Pregame: McCutchen “Not in a Good Place Physically”, Energy in Clubhouse

Center fielder Andrew McCutchen is out of the lineup again on Sunday due to the stomach flu. The All-Star played in the Pirates 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night where he went 1-for-3 with a walk. McCutchen was also showing off his speed in the outfield, making several great running grabs up against the wall. And doing it while sick.

Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said it’s best served for him to have the day off today. The club also has Monday off, and then they will revisit his status on Tuesday.

“He’s not in a good place physically,” Hurdle said. “He went out and tried. I think we’re best served with just giving him a break, giving a day off tomorrow, and we’ll revist it on Tuesday. It’s not fair for him right now. It’s not fair for us.”

McCutchen was removed in the fourth inning on Thursday’s game in St. Louis due to the stomach flu. He sat out also on Friday.

 

The energy in the clubhouse is young and fresh. The music. The handshakes. The group of guys act like a family. And it even keeps skipper Clint Hurdle young as well.

“These guys have a way of keeping me young,” Hurdle said. “I giggle when I see the handshakes. When we get ready for a game. Back in the day, you slap somebody on the backside, then you went to work. Some days we have trouble remembering our signs, but each one of them has 17 different handshakes they can throw down at the blink of an eye. That makes me giggle. The walk up songs make me giggle. The thing they talk about, the TV watch in their downtime makes me giggle.”

“It gives me a perspective on things that I normally don’t engage in whatsoever. It’s their clubhouse. They’re putting a foot down and making it their clubhouse. And I’m proud of them. I just know it’s not my clubhouse. Which is a good thing.”

While Hurdle was playing in the Majors, they didn’t have walk up music like they do today. But given the chance, Hurdle knew exactly what his song would be if he was playing today. He even had the song play while he took out the lineup card during spring training in Bradenton at McKechnie Field.

“Right now I’d have ‘I’m no angel by Gregg Allman.’ Oh man. Made for me,” Hurdle said.  “It’s beautiful. I mean, really, if you listen to the lyrics, it will make you giggle.”

 

  • Pirates Lineup vs. Reds: Jose Tabata 9, Alex Presley 7, Neil Walker 4, Pedro Alvarez 5, Casey McGehee 3, Nate McLouth 8, Clint Barmes 6, Michael McKenry 2, Charlie Morton 1
  • Both Neil Walker and Alex Presley homered in the Pirates 3-2 win against the Reds on Saturday night. The Pirates have won four of the last five games in which they’ve homered and are 9-5 overall this season when going deep at least once in a game.
  • Right-hander Charlie Morton will get the start for the Pirates this afternoon. Morton allowed six runs (five earned) in 4.1 innings and lost a 10-7 decision to Adam Wainwright Tuesday night in St. Louis. It was his shortest outing since September 4, 2011 (also 4.1ip).
  • Reds lineup vs. Pirates: Zach Cozart 6, Drew Stubbs 8, Joey Votto 3, Brandon Phillips 4, Jay Bruce 9, Chris Heisey 7, Todd Frazier 5, Ryan Hanigan 2, Mat Latos 1
  • Righty Matt Latos has posted a 5.97 ERA over five starts this season. He allowed five earned runs on 10 hits over 6.1 innings with four strikeouts and two homers his last trip to the mound against the Houston Astros.

“We saw him really good last year,” Hurdle said. “He bullied us on a day game last year. He absolutely put his foot down and came after us. He pitched a strong ballgame. We actually got in front of him in San Diego in a game that he pitched. We hit some early homers, jumped out to a lead. He hit a homer in that game as well. This guys got a good big arm. He can spot his fastball, spin his breaking ball, cutter, changeup. When he’s on, he’s very tough. His last outing he got dinged up a little bit, so I’m sure he’s looking forward to getting back out on the mound after his outing as well. He’s got good history against us. Our guys have good history against him.”

Latos has a career 2.84 ERA against the Pirates over three games.

  • Right-hander A.J. Burnett will get the start on Tuesday in Pittsburgh against the Washington Nationals. It will be his first outing since giving up 12 runs on 12 hits over 2.2 innings. Burnett will look to bounce back from the rough start against the Cardinals.

“His next start will be important,” Hurdle said. “No more then [Charlie] Morton’s start is for me today. No more important than [James] McDonald’s start was yesterday for me. No heightened importance because he got blistered the other day.”

  • Lefty Jeff Locke (7.0ip) and reliever Evan Meek (2.0ip) combined on a 4-0 shutout for Triple-A Indianapolis last night. Locke has gone 3-1 with a 2.31 ERA (35.0ip/9er) in his first six starts with Indy.
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