April 18: Reds (5-7) @ Pirates (6-5)
Before getting to the day’s news and notes, here is one leftover quote from reliever Jack Taschner that wasn’t able to make it into the gamestory last night. It came after he was asked about whether getting off to a good start was more important for a team, like the Pirates, that has endured so many consecutive losing years.
“It’s important for any team, and for this team it’s no different,” he said. “It’s easier when things are going well than to kick start midseason. I don’t see a whole lot of reasons to panic in here. We all know the history. I’m sure we’ll hear about it all year. It’s not something that we think about in here.”
Here are your pregame notes on another chilly morning in the ‘Burgh:
- Andy LaRoche remains sidelined with back spasms. He still isn’t swinging a bat, though manager John Russell said there is a chance that he might return on Tuesday.
- Ross Ohlendorf, plagued by the same injury, didn’t throw on Sunday but is expected to do so again on Monday. If he continues to feel well, he’ll use his delivery motion and throw on flat ground.
- Russell shuffled his lineup some for the series finale, inserting Delwyn Young, Jason Jaramillo, Bobby Crosby and Ryan Church into it for the day. Nothing more than a day off for the usual starters who aren’t in there.
- Jeff Clement could use the day off after going hitless in his last 17 at-bats. Russell described him to be pressing, and that’s been pretty obvious. Clement is just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and 0-for-11 against left-handed pitching this year.
- With last night’s win, the Pirates have now won consecutive home series to start the season for the first time since 1992.
- The consecutive walk-off wins marked the sixth time the Pirates have done that at PNC Park. The last time was May 24-25 when Jason Bay delivered in extra innings in both games.
- I rarely look at the standings this early in the season, but for anyone who cares, the Pirates are currently in second place in the NL Central, one game behind the Cardinals.
- Delwyn Young (2B)
- Andrew McCutchen (CF)
- Lastings Milledge (LF)
- Garrett Jones (1B)
- Ryan Church (RF)
- Bobby Crosby (3B)
- Jason Jaramillo (C)
- Paul Maholm (LHP)
- Ronny Cedeno (SS)
- Drew Stubbs (CF)
- Orlando Cabrera (SS)
- Joey Votto (1B)
- Brandon Phillips (2B)
- Jonny Gomes (LF)
- Ryan Hanigan (C)
- Jay Bruce (RF)
- Paul Janish (3B)
- Bronson Arroyo (RHP)
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