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Game 3: Cubs @ Pirates

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My, but sunrise came quickly today and I might just doze off while blogging. If you have to ask why, then you haven’t yet read this.
Both teams blew out their bullpen’s Wednesday/Thursday in the 16-inning marathon. The Pirates used six relievers, including Stolmy Pimentel, who worked the final four innings for his first big league victory. “A good one to win,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’ll figure out the pitching (Thursday).”The clubhouse doesn’t open until 10 a.m. and today’s game notes aren’t out yet, so we’ll have to wait a bit to see what’s what. The Cubs used pitchers in relief. Manager Rick Renteria said Carlos Villanueva (who lost for the second game in a row) could’ve gone another two innings, but Renteria didn’t know what he’d do after that. Fortunately, it never got that far. Rain is in the forecast today. No one ever really wants a rainout, especially so early in the season, but this might be a good time for one. Everyone’s throwing arm could use some rest.

>> The Pirates are 2-0, but the offense has been slow to rev up and last night’s struggles by the back end of the bullpen — Mark  Melancon and Jason Grilli each allowed a run, which send the game into extras — are troubling. The teams combined to go 4 for 28 with runners in scoring position. That’s putrid, but the Cubs were especially ugly. They went 1 for 16 last night/this morning and are 1 for 27 with RISP over the first two games. “What I’m taking away from these 26 innings is that we’re fighting pretty good,” Renteria said, searching for some upside. “And that’s what our intention is. As long we’re not quitting … I’m seeing signs that we’ve got a different mentality and we’re not going to give up. Ultimately, if we continue to put pressure on the opposition and maintain some consistency in that approach, we’ve got a chance.”

>> Keep on eye on this: Charlie Morton looked solid through six innings, blanking the Cubs on four hits. He threw 84 pitches and would’ve gone deeper in the game, but took a line drive off his left thumb. “He had to leave the game,” Hurdle said. “He couldn’t (work his thumb to) close his glove.” X-rays were negative and Morton will be re-examined today.

>> Someday, perhaps soon, the Pirates will tell us exactly what’s up with Jameson Taillon‘s sore right elbow. Taillon talked freely about the injury when it first flared up, but management gave him a gag order after he got a second exam Monday.

Game 3: Cubs (0-2) @ Pirates (2-0), 12:35 p.m. PNC Park

Cubs: 1. Emilio Bonifacio cf, 2. Starlin Castro ss, 3. Justin Ruggiano rf, 4. Anthony Rizzo 1b, 5. Junior Lake lf, 6. Mike Olt 3b, 7. Darwin Barney 2b, 8. John Baker c, .9. Jason Hammel rhp

Pirates: 1. Starling Marte lf, 2. Travis Snider rd, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 5. Neil Walker 2b, 6. Travis Ishikawa 1b, 7. Tony Sanchez c, 8. Jordy Mercer ss, 9. Wandy Rodriguez lhp
– Rob Biertempfel

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Comments

  1. Ryan says:

    No Gabby Sanchez again? Hurdle’s words aren’t matching his actions on this one…

  2. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    With Gaby showing some signs that he is hitting, I think we will see Gaby at first base for the next couple games. Hurdle usually goes with the hottest hitters.

    I’m starting to wish they had a third catcher so that Tony Sanchez could be used more frequently as a pinch hitter. His stick needs to be utilized more. As the only other catcher, it’s even hard to use him at dh if they are playing an american league team.
    Clint Barmes needs to get working on learning to be a catcher and pronto!

  3. Steelkings says:

    SK’s Starting 9

    Leading off:

    What is worse than Billy Hamiltons 0 for 12 with 6 strike outs, you ask? That would be Pat Neshek of the Cardinals walking him on 4 pitches in the 8th inning last night. Mike Matheny about jumped out of his skin when it happened.

    Batting 2nd:

    Tell us uncle SK, what could be dumber than walking the worlds fastest base runner who cant hit, on 4 pitches?
    Enter Brandon Phillips!
    2 outs with a 1 run deficit. Reds Trailing the Cardinals. Worlds fastest base runner on first base. Phillips fouls off the first 4 pitches before striking out and never gives Hamilton a chance to steal 2nd and get in scoring position. Yeesh!

    Batting 3rd:

    1/2 of the leagues SS are hitting under .200, and Drew doesn’t have a job?

    Clean up:

    I know its early, but guess who is dead last in team BA with a sparkling .175 and 3 extra base hits. On a positive note; the Cardinals bats are just as cold.

    Batting 5th:

    Wandy was pretty good yesterday. He gave up a seeing eye single RBI. A runner was moved into scoring position on a gork. And more importantly his control was good only giving up 1 walk in 6 innings. If he can maintain that, he will be just fine.

    Batting 6th:

    Only 11,000 at the ball park yesterday. If they would start those business man specials at 2:30 or 3:00pm they would double that number. Think of all the players Nutting could buy with the extra money.

    Batting 7th:

    If they would have started the business man special yesterday at 2:30 or 3:00pm the Pirates wouldn’t have lost.

    Batting 8th:

    Was I dreaming or did Volquez throw two very clean innings yesterday. Ed only fell behind in the count to two of the 7 hitters he faced.

    Batting 9th:

    Hard to call a series this early in the season HUGE, but this weekend with the cardinals IS huge. Its a tone setter.

  4. NorthPirateFan says:

    Drew doesn’t have a job for the same reason Morales doesn’t haven’t a job; their agent is an arrogant SOB who gave them bad advice for which they are now paying the price.

    Gotta think his reputation is taking a beating the longer those two stay unsigned and hard to image how he recovers if they don’t find work at all this year or if they end up signed cut rate contracts well into the season.

  5. The Gunner says:

    That’s a good idea about Barmes learning to be a catcher. He’ll be able to extend his career another 10 to 15 years.

 
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