April 26: Pirates (7-11) @ Brewers (8-10)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

What a weird game this can be sometimes.

The Pirates go from a thrilling three-game sweep of the Reds to dropping six straight and possibly counting…

The Brewers outscored the Pirates, 36-1, in a three-game series last week, only to then be outscored 25-4 by the Cubs over the next three days…

The Astros have won eight of their last 10 after losing eight straight to open the season. The Cubs have moved up to second place after starting 6-10…

Amazing what can happen in one week. And this is just in the NL Central.

Here’s what’s happening in the clubhouse…

  • Not in Pittsburgh anymore“: That’s the headline on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s sports page today. And it found its way onto the bulletin board in the visiting clubhouse. The headline, obviously, was in reference to the Brewers getting outscored 25-4 by the Cubs after they took it to the Pirates last week. And the Pirates were not amused.
  • I’m sure no one needs a reminder, but the Pirates have lost their last 21 games here. That’s the longest home winning streak by one team over another since the Indians beat the Browns/Orioles 27 straight times from 1952-54.
  • The Pirates will name a starter for Tuesday’s game after tonight’s affair. Likely candidate is Jeff Karstens, who has been stretched out in Triple-A for this purpose.
  • Thursday’s starting slot is still TBD and likely will be through Wednesday. Much will depend on whether Brian Burres and Brian Bass will be fresh and able to make the spot start. If the Pirates have no choice but to use both in relief in the next few days, it’s back to Triple-A to find a spot starter — possibly Kevin Hart? Hart is scheduled to pitch next in Indy on Wednesday.
  • Ross Ohlendorf is scheduled to throw one more side session on Tuesday and then will make his first rehab start on Friday in extended Spring Training. He’ll go there so the Pirates have more control over his pitch/innings count. After that, Ohlendorf will be in line for one more rehab start (either with Double-A Altoona or Single-A Bradenton) before he’ll be ready to return.
  • Spent some time talking with Chris Jakubauskas, who is in exceptional spirits considering what happened to him 48 hours ago. Jaku said he had no issues on the plane ride up from Houston, though he is still groggy and dealing with headaches periodically. He was scheduled to have some memory tests done today. The hardest thing right now? He’s not able to get a good night’s sleep. Jaku has to be woken up every few hours to answer questions (it’s a consequence of having a concussion) and so sleep has come only in small chunks. He said he’s watched the replay of the incident a few times but that he thinks he’s now done viewing it for good.
  • Manager John Russell had a little lineup shuffle in store for the club today. For the first time this season, Andrew McCutchen is hitting leadoff. Obviously, he is no stranger to that spot in the order, having hit there last season.
  • McCutchen moving up was the result of Russell wanting Aki Iwamura to move down. Iwamura has just two hits in his last 27 at-bats and has not been working the count as well as he was earlier in the season. He’ll hit seventh on Monday.
  • Just another day off for Lastings Milledge, as Russell opted to go with the left-handed hitting Ryan Church against right-hander Yovani Gallardo.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  3. Ryan Church (LF)
  4. Garrett Jones (RF)
  5. Ryan Doumit (C)
  6. Jeff Clement (1B)
  7. Aki Iwamura (2B)
  8. Zach Duke (LHP)
  9. Ronny Cedeno (SS)

Brewers lineup:

  1. Rickie Weeks (2B)
  2. Carlos Gomez (CF)
  3. Ryan Braun (LF)
  4. Prince Fielder (1B)
  5. Casey McGehee (3B)
  6. Corey Hart (RF)
  7. Gregg Zaun (C)
  8. Alcides Escobar (SS)
  9. Yovani Gallardo (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

3 Comments

Why dont the Bucs play Young at 1st base. Clement is killing them.

@stats. Are you serious!!! Let’s look at what is wrong with that. I am going to assume you mean delwyn young (guess the writer could mean kevin) One reason they wouldn’t play him there is because he has never played there. I am assuming he has never played 1st because he is about 5’8″ in spikes, not the greatest target. Not that Clement is murdering the ball (though he has been all over it recently) but DY is a contact hitter. He is not the power hitter a team needs at 1st base. On to the statement that Clement is killing them. I will agree he has a deer in a headlight look at times, but I believe he has only made one error this season. So his bat is coming and defense has been sufficient. I would say that puts him way down the pecking order of those killing the Buccos. If you want to look at people that need replaced insert the name of just about any starter in this space. Though there really isn’t anyone in the system to replace them with. Sorry for the rant Ms. Langosch, but that comment irked me.

My thinking about Delwyn playing first is not the long term solution. Hes played 3rd, 2nd and the outfield, and hes a 300 hitter. I was looking for some kind of spark to get something going. Bring in Clement for defense late in the game, ok. But I was thinking about the offense. Maybe he (Young) could hit lead off and put McCutchen batting 3rd. If we don’t have the big power bats, then it has to be speed, average and smart baserunning. I liked the move last year of getting Young to play second. I thought it helped the team score more early runs. Though McCutchen is the ideal leadoff hitter, he is also the best hitter we have….so I’d bat him 3rd.

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