Hurdle sees good and bad in Correia’s start


Among the things that Pirates manager Clint Hurdle thought starter Kevin Correia did well in his start tonight against the Yankees: He threw some good sequences, was able to get through four innings and had an efficient, 13-pitch fourth.

He was also able to minimize damage in two of his innings, allowing a total of three runs to score when there could have conceivably been more.

Case in point, the third inning, when he led off with a triple to Derek Jeter and walked Russell Martin. He struck out Mark Teixeira then gave up singles to Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano, allowing two runs to come across. He struck out Andruw Jones, but then Pedro Ciriaco’s catching error on what should have been a force out at second loaded the bases with two outs. Justin Maxwell grounded into a force out to end the inning.

But — as Correia admitted earlier in the night — there’s still work to be done.

“He needs to get ahead in counts quicker,” Hurdle said. “He was behind in too many counts, too many upside down counts that he had to battle back into. He’s not Opening Day sharp, but he’s making progress.”

And by Opening Day sharp, Hurdle made certain to clarify, he meant the opening of the season. He wasn’t implying that he was naming anyone the Opening Day starter just yet.

• As far as the 16 strikeouts for the Pirates in the 4-2 loss, Hurdle said that “worried” would not be an appropriate term to use for their feelings on the matter. “The one thing you have to look at is how you’re getting the two strikes,” he said. “I think we’re getting balls to hit early in the count that we’re not hitting on.”

• And as for Charlie Morton, who gave up just one run and two hits in three innings, Hurdle thought he pitched well. “He sunk the ball well. He was very aggressive again with all his pitches. I think the comfort is picking up. You’re watching him get on the mound, get settled, get a sign, not a lot of fidgeting, he’s just very confident out there, very comfortable and he’s been very, very aggressive.”

• I can’t take credit for this one. That has to go to Keith Olbermann, who asked if anyone had rolled out the “Lambo Fields” joke yet. Get it…(Andrew) Lambo….(Josh) Fields….hey, I liked it. Anyhow, the two had a nice play in the eighth, with Jorge Vazquez flying out to Lambo in right field and Lambo then gunning the ball over to Fields at third to get Eduardo Nunez out for a double-play.