Game 49: Polanco returns… McCutchen gets bumped down

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

BY Chris Adamski

Polanco

NORTH SHORE – While the biggest news of the day is that Andrew McCutchen has been bumped down the batting order, there’s also the non-trivial matter of the team’s cleanup hitter returning to the lineup.

 

Polanco hadn’t played since May 14 because of a left hamstring strain. Though he was activated off the 10-day disabled list Thursday, he did not play that day in Atlanta. Friday, he was back in the customary No. 4 spot in the order that he’s filled during each of his prior 33 starts this season:

 

“I’m very excited to be back in the lineup, go to battle with my boys and supporting them and giving my everything and my 100 percent every time,” Polanco said before Friday’s game. “I’m happy to be back in Pittsburgh. I enjoy the fans, I enjoy home. Excited to play today.”

Manager Clint Hurdle said Polanco has checked off all the proverbial boxes in terms of his rehab; Hurdle was most heartened by Polanco running the bases without issue earlier this week.

 

Though Polanco is hitting .252/.336/.370 with only one home run and nine RBIs on the season, he was hitting .333/.389/.545 with five extra-base hits in the 10 games before leaving the May 14 game at Arizona early.

 

>>> You want links? I’ve got links:

“I wasn’t opposed to it at all. I was like, ‘Alright, let’s go, man. I’m ready. Whatever we’ve got to do, let’s do it.’”

McCutchen drops to No. 6 in Pirates lineup Friday vs. Mets

 

“Our plan always is to make the other guys swing. That’s why he’s so successful right now, because he throws strikes.”

Pirates top Braves behind strong start from Nova

 

“When you have a couple of guys who get on base, your opportunities to score are enhanced.”

Pirates notebook: Top of batting order packing 1-2 punch

 

 

>>> Friday’s game: Mets at Pirates, 7:05 p.m., PNC Park. TV: None. Radio: 93.7 FM

Mets: Michael Conforto 7, Jose Reyes 5, Jay Bruce 9, Neil Walker 4, Lucas Duda 3, Astrubal Cabrera 6, Rene Rivera 2, RHP Jacob deGrom (3-1, 3.56)

Pirates: Adam Frazier 7, Josh Harrison 4, Josh Bell 3, Gregory Polanco 9, David Freese 5, Andrew McCutchen 8, Francisco Cervelli 2, Jordy Mercer 6, RHP Chad Kuhl (1-4, 5.85)

Gamecast: Kuhl never has faced the Mets. In his last start Sunday vs. the Phillies, Kuhl tossed five one-hit, no-run innings but wound up with a no-decision. … In February, the Mets decided to put Wheeler — who made a two-year rehab from Tommy John surgery — on a 125-inning limit this season. Through his first eight starts, he has racked up 43 13 IP. With their rotation already hit by injuries, the Mets might eventually decide to extend Wheeler’s limit. … On Tuesday, the Mets demoted righty reliever Hansel Robles to Triple-A and called up LHP Josh Smoker. At midweek, the Mets’ bullpen ranked 14th in the NL with a 5.01 ERA and had seven blown saves, which was tied for third-most in the league.

 

>>> Saturday’s game: Mets at Pirates, 7:15 p.m., PNC Park. TV: FOX. Radio: 93.7 FM.

Mets: Lineup TBA. RHP Zack Wheeler (3-2, 3.74)

Pirates: Lineup TBA RHP Gerrit Cole (2-5, 3.36)

 

>>> Sunday’s game: Mets at Pirates, 8:05 p.m., PNC Park. TV: ESPN. Radio: 93.7 FM

Mets: Lineup TBA. RHP Matt Harvey (3-3, 5.36)

Pirates: Lineup TBA. RHP Tyler Glasnow (2-3, 6.69)

 

>>> Monday’s game: Diamondbacks at Pirates, 4:05 p.m., PNC Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.

Diamondbacks: Lineup, probable pitcher TBA

Pirates: Lineup TBA. RHP Ivan Nova (5-3, 2.83)

 

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

Diamondbacks: Lineup, probable pitcher TBA

Pirates: Lineup TBA. RHP Ivan Nova (5-3, 2.83)

 

>>> Wednesday’s game: Diamondbacks at Pirates, 12:35 p.m., PNC Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.

Diamondbacks: Lineup, probable pitcher TBA

Pirates: Lineup TBA. RHP Chad Kuhl

 

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

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail