Clint Hurdle, welcome to the Pirates.
Hate to say it, but others already are after watching the last two games. They just smacked of what everyone around here has been seeing for all too long.
But change is a process, and now we get to see what Hurdle can do to get these guys out of their slump. It isn’t like they were routinely scoring in double-digits the first 10 games, winning 5-4, 4-3, 3-1. But at least they were winning. That’s now something they haven’t done in four straight games and only once in the six-game homestand (it would have been seven games if not for Tuesday’s rain-out) that started last Thursday.
They are going on the road, and they had success in their season-opening road series at Chicago and St. Louis, so there is that. And Hurdle had the pitchers out on the field today practicing the same bunt play that Kevin Correia misplayed the night before, so he’s not one to let problems fester.
Here’s what Hurdle had to say about the at-bats and what they may need to do:
“There’s that fine line of getting a good strike, of swinging at what you’re looking for. Whether we’re being too selective, I’d have to look at some more tape from tonight. You try to simplify when things aren’t going well. Maybe we need to start dividing the plate in halves, just look away and stay away, look in and stay there instead of trying to hit everything.
“I think sometimes you fall into those sequences where you’re trying to hit everything. Randy Wolf had a pretty good fastball, threw a couple 3-2 changeups to (Neil) Walker the second time he put the barrel on, threw the cutter, threw the curveball. You just have to give up on something, eliminate something and zone in. Whether it be up or down or in and out, we have to simplify things. I believe that we’re trying to hit all the pitches. We’re trying to hit too many pitches, too much of the plate.”