August 29: Pirates (53-73) @ Brewers (62-66); Doumit remains out of lineup
Preferring to stay at Marriott properties for the sake of building up my points, I don’t often stay at the same hotel as the team when we’re all on the road. But I have to admit that the team’s local abode here in Milwaukee certainly has me intrigued.
For those of you who haven’t heard the stories before, the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee is believed, by many, to be haunted. With no personal experience to back up these claims, I obviously can’t come to my own conclusion. But Major League players have claimed for years that they are joined by ghosts, shadows and unusual noises during their stays here. The main spirit spotted is said to be Charles Pfister, who founded the hotel in 1893.
The stories — and I won’t vouch for their veracity — range from Los Angeles’ Adrian Beltre taking a bat with him to bed, to various Marlins players sharing rooms with the hope that combatting a spirit with two people would be better than doing so solo.
So I asked bullpen catcher Heberto Andrade, who, on a side note, is diligantly trying to teach me Spanish with little success so far, what he thought…
Andrade started off by making it clear that he didn’t really believe in ghosts, spirits and the like. But he said he’s starting to rethink that position. Early Friday morning while watching SportsCenter, Andrade claims he heard what sounded like heavy breathing right around his shoulder. He turned the TV volume up. Still heard it. Turned the volume up again. Later on, he said he saw a shadow pass by on the reflection of a hanging picture.
If nothing else, this all makes for some good stories and good laughs in the clubhouse. And that’s certainly needed consider the Pirates haven’t won here in years.
As for today’s news, notes and randomness…
- Ryan Doumit, who was benched for disciplinary reasons in the fifth inning of Friday’s game, is not in the lineup again on Saturday. However, manager John Russell said that his decision to start Jason Jaramillo was already predetermined. Asked if Doumit would be back in the lineup on Sunday, Russell answered: “We’ll see.”
- There will be more details on pirates.com later, but here is a taste of what GM Neal Huntington had to say on the issue: “It’s something that JR and Ryan are handling and I’m supportive of what JR feels is appropriate going forward. There is really nothing more to talk about than that. This isn’t going to be the first time that one of our players experiences a disciplinary issue. It’s not going to be the last time. The response isn’t always going to be to get him out of here. It’s not in this situation. It’s a situation that happened. JR and Ryan are going to handle it and we expect to move beyond it, move forward, learn from it and expand beyond it and grow beyond it.”
- There has still not been a starter named for the first game of Monday’s doubleheader against the Reds, though Phil Dumatrait is still a candidate for the start. He is, however, available to pitch out of the bullpen on Saturday, and if he does that could take him out of the possibility of starting Monday.
- Paul Maholm will start the night cap on Monday. That much is known.
- Right-hander Jose Ascanio (right shoulder tendinitis) threw light toss on Saturday for the first time since going down with the injury. Though the Pirates do expect to have him back before the season ends, it’s still very unlikely he’d be stretched out enough to pitch in a starting role.
- Ronny Cedeno (right pinky fracture) continues to improve. Russell said they are shooting for Cedeno to return to the lineup on Sunday.
- Though Luis Cruz had a nice lump on his head, he insisted that he is feeling no ill effects of being hit in the head during BP on Friday. Brian Bixler is starting in Cruz’s place on Saturday.
- Lefty Donnie Veal continues to work through his Minor League rehab assignment with Double-A Altoona. So far, Veal has logged eight innings in four games. He has allowed one run on three hits, four walks and has struck out 10.
- The Brewers’ 19-game home winning streak against the Pirates is the longest home winning streak by one team over another since the Orioles defeated Toronto 19 consecutive times from 1978-81.
- Andrew McCutchen (CF)
- Delwyn Young (2B)
- Garrett Jones (RF)
- Andy LaRoche (3B)
- Steve Pearce (1B)
- Lastings Milledge (LF)
- Jason Jaramillo (C)
- Brian Bixler (SS)
- Kevin Hart (RHP)
- Felipe Lopez (2B)
- Craig Counsell (3B)
- Ryan Braun (LF)
- Prince Fielder (1B)
- Mike Cameron (CF)
- Frank Catalanotto (RF)
- Jason Kendall (C)
- Alcides Escobar (SS)
- Yovani Gallardo (RHP)
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