September 23: Reds (70-81) @ Pirates (56-93)
Before getting to baseball news, I thought it would be worth one more update as to how the G-20 Summit is going to affect anyone coming to PNC Park on Thursday or Friday. If you’re in Pittsburgh and didn’t know the G-20 Summit is going this week, shame on you. That means you must not have read a newspaper or turned on the news in months. Anyways, the gathering of world leaders at the Convention Center begins on Thursday and ends the following day.
The good news is that there will be no road closings on the North Shore. All the parking garages that you can normally access for a Pirates game will be open, and all the main interstates will also be open as usual. The Roberto Clemente bridge will still be open to pedestrian traffic.
One word of warning — if you normally come through downtown to get to the ballpark, don’t. Downtown will be shut down almost completely, though buses will be running from downtown if you do want to near the ballpark that way. There will also be protesters all around the city and so it’d be wise to allow some extra time to get to the ballpark in case that causes any unexpected traffic snarls, like it did this morning.
That’s all I’ve got for you. Oh, and expect to see lots of law enforcement around. There have been military helicopters and boats around the ballpark today and plenty of foot police around as well. I’d expect that to only increase as the next two days come and go.
As for today’s non-G20 news, notes and randomness…
- The Pirates have still not named a starter for Friday’s game, though it will be a situation where the Pirates piggyback various relievers. Manager John Russell said he’d like to see how he needs to use his bullpen these next two games before committing to the starter.
- Third baseman Andy LaRoche is still out of the lineup as his health remains less than 100 percent. Russell guessed that LaRoche could play if need be but that another day to rest would do the infielder good.
- Neil Walker gets the start in place of LaRoche on Wednesday. Walker also confirmed that he will be playing part of his offseason playing winter ball for Luis Dorante’s team in Venezuela.
- It sounds as if the Pirates will continue to shy away from using righty Joel Hanrahan for the time being. And with the number of available bullpen arms, they have the luxury to do so. The Pirates want Hanrahan to throw another side session after Wednesday to see how his arm reacts.
- Second baseman Delwyn Young sits again on Wednesday. He said his back is fine, so that’s not the issue. He has been slumping for almost a month now, going 7-for-70 in his last 21 games. When asked if all Young’s extra infield work could have worn him down mentally, Russell said that should be no excuse.
- For those interested, the MLB Network will televise the USA vs Cuba World Cup game on Thursday at 2 p.m. ET. The championship game on Sunday will also be shown on the Network. That game has a 9 a.m. ET scheduled start. I bring this up in case you want to catch a glimpse of prospect Pedro Alvarez, who has been the US third baseman during the tournament. Pitching prospect Brad Lincoln is also on the team, though since he just pitched on Tuesday, he will not be throwing in Thursday’s game. Sunday could be a possibility for Lincoln, though.
- With his homer to lead off the first on Tuesday, Andrew McCutchen has now hit four first-inning leadoff homers this season. He’s the first Pirate to do so since Al Martin had six in 1999.
- Andrew McCutchen (CF)
- Lastings Milledge (LF)
- Garrett Jones (1B)
- Ryan Doumit (C)
- Brandon Moss (RF)
- Ronny Cedeno (SS)
- Neil Walker (3B)
- Luis Cruz (2B)
- Kevin Hart (RHP)
- Drew Stubbs (CF)
- Paul Janish (SS)
- Joey Votto (1B)
- Brandon Phillips (2B)
- Scott Rolen (3B)
- Jay Bruce (RF)
- Laynce Nix (LF)
- Corky Miller (C)
- Homer Bailey (RHP)
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