Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle and staff will have a meeting after batting practice this afternoon to discuss the status of lefty Erik Bedard and whether he will be able to make the start on Monday in Miami. During Hurdle’s pregame meeting with media, Bedard was in the training room getting treatments on his back. Bedard exited Wednesday’s game against Washington in the top of the 2nd inning due to back spasms.
“”We plan on having that [conversation] after BP,” Hurdle said on whether he would be able to start Monday .”He’s in getting some treatment now. We’ll see what we can do, if we can move him around on the field and then go from there.”
Right-hander Jeff Karstens (right shoulder inflammation) continues to take steps forward. Yesterday afternoon Karstens threw a bullpen session.
“He’s progressing. He’s throwing,” Hurdle said. “He’s moved back his throwing program as far as distances back…We’re actually looking at a couple bullpens coming up. Get him in the bullpen and have him throw a sequence of pitches up there in the not to distant future.”
The Pirates lost 4-2 to the final game of the three-game set against the Nationals. The club faced arguably one of the best pitchers in the game right now right-hander Stephen Strasburg. But the proved that he was human. The club tacked two runs off him over his 6.0 inning outing and were only trailing the Nats 3-2 before the bullpens took over.
“You’ve got to beat one’s and two’s if you want to be a championship team,” Hurdle said. “It was a great question the other day, ‘Do we have a Championship team now?’. No, not today. Truth be told, you’re not a championship team until you’ve won a championship. Do we plan on having a championship team? Yes and even this season, I do. We plan on winning a championship. People are going to be looking at me going, ‘That guys an idiot.’ We’re good with that. Probably true in some cases. But for them to be disciplined you’ve got to beat ones and twos’ you cant say, ‘that’s a one or that’s a two.’ You’ll finish in third or fourth place with that mentality. You’ve got to find a way to beat those guys. You’ve got to find a way to compete against those guys. You’ve got to find a way to dig those wins out of the dirt.”
- Pirates lineup vs. Nationals: Jose Tabata 9 Nate McLouth 7 Andrew McCutchen 8 Pedro Alvarez 5 Neil Walker 4 Garrett Jones 3 Rod Barajas 2 Clint Barmes 6 James McDonald 1
- The Pirates have only won the first game of a series twice this season.
“Colorado and Washington,” Hurdle said. “We can count them on two fingers. We talked about it. We’ve identified what’s important. First inning runs are important. We haven’t scored a bunch of those this year either. We’re just trying to make sure we improve upon. We score first. You look at statistics over the years. Teams that score first more often than not, they fall your way. We need to continue to work competing better in the batters box…We know where the work needs to be done. We know that we need to find more consistency come game time. That’s what were looking forward to doing.”
- Right-hander James McDonald has posted a 1.86 ERA over his first three home starts this season. He’s whiffed 35 batters over his last three outings (31.0 innings).
- A lot of Pirates in the clubhouse today were wearing yellow cut off shirts that said, ‘Prepare for Domination.” The back had a black 34. The moto of right-hander A.J. Burnett.
- Pedro Alvarez has gone 0-for-15 with five walks since moving up to the cleanup spot. But despite still not getting that hit, Hurdle likes what’s he’s seen from his at-bats.
“I’m really looking forward to that hit in the four spot,” Hurdle said. “It’s not that he’s taking. It’s not that he’s swinging and chasing. He’s hit some balls, they’ve made a couple defensive plays. He’s squared balls up to the big part of the ballpark. He’s taking his walks. As far as I’m concerned, I am pleased with the way he’s approached his at-bats in the cleanup spot.”