HOUSTON — — Before Sunday’s game, the Pirates made two moves to shore up their battered pitching staff. Left-hander Brian Burres was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, and righty Brian Bass was selected from Indy.
Bass will take the place of Chris Jakubauskas (concussion), who was placed on the 15-day disabled list. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Bass, Indianapolis outfielder Brandon Jones was designated for assignment.
To clear a spot on the active roster for Burres, right-hander Daniel McCutchen was optioned to Indianapolis.
“I can definitely use some time to work things out,” said McCutchen, who went 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in four outings (three starts). “I need to get my arm strength up. Maybe that’s the reason the results haven’t quite been there for me.”
Manager John Russell said a lack of command is McCutchen’s biggest problem — and his problems were many.
“He needs to get back into his game,” Russell said. “He tried to do a little bit too much here. The shape of his pitches, he was too flat. His secondary pitches weren’t as sharp. He lost that feel, the angle, the sink, the depth of his breaking ball, inconsistency, yanking his changeup too much. It all kind of snowballed on him.”
Unless he has to make an emergency relief outing tomorrow, Burres probably will start Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers. Burres has not pitched since the Pirates sent him back to Indy five days ago.
– Shortstop Ronny Cedeno was scratched from the lineup today due to flu-like symptoms. Bobby Crosby started at short and made a throwing error in the fourth inning which allowed Carlos Lee to score.
– Indianapolis’ game Saturday night was rained out, so the team was watching the Pirates game on TV when Jakubauskas was hit in the head by a line drive. “It’s every pitcher’s worst nightmare,” Bass said. “When you see it happen to somebody you know, somebody you’re buddies with, it really shakes you up.”