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Hanny back in action

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After a four-day layoff due to a sore hamstring, closer Joel Hanrahan last night picked up his second save. It wasn’t exactly a clean inning — Hanny issued back-to-back walks, but he also got two strikeouts and ended the game by inducing a ground ball forceout. “Felt good to be back out there,” Hanrahan said this morning, adding that his hammy feels fine today after the outing.

Hanrahan began the inning in impressive fashion by striking out Carlos Beltran on three pitches. “You can’t cut up a hitter any better than than, a bit-time, big league hitter,” manager Clint Hurdle said. But that was followed by five-pitch walks to David Freese and Yadier Molina, which made things interesting. “Interesting? Nah,” Hanrahan joked.

When Hannay fell behind pinch-hitter Erik Komatsu, 3-1, there was some lively talk in the Pirates’ dugout. “We had a nice little conversation about what the next move was going to be,” Hurdle said. “My pitching coach and I had gotten to a place where we were going to agree to disagree about what was next if there was a ball four.” There wasn’t. Komatsu struck out, then Shane Robinson hit a grounder to third to end it.

maddox»»» Here’s some trivia, courtesy of the folks at Elias: A.J. Burnett last night became the first pitcher to work at least seven shutout innings and notch at least seven strikeouts in his Pirates debut since Nick Maddox, who did it on Sept. 13, 1907.

»»» Alex Presley has hit safely in a career-best seven straight games. He also has hit safely in 12 of his 13 starts in left field, and his batting .311. However, Presley is getting a breather today, as Nate McLouth will start in left.

»»» Forecasters are calling for nasty, snowy weather Monday, which jeopardizes the game between the Pirates and (appropriately enough) Rockies. Will the game be called early? Perhaps. Both teams have an off day scheduled Thursday, which would make for an easy makeup day. This is the Rockies’ only trip to Pittsburgh this season.

»»» It was just announced that RHP Kevin Correia, who was scratched last night due to a sore left side, will start Monday against the Rox. Brad Lincoln, who had been slated to pitch Monday,will work out of the bullpen .

Game 16: Cardinals @ Pirates, 1:35 p.m. ET

Cardinals (10-5): 1. Rafael Furcal ss, 2. Tyler Greene 2b, 3. Matt Holliday lf, 4. Carlos Beltran rf, 5. David Freese 3b, 6. Yadier Molina c, 7. Matt Carpenter 1b, 8. Shane Robinson cf, 9. Kyle Lohse rhp (2-0, 0.89)

Pirates (6-8): 1. Nate McLouth lf, 2.Jose Tabata rf, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Neil Walker 2b, 5. Garrett Jones 1b, 6. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 7. Clint Barmes ss, 8. Michael McKenry c, 9. Erik Bedard lhp (0-3, 2.65)

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Comments

  1. John Lease says:

    Alvarez’s ‘hot’ streak is apparently over. Barmes is threatening to set new records for offensive futility.

  2. Pants-n-at says:

    Oh no, we suck again!! (said in cajun dialect)

  3. Paul says:

    Yes indeed they do suck again. Beyond that though there’s a bigger problem the Pirates face down the road and that is the echo chamber of the local media which refuses to hold those responsible to account.

    15 games in and the Pirates once again have great pitching and the major league worst offense by a huge margin. Scattered amongst their lineup are some of the worst individual performances in the majors and recent memory thus far – some of which are earning several millions of dollars at the insistence of the manager. And what do we get in response from local media?

    Rob Biertempfel writing about the size of the lockers in Phoenix.

    If this team where in New York, Boston, LA, Chicago or any city with a media that wasn’t so cozy with the players and coaches these guys would already be feeling the heat and changes would be underway. Instead we’ll get to hear the front office’s and coaching staff’s garbage about the intangibles guys like Barmes, Walker and Barajas bring to the team, how they “play the game the right way” the importance of speed blah blah blah and all the other baseball cliches and BS echoed back by those covering them.

    April’s not even finished and we all know in our hearts the Pirates’ season is effectively over already. Partly because the offense is primarily constructed around singles hitting utility guys and partly because those responsible for covering them don’t have the guts to call the team or it’s manager out for it.

    But hey, now I know who got the big lockers at chase last series and really, isn’t that what really matters?

  4. Paul says:

    Since nobody at the Trib seems interested in talking about the Pirates in a meaningful way how about I take a shot …

    The Pittsburgh Pirates currently have the fourth best team ERA in the majors (2.63) and the second lowest runs allowed total (44) record of 6-9.

    The teams with the next closest totals and their records:

    Texas Rangers 42 runs 13-3 – first place
    Washington National 45 runs 12-4 first place
    Saint Louis Cardinals 46 runs – 11-5 first place

    Possible topics for discussion – where might the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates be if they had even a league average offense?

    Would the Pirates have a league average offense if Neal Huntington has taken the combined salaries he’s paying Clint Barmes, Nate McLouth, Rod Barajas and Casey McGehee and offered any one of the free agents this winter whose home run and walk total is greater than those four.

    How much longer will Neal Huntington wait and how fall will the team fall our of contention before making the moves to revamp the offense.

    My answers: 1. within one game of first place. 2. Yes the would. 3. He may make moves but given his and his managers devotion to the ancient mythological religion of small ball they won’t make a difference.

  5. Chuck H. says:

    Now, let me have a crack at the Pirates problems to date. First of all, they have way too many automatic outs in the lineup, and when the real hitters aren’t hitting, they don’t score runs. The auto outs are Barmes, McLouth, and Barajas. Replace those three and take a shot at making something happen. The pitching staff is fine–they just need some runs to work with, 3 or 4 to start with, then they can settle into a more comfortable routine and not be afraid to make an occasional mistake. And allow Alverez to just make contact and not try for homers all the time. That’s probably why he strikes out a lot. By the way, an automatic out is a player who has a batting average under .200. Get somebody up from Indy who is hitting, and give it a try.

  6. Chuck H. says:

    Another game where the starting pitcher was terrific; did every thing he could to win the game, but alack and alas, no hits with men on base and another homerun with nobody on. How long are the fans going to put up with this horrible style of play? The Rockies had 3 hits and 2 runs. We had 9 hits and only the lone run from the homer. I feel so very bad for the starting pitchers. How long are they going to be satisfied with this type of play?

 
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