Team chemistry is talked about a lot in sports, but it’s not always easy to create. The Pirates certainly seem to have it — witness the Zoltan thing, the t-shirts AJ Burnett passed out, and the King James crowns everyone was wearing yesterday. “When people feel comfortable, when they feel cared about, when there’s trust and there’s really no (jealousy about) playing time, everyone pulls for each other,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “It can only help.”
Drew Sutton has played for six other organizations and bounced all over the minors. He knows a happy, healthy clubhouse when he sees one. “I’ve been in a few different clubhouses and each one has had its own personality,” Sutton said. “Sometimes, things fit well and sometimes they don’t. Here, they do a really good job of incorporating everybody into the ‘family.’ ”
»»» Hurdle said he’s gotten good reports from Triple-A Indy manager Dean Treanor about OF Jose Tabata. “I call Dean every other day, but that’s no different if Tabata’s down there or not,” Hurdle said. “Dean said (Tabata) showed up in a good place, he’s played center field a few games, is hitting in the top of the lineup. He’s working hard and he’s playing.”
»»» The starting rotation in the second half will line up like this: James McDonald, Kevin Correia, AJ Burnett, Jeff Karstens and Erik Bedard. JMac and AJ are similar pitchers, so putting Correia between them gives a different look. The setup also allows Burnett to get a bit more of a breather and enables Bedard to take an extra bullpen or two before his next start in Colorado. Bedard is healthy; his slump is due more to lousy pitch sequences.
»»» Today, Burnett is bidding for his 10th win. Over the past 22 years, only four other Pirates pitchers have reached double-digits before the All-Star break: Neal Heaton (10-5 in 1990), Randy Tomlin (10-5 in 1992), Bob Walk (10-6 in 1993) and Correia (11-7 last year).
Game 85: Giants@ Pirates, 1:35 p.m. ET
Giants (46-38): 1. Gregor Blanco rf, 2. Ryan Theriot 2b, 3. Melky Cabrera lf, 4. Buster Posey 1b, 5. Pablo Sandoval 3b, 6. Angel Pagan cf, 7. Hector Sanchez c, 8. Brandon Crawford ss, 9. Tim Lincecum rhp (3-9, 6.08)
Pirates (47-37): 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. Rod Barajas c, 8. Clint Barmes ss, 9. A.J. Burnett rhp (9-2, 3.74)