PITTSBURGH — The Pirates enter this crucial four-game set against the Chicago Cubs four-games ahead of them for the top Wild Card position and only 2.5 games behind the first-place St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. The Pirates and Cubs will play two today as part of a day/night double-header, beginning at 1:35.
The Pirates haven’t participated in a day/night double-header at home since the 2001 season, which makes today a new experience for many of the Pirates’ players on the roster. Depending on how today’s first game transpires, there will be roughly three hours of downtime prior to the start of the second game, which will provide the players the opportunity to regroup.
“They are going to shower, kick back, some will actually pick back up and have a little light workout in between,” Clint Hurdle said. “They’ll have a chance for a meal, we have the [regeneration] room if someone wants to take a nap, so we’re fit for duty.”
Hurdle mentioned pregame that the clubs’ objective is to not overtax anybody throughout the day. It is unlikely that a reliever will be available to pitch in both games, and it is probable that game-two’s lineup will look very different than game-one’s. Hurdle believes that most of the roster will get the opportunity to contribute throughout the day with the goal to be as competitive as possible.
Starling Marte (illness) is available off of the bench for game-one, and is tentatively penciled in to start game-two, according to Hurdle.
Pirates Recall Worley, DFA Liz
The Pirates announced this morning that they had recalled Vance Worley from Triple-A Indianapolis and designated Radhames Liz for assignment to open up a spot for Worley on the 40-man roster.
Worley has been efficient in his last four starts with Indianapolis, which included two consecutive eight-inning outings that he completed in under 100 pitches.
“He’s back in a very good routine,” Hurdle explained. “He went down there with intent and with purpose to get the consistency, command and overall execution of his pitches back in place.”
According to Hurdle, the Pirates are moving forward with Worley over Liz because of overall “command and execution.” The initial plan for Worley is to resume the long-relief role that he previously held, and he can provide the Pirates with a more dependable option to make a spot-start if the situation arises down the stretch.