Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lineup, News, Notes - Top Management Safe

LHP Jeff Locke (0-2, 5.47 ERA) toes the rubber versus the Mets RHP Jeremy Hefner (2-7, 5.79 ERA). Locke is looking for his first MLB win and has surrendered five homers in his past 15 innings. Hefner hasn't made it out the third inning two times this month and in his last start against Philadelphia didn't retire a batter. In other words, it's your usual September rookie matchup. The game begins at 7:10 and will be aired on Root Sports.

The lineup: Starling Marte LF, Alex Presley RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Mike McKenry C, Josh Harrison 2B, Clint Barmes SS, Jeff Locke P.

The Kid is out for a second day, as is Travis Snider. Clint Hurdle told the media that they are considering just shutting Walker down for the season, which sounds like a pretty good plan right about now.

  • From club president Frank Coonelly: "...we will not be making personnel changes at the very top of our baseball operations department. Neal (Huntington), Kyle (Stark), Greg (Smith) and Clint (Hurdle) are dedicated and intelligent baseball men in whom I have great confidence."
  • Andrew McCutchen has 93 RBI coming into tonight, the most by a Pirate since Nate McLouth plated 94 in 2008. The last Pirate with more RBI in a season was Jason Bay with 109 in 2006.
  • A little inside baseball: Yesterday, Clint Hurdle credited Wandy Rodriguez's comeback after being bombed for two homers to switching from a moving two seam fastball, which was coming back over the plate, to a straight four seamer that stayed on the corners. 
  • The next Pirate loss or Cardinal win eliminates Pittsburgh from the playoffs.
  • Even with the frustration of the September swoon, the Pirates have improved; their 76 wins are eight games ahead of where they were at this time last year (68-86; they ended with 72 wins) and already the most victories of the PNC Park era. Next on the list are the 1999 Bucs with 78 wins, then the 1997 Pirates, who won 79 games.
  • The Bucs had claimed tonight's pitcher, Jeremy Hefner, briefly during the past off season. He was DFA'ed after some more waiver wire wheeling and dealing and the Mets reclaimed him.

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