When the Astros’ Jason Castro hit a game-tying double in the ninth inning last night, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle had a flashback to July 24, 1983.
Castro’s hit came with two outs in the ninth inning and scored Jed Lowrie from first base. “I knew the run would score, so I immediately walked down to the lineup card to see who’s in my bullpen, what’s my next move,” Hurdle said. Then Hurdle noticed how the crowd of 21,516 at PNC Park, which had been roaring just moments earlier, had gone eerily silent. It reminded Hurdle of a game from his playing days, when George Brett smacked a two-run, game-winning homer with two outs in the ninth off Rich Gossage at Yankee Stadium.
“Never had I been in a venue when it was that quiet as it was that night (in New York),” Hurdle said. “Last night, it was deathly still, which is kind of a cool sound because it was so electric when the pitch was out of the hand. We went from standing up and ‘Let’s go, Bucs’ and all heck breaking loose to … nothing. I’m thinking, ‘This is pretty cool.'” Hurdle paused and grinned. “That’s how weird I am.”
»»» When we met with Hurdle at 11 a.m., the Pirates still were waiting on the results of Alex Presley’s concussion test results. Presley, who was injured trying to make a diving catch last night, is not in the lineup today. MLB has a special, seven-day DL for concussion victims. “There’s a battery of tests that we follow explicitly,” Hurdle said. “The player really has to interact honestly with the questioning process. This is not a test you want to cheat on. It’s amazing what kind of feedback you can get from the battery of tests.”
Game 81: Astros @ Pirates, 1:35 p.m. ET
Astros (32-49): 1. Jordan Schafer cf, 2. Jose Altuve 2b, 3. Jed Lowrie ss, 4. Carlos Lee 1b, 5. Scott Moore 3b, 6. Juan Castro c, 7. J.D. Martinez lf, 8. Brian Bogusevic rf, 9. Dallas Keuchel lhp (1-0, 1.35)
Pirates (44-36): 1. Drew Sutton lf, 2. Neil Walker 2b, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Garrett Jones rf, 5. Casey McGehee 1b, 6. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 7. Michael McKenry c, 8. Clint Barmes ss, 9. Kevin Correia rhp (4-6, 4.32)