By Chris Adamski
CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE – I didn’t spot Felipe Rivero in the visitor’s clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park during the designated time when media were allowed in there. So I didn’t get to ask him about getting left off the NL All-Star roster. But his tweet sent a little earlier that afternoon – one that was retweeted by the Pirates’ official account –probably said it all:
It was Rivero’s first tweet in more than three weeks and the first tweet he constructed himself (and not a mere retweet) in seven weeks.
Manager Clint Hurdle was likewise disappointed, but – as a former all-star manager tasked with helping to construct its roster – a little more pragmatic about it.
“We feel angst because he’s our guy, we’ve seen him,” Hurdle said. “Is he deserving? Absolutely, and I believe everybody that’s committed to the process will tell you he’s deserving, I can also tell you that there’s a hard side to it when it comes down to picking players. There’s maybe only one on a team that you’re going to be able to pick, and it comes down to need-vs.-want for that manager or the commissioner’s office, the people who are looking to fill the spot out. And in the case of the high-leverage relievers who are out there, there’s some pretty good ones out there.”
Rivero ranks second in the NL among pitchers with 12 or more appearances in WHIP (0.68), opponents’ average (.132) and ERA (0.82). He is tied for second in the league in appearances (41)
>>>McCutchen keeps the same approach:
Andrew McCutchen could also make a realistic case he, too, was snubbed out of a trip to Miami for next week’s Midsummer Classic. And it’s all the result of the fantastic June he had.
Hurdle what stood out most to him about the “why” in McCutchen’s past 30 days was his approach with two strikes.
So, we asked McCutchen about that approach:
“I like to feel with two strikes the way I feel with no strikes. I try not to put more pressure on myself just because I have two strikes on me. I try to treat it as if I have no strikes… Certain situations I know if something is close, a pitch is close, I’ve got to protect, that’s about it. But I try not to put that pressure on me. Two strikes, no strikes, I try to treat it the same 0-2 or 2 strikes, I do it like it is 3-0 or 3-1, I like to always feel like I am in a hitter’s count. But overall there’s certain things I have to do, certain adjustments I like to make. But as far as my mind goes that’s how I try to treat it. And I think that’s what I get in return with that – that’s having a better two-strike approach and being able to put the ball in play and make things happen, even if I’m behind in the count.”
>>> You want links? I’ve got links:
“Hopefully another month from now, we will be having the same conversation.”
“We haven’t put it all together for an extended period of time.”
“This is not surprising to me. Just staying the course and knowing it’s a tough game but you have to enjoy it. I play with a lot of passion and have fun.”
“We tried one thing, and it didn’t work.”
“My head has responded very well. So I’m just happy to be back.”
>>> Monday: Pirates at Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Pirates: Adam Frazier 7, Josh Harrison 4, Andrew McCucthen 8, Josh Bell 3, David Freese 5, Gregory Polanco 9, Francisco Cervelli 2, Jordy Mercer 6, RHP Ivan Nova (8-5, 3.08)
Phillies: Daniel Nava 7, Freddy Galvis 6, Maikel Franco 5, Tommy Joseph 3, Nick Williams 9, Andres Blanco 4, Odubel Herrera 8, Cameron Rupp 2, RHP Aaron Nola (5-5, 4.13)
Gamecast: Nola is at his best when he’s able to command the two-seamer and curveball. Over five starts in June, he had a 3.24 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP and 35 strikeouts in 33 1⁄3 IP. Nola has worked six innings in four of his past five outings. … On Wednesday, Nova went five innings and gave up two runs on seven hits vs. the Rays. It was the first time in 16 starts this season he did not make it into the sixth inning. … In three career starts vs. the Phillies, Nova is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA.
>>> Tuesday: Pirates at Phillies, 4:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia. TV: ESPN/Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (4-2, 2.97)
Phillies: RHP Mark Leiter Jr. (1-0, 4.20)
>>> Wednesday: Pirates at Phillies, 7:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (6-7, 4.51)
Phillies: RHP Ben Lively (1-3, 3.72)
>>> Thursday: Pirates at Phillies, 6:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Pirates: RHP Chad Kuhl (2-6, 5.26)
Phillies: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (5-5, 4.48)
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib