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Meek looking for a change


Have a happy and peaceful Easter!

The first two games have been taut, one-run affairs and the Pirates have used five of their seven relief pitchers. Evan Meek was not one of them, which perhaps is indicative of how far he still has to go before he’s fully returned to form. “Unfortunately, I’m not in the situation I’d like to be in right now, in terms of pitching later in the game,” Meek told me yesterday. “But, that’s something I can work toward. I can control being prepared to pitch. We’ll have to see where it goes. I’m realistic about my role right now, whether it be coming in to get one out or whatever (Clint Hurdle) has planned. That’s out of my control. All I can do is be effective, get outs and do what I can to help us win.”

As always, Meek will rely on his cutter and breaking ball. He also is trying to add a changeup to his mix and worked on it a bit this spring, but it’s not quite game-ready yet. “It’s good. It can be really good,” he said. “I just need to get into counts where I can throw it and not be hurt by it. Anytime you learn a new pitch, it’s not just about learning how to throw it. It’s about learning when to use it and how it will be effective. I throw it with my warmup pitches in the bullpen. Once I’m in a game, I’ll go with what I feel is best and that’s fastball and breaking ball. Over the course of the year, if I get that pitch down and I read the hitters sitting dead-red (on the fastball), maybe I’ll throw them (the changeup) early in the count.”

»»» Phillies RHP Vance Worley dominated the Pirates in a Grapefruit League game, but overall he had mixed results this spring. “I saw some tape of his next two starts and he didn’t look like the same guy,” Hurdle said this morning. “He had a very good season last year. He competes very well. He does a nice job with the running game. It’s not like you’re going to get a breath of fresh air today facing him. But after (Roy) Halladay and (Cliff) Lee, we’ll take our chances and see what we can do with this guy. He’s good. The left-handed (hitters) know Worley is going to pitch both sides of the plate with the fastball, he’s going to spin the ball and throw that changeup. We’ve got to find a way to back up that changeup and focus on the big part of the field, left-center field for the left-handers, or it could be a long day for some of them.”

»»» Uh oh. Clayton Kershaw is healthy. The Pirates will face the Dodgers’ ace lefty Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Game 3: Philadelphia @ Pirates, 1:35 p.m. ET

Phillies (1-1) – 1. Juan Pierre lf, 2. Shane Victorino cf, 3. Jimmy Rollins ss, 4. Hunter Pence rf, 5. Jim Thome 1b, 6. Ty Wigginton 3b, 7. Freddy Galvis 2b, 8. Brian Schneider c, 9. Vance Worley rhp (season debut)

Pirates (1-1) – 1. Alex Presley lf, 2. Jose Tabata rf, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Neil Walker 2b, 5. Garrett Jones 1b, 6. Clint Barmes ss, 7. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 8. Michael McKenry c, 9. James McDonald rhp (season debut)



  1. G says:

    I know Hurdle and the rest are smarter than me, but I would consider batting Pedro in the cleanup spot against righties. He’s got a good chance of having fast runners on base which would lessen the chance of him seeing repetitive breaking balls. His seeing more fastballs would allow for him to bat to his strengths and increase his power numbers. The top three guys in the order would often be able to steal taking him out of double play situations, so weak grounders to 2nd would then advance the runners to 3rd. He might not hit for a high average, but would probably walk a lot more. Just sayin’…

  2. Pants-n-at says:

    G. I think you may see that as the year goes on if Pedro’s hitting improves. Also, I am in full agreement with them platooning him, Jones and Tabata for that matter when warranted. I know they don’t like to call it plattoning and that’s fine but I think because this is a young lineup, they have a better chance at succeeding. I know it’s early but I like our start. The Phillies are a tough club and that was a great series win for us. Go Bucs!

  3. dave says:

    Just read Kovacevik’s piece on A M and this quote jumped out at me,

    “And when those big-time occasions come up, those pressure at-bats, I know I’ll be able to get it done more often than not.”

    Now that’s confidence. If he can succeed more than 50% of the time in clutch situations, they’ll vote him into the HOF before he retires, lol.

  4. David says:

    Let’s get this straight, when in this generic era did the national league implement the designated runner, that pissed me off to see that happen, my excitment for Hague was decimated by that, Hague could have done everything the pinch rubber did, that really took the air out of the balloon for me, thus guy gets paid a lot of cash, and he can’t run, the other guy wasn’t that much faster all basaball players are over weight … To say the least, I was outraged at that switch, it benefits no I’ve plus takes a run score away from that player.

  5. PetroSteel says:

    G, Your idea above makes sense to me. Pedro would definitly see more fast balls in the four hole!

  6. David says:

    Go Pirates!… 3rd place overnight… I really think the pirates can make an even louder noise this year, …. Please get rid of the designation runner, pinch hitters and all that bs, that stuff is like so lame, leave that stff to the American league, that’s what made thus conference better, all the atheletes carried their own weight…

  7. E.J. says:

    This the most boring Buccos team in the last 20 years. And that’s a lot of boredom.

  8. Beat Them Bucs says:

    How’s that Clint Barmes idea working out, Neal Huntington?

  9. Chuck H. says:

    Again, Kevin Correia deserved better than what he got. When a team leads off an inning with a triple, and doesn’t score, I think we blame the manager. Look how the Dodgers scored their first run; a single, stolen base, a ground out and bingo, they had a run. When are we going to get some smarts like that??? If our pitchers are going to hold the games close, then every run must count, not have all the following batters swinging for the fences. We are going to have to play them smart.

  10. Pants-n-at says:

    I’m predicting a big year from Hague and a small year from Barmes!

  11. Chuck H. says:

    It doesn’t get any Eithier. Get some people that can hit. The ones you have now, sure can’t. I would keep the same pitchers, though.

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