Game 7: Josh Harrison returns, Wade LeBlanc beloved by all

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By Chris Adamski

NORTH SHORE – Josh Harrison’s absence from the lineup lasted one day.

 

Harrison was back at second base, back in the familiar (for this season) No. 7 spot in the batting order for Tuesday’s game against the Reds.

JHay
The real J-Hay will be on the field when the wildly-popular new PNC Park between-innings scoreboard segment, “Lil J-Hay” is playing. (Christopher Horner/Tribune-Review photo)

 

Harrison was struck by a pitch on his right calf in the eighth inning of Sunday’s game and did not play Monday. He finished out the inning but was in pain and was lifted the following inning. It was not expected he would be out long – and today was the proof.

 

>>> LeBlanc the hero:

Wade LeBlanc’s 5 1/3 innings of effective relief (only one baserunner, albeit it was a home run) on Monday night continued to earn praise from manager Clint Hurdle and teammates the following day because it saved the bullpen. Hurdle suggested that if LeBlanc only lasted an inning or two that a roster move or two would have been necessitated today to alleviate the taxed bullpen.

 

“I joked with the guys that I want to get through the season with seven relievers,” LeBlanc said. “So whatever I can do to make that happen, I’m game.”

 

A cynic would have termed LeBlanc’s work Monday as “mop-up duty.” LeBlanc didn’t use that term (and neither did us reporters). But talking to him, you have the feel he’s quite self-aware and comfortable in his own skin with his role at this point of his career (age 32, after 10 seasons worth of often bouncing back and forth from the minors).

 

A respectable .243 career hitter, check out LeBlanc’s one-liner when asked if he enjoyed coming up twice with the bases loaded against the Reds’ Brandon Finnegan and Michael Lorenzen on Monday:

“Not against those guys. I need to hit against me.”

 

 

 

>>> Rain, rain, go away??:

As this is initially posted coming up on close to two hours prior to the scheduled first pitch, the tarp remains on the field at PNC Park. Accuweather predicts rain will begin in Pittsburgh before 6 p.m….

Stay tuned.

 

>>> You want links? I’ve got links:

“I’ve got to forget about this one and move on to the next one.”

Pirates’ Glasnow goes wild in loss to Reds

 

“It’s taken three times to find it, but I found it (Sunday). That’s the way it is sometimes.” 

Pirates notebook: Cole rediscovers slider in 2nd start

 

>>> Tuesday’s game: Reds at Pirates, 7:05 p.m., PNC Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM

Reds: Billy Hamilton 8, Jose Peraza 6, Joey Votto 3, Adam Duvall 7, Eugenio Suarez 5, Scott Schebler 9, Scooter Gennett 4, Tucker Barnhart 2, RHP Rookie Davis (0-0, 12.00)

Pirates: Starling Marte 8, Josh Bell 3, Andrew McCutchen 9, Gregory Polanco 7, David Freese 5, Francisco Cervelli 2, Josh Harrison 4, Jordy Mercer 6, RHP Jameson Taillon (0-0, 0.00 in one start)

Gamecast: Yes, that really is his nickname. William Theron Davis was tabbed “Rookie” at birth by his father. “I’ve never answered to any other name,” Davis said. … Davis made his big league debut Thursday vs. the Phillies. He worked three innings and gave up four runs on five hits, walked two and struck out four. His catcher was Stuart Turner, who also was playing his first major league game. It was the first time in Reds history a starting pitcher and catcher made their big league debuts in the same game. … The Reds acquired Davis as part of the December 2015 trade that sent Aroldis Chapman to the Yankees.

 

>>> Wednesday’s game: Reds at Pirates, 7:05 p.m., PNC Park. TV: None (due to conflict with Penguins playoff game). Radio: 93.7 FM.

Reds: LHP Amir Garrett (1-0, 0.00)

Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (1-0, 0.00)

 

>>> Thursday’s game: Pirates at Red Sox, 2:05 p.m.. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM

Pirates: RHP Chad Kuhl (1-0, 3.60)

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 7.20)

 

>>> Friday’s game: Pirates at Cubs, 2:20 p.m., TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.

Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (0-1, 6.55)

Cubs: TBA

 

>>> Saturday’s game: Pirates at Cubs, 2:20 p.m., TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.

Pirates: RHP Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 27.00)

Cubs: LHP Amir Garrett

 

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at cadamski@tribweb.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib

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