Pregame: Bullpen Shake Up –‘pen Loses One, Gains One, and One Unavailable

The Pirates bullpen covered 8.0 innings in the club’s 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night. Right-hander Brad Lincoln stepped after Erik Bedard was removed with back spasms and pitched 3.0 innings where he struck out four and didn’t allow an earned run. However, Lincoln will not be available from the bullpen tonight. He threw 41 pitches.

“I don’t anticipate Lincoln being available tonight,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’ll check [Jared] Hughes. The pitch count wasn’t extremely high. He might be able to give us something. Everyone else will be in play. We’ve got Danny McCutchen here, he’s pitched length. He was down in Triple-A. He could give us multiple innings if we need him.”

Hughes threw 30 pitches over his 2.0 scoreless frames last night, which included four strikeouts. He punchedout the side in his first inning of relief.

Closer Joel Hanrahan was placed on the Bereavement List this afternoon and righty Daniel McCutchen was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. If the Bucs are in a save situation, Hurdle said that both Juan Cruz or Jason Grilli could get the call.

“We’ll kind of look at the lineup,” Hurdle said. “We played it that way in the past. Depending on the matchups, maybe leverage in the lineup. It could be [Juan] Cruz or it could be [Jason] Grilli. Cruz has done it a couple times…We’ll just see how it plays out.”

 

  • Pirates Lineup: Jose Tabata 9 Alex Presley 7 Andrew McCutchen 8 Pedro Alvarez 5 Neil Walker 4 Garrett Jones 3 Clint Barmes 6 Michael McKenry 2 Kevin Correia 1
  • The Pirates are looking to complete their first sweep of the season after being the Nationals 5-4 and 4-2 in the first two games of the three-game set. It would mark their first sweep over the Nationals Franchise in Pittsburgh since 1999 when they were the Montreal Expos. Although, they have a tough challenge ahead of them. Righty Stephen Strasburg will be on the bump for the Nats.

“Our focus is to win the game tonight. As it has been the past two nights,” Hurdle said. “We’ve got some good competition in front of us. Nobody likes to get swept, and they are probably trying to put a foot down over there.”

For Hurdle, it will be the first time he will see the former No. 1 overall pick live. He said that he has seen video of him, but this

“I know he’s been very efficient. He’s been a tough competitor since he’s been in the league. He’s hard to square up. Command has been pretty good. It’s power stuff. He comes right at you…That’s a good arm. I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

  • Andrew McCutchen is hitting .440 with six doubles, two triples, eight homers and 18 RBI over 20 career games against Washington. According to Elias, that is the highest batting average over the last four years for any play against any NL team with a minimum of 75 at-bats.
  • Nationals Lineup: Ian Desmond 6 Roger Bernadina 7 Ryan Zimmerman 5 Adam LaRoche 3 Bryce Harper 9 Dany Espinosa 4 Rick Ankeil 8 Jesus Flores 2 Strasburg 1
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