MIAMI — It was an awful three-game series for the starting rotation. Paul Maholm (3 2/3 innings), Charlie Morton (five) and James McDonald (three) combined for a 15.43 ERA against the Marlins.
“We don’t have enough quality in our pitches in the last three games,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “They’re missing location. James threw a high fastball over home plate with the bases loaded. How did the guys get on base? By walks. We’re missing zones. We’re not getting the balls where (the catcher is) set up. We’re missing mid-thigh and up, over the plate in the strike zone.”
»»» A lot of Florida’s hot hitting in the series came from the bottom of the order — pitchers or, as was the case tonight, the guys hitting sixth, seventh and eighth.
“Where we’re getting hurt … you’d like to think that doesn’t happen,” Hurdle said. “But if you pay attention to every game from this point on, you’ll see the bottom of the order can hurt people. Those guys are down there for a reason, but also a swinging bat’s a dangerous bat. When pitches are not located where they’re supposed to be, guys hit ‘em.”
»»» Right-hander Kevin Hart (shoulder) came over from Bradenton to work out with the Pirates for the entire series in Miami. After the game, he dressed, packed and flew to … Pittsburgh. “I’m going to work there for a few days,” he said.
With so much uneven play lately, I kind of have the feeling there could be a change or two — a callup, a trade, something — in the next few days.