker told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “I just blew it. Just a terrible play. Just bad. I just didn’t make the play. I hurried it. That’s it.”
Jose Tabata lead off the bottom of the 1st with a single to center field. Walker hit a single, advancing Tabata to third base and also swiped his first bag of the season. Andrew McCutchen hit a grounder to third to score Tabata and cut the lead 2-1.
The Bucs, the run in the 1st inning was the only run they would score the remainder of the game.
Tulowitzki lead off the 4th inning with a solo homerun to the left field seats, giving the Rockies a 3-1 lead.
Tulowitzki told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “Obviously, they’ve played good baseball. Today they made a few mistakes and we took advantage of it. But I know Hurdle. He’s a good manager. He’ll do a good job over there.”
Maholm allowed three straight hits (two of them doubles) in the 6th as the Rockies added two more insurance runs.
Resop also gave up three straight hits (all singles) and two runs, pushing the Rockies lead to 7-1.
Rogers retired 18 batters in a row until Ronny Cedeno singled in the 8th inning. Steve Pearce, who pinch hit for Garrett Olson, singled and picked up his first hit of the season. With two on and one out, Tabata hit into an inning ending double play to end the threat.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “He was aggressive. I expected more from our offense. We’re always going to expect more from our offense. Rogers showed up and pitched well.”
The Pirates quickly got to right-hand pitcher Kyle McClellan, scoring two runs in the 1st inning, but the bats fell silent as they lost 3-2 to the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Tuesday.
Jose Tabata lead off the 1st inning with a double to center field before Lyle Overbay hit a home run, his first as a Bucco, to give the Pirates an early 2-0 lead.
James McDonald, who was sidelined several weeks in spring training due to left side soreness, allowed two runs on four hits over 4.2 innings in his season debut while walking four and striking out four. He threw 87 pitches, 51 for strikes.
McDonald told Nate Latasch of MLB.com, “It was progress. I got into some situations, but I’m proud of the way I controlled the situations and got out of jams. I didn’t have my great stuff today, but I had enough stuff to compete and keep my team in the game, so I was happy.”
Manager Clint Hurdle added, “His arm was strong. Threw some good breaking balls. Command a little iffy right now, but he battled. To almost get through five and give up two runs, it was a good step forward for him. He got up in the higher 80s with his pitches from 69 last time. He needs to get in front of hitters a little bit more. He was behind a lot of hitters today. But I thought it was a good effort for him.”
McClellan, who made his first major league start, held the Pirates to two runs on six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts over six innings.
Overbay told Matthew Leach of MLB.com, “You have to give credit to the other pitcher. He did real well. He kept the ball down. When he got in trouble he made the big pitch.”
McDonald didn’t allow a hit until Lance Berkman doubled in the 4th inning. The leadoff hit proved to be costly, as he was driven by a single hit by Allen Craig.
The Cardinals tacked on another run in the 5th after McDonald allowed back-to-back singles to Ryan Theroit and Colby Rasmus. Albert Pujols hit a sac fly to center to tie the game at two.
Lefty Scott Olson allowed a walk to Theroit and a single to Colby Rasums before Pujols stepped to the plate. After being rather quiet against the Bucs during Monday’s game, Pujols picked up his second RBI of the game, knocking in Theriot, and putting the Cardinals on top, 3-2.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Late in the game, walks don’t help. They usually hurt. And the walk to Theriot hurt. … Chris [Resop] made a good pitch to Pujols.”
“Got a two-hopper, found a hole.”
With two outs in the 8th inning, Andrew McCutchen hit a single and Lyle Overbay drew a walk but the opportunity was wasted as Pedro Alvarez struck out (for the third time of the night) to end the threat.
The Pirates struck out a total of 11 times. With the loss, the they drop to 3-2 this season, the Cardinals improved to 2-3. If the Bucs can pick up a victory on Wednesday, it would be the first time since 2007 that the Pirates have won back-to-back series on the road.
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
A solid pitching performance by Charlie Morton and a two-run home run by Andrew McCutchen lifted the Bucs 4-3 over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Monday night.
Morton proved his spring stats were not a fluke as he limited the Cardinals to just one run on three hits over six innings (97 pitches) with five walks and two strikeouts.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “He did everything you could have hoped he would have done. He pitched an outstanding ball game.”
While his walk rate was rather high, what was most impressive was the fact that he was able to work his way out of several jams.
In the bottom of the 4th, after walking Lance Berkman and Allen Craig back-to-back, Morton got Yadier Molina to ground out to escape the inning without a run scoring.
Morton told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “I’m pitching more to contact. I know that sounds weird; I walked five guys. But I want him to hit it. I wanted to throw a good sinker and have him hit it. He did, and we got out of it.”
Down 1-0 in the 6th, the Pirates scored four runs off of right-hander Kyle Lohse. Ronny Cedeno lead off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Charlie Morton. Jose Tabata drew a seven pitch walk and Neil Walker hit a two-run double to take a 2-1 lead. With those two runs, Walker has a National League leading seven RBI.
In the next at-bat McCutchen, who was back in the lineup after missing Sunday with ‘upper body soreness’, hit a two-run home run to give the Pirates a 4-1 lead.
Evan Meek’s early season struggles continued as he allowed two singles, a walk, and two earned runs in the 8th.
Joel Hanrahan picked up a four out save, striking out two. Hanrahan’s three saves lead the majors.
The Pirates are now 3-1 on the season. The Cardinals fall to 1-3.