By Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Christopher Horner
Reliever Antonio Bastardo has not pitched in a game since April 12, when he gave up four runs on two hits in two-thirds of an innings against the Reds. In four innings. he has served up eight hits, including three home runs, and five walks. He has a 20.25 ERA and a 3.25 WHIP. The left-hander and pitching coach Ray Searage have been working — through video work, in bullpen sessions, on flat ground — to correct Bastardo’s release point.
“We see something that’s correctable,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Obviously, the frequency (of homers) is alarming because it’s something we haven’t seen. He has frustrations because he understands the importance of every role out there connects to another role. When he’s not able to finish innings or do his job, it puts the work on other men to pick up more.”
Bastardo has always had a tendency to pitch up in the zone. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a home-run machine. Hurdle doesn’t mind the fastballs up. “I have no problem with that,” Hurdle said. “More often than not, when he tries to pitch down in the zone is when these mistakes have come. We’ve continued to remind him of the fact that based on spin rate, he’s a guy who pitches better up in the zone. We continue to reinforce his strengths to him.”
A few days ago, Bastardo had an extended bullpen session and showed some signs of progress. This morning, Hurdle said “it’s been long enough” between outings and indicated Bastado will soon get in a game, even if it’s not a blowout either way.
>>> Jose Osuna changed his uniform number for 64 (which he wore during spring training and in the first three games of his career) to 36. “I used that number when I was young,” Osuna said. “I (asked for it) before, but they just gave it to me today.”
>>> With 410 career appearances in a Pirates uniform, Tony Watson has tied right-hander Dave Giusti for seventh place on the club’s all-time list. Among lefties, Watson ranks second behind Wilbur Cooper, who pitched in 469 games for the Pirates from 1912 to 1924. Elroy Face tops the chart with 802 appearances.
>>> You want links? I’ve got links:
Pirates 6, Yankees 3: With iffy defense behind him, Glasnow fell one out shy of notching his first big league victory
Gorman: Marte’s suspension puts Pirates in a tough spot
How will you react to #Pirates Starling Marte in his first game back after serving an 80-game suspension for PED use?
— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) April 19, 2017
Notebook: Osuna makes first big league start in right field
>>> Saturday: Yankees at Pirates, 4:05 p.m, PNC Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM
Yankees (10-6): Jacoby Ellsbury 8, Aaron Hicks 7, Chase Headley 5, Starlin Castro 4, Aaron Judge 9, Greg Bird 3, Austin Romine 2, Ronald Torreyes 6, RHP Michael Pineda (2-1, 3.44)
Pirates (7-9): Adam Frazier 4, Josh Bell 3, Andrew McCutchen 8, Gregory Polanco 7, David Freese 5, John Jaso 9, Francisco Cervelli 2, Jordy Mercer 6, RHP Jameson Taillon (1-0, 0.90)
>>> Sunday: Yankees at Pirates, 1:35 p.m, PNC Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM
Yankees: LHP Jordan Montgomery (1-0, 4.22) Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (1-2, 2.25)
>>> Monday: Cubs at Pirates, 7:05 p.m, PNC Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM
Cubs: LHP Brett Anderson (1-0, 4.40) Pirates: RHP Chad Kuhl (1-1, xxx)
>>> Tuesday: Cubs at Pirates, 7:05 p.m, PNC Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM
Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 6.19) Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (1-2, 4.70)
>>> Wednesday: Cubs at Pirates, 7:05 p.m, PNC Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM
Cubs: LHP Jon Lester (0-0, 2.66) Pirates: RHP Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 7.94 ERA)
>>> Thursday: Off
Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.