May 17: Pirates (16-21) @ Phillies (23-13)
The Pirates have arrived in Philadelphia just in time for Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins to be activated off the disabled list. That’s not exactly going to make things easier for Charlie Morton tonight or Zach Duke on Tuesday.
Well, it’s not like anything has come easy to the Pirates here at Citizens Bank Park in recent years. Pittsburgh has lost it’s last five games at CBP and 10 of the last 11. Overall, the Pirates a 4-14 here, dating back to the ballpark’s 2004 opening.
Oh, and the Phillies have Roy Halladay — who has already thrown three complete games this season — going on Tuesday.
TODAY’S NEWS AND NOTES:
- Aki Iwamura (tight right hamstring) is improving, but he still feels some pull walking and doing side-to-side movement. Iwamura did participate in some extra hitting on Monday and could be used to pinch hit, if necessary. Given that he can’t run and that he has struggled offensively for a while now, I can’t imagine Iwamura making a pinch-hit appearance unless it’s one of those extra-inning, no-one-left-on-the-bench situations.
- Right-hander Brendan Donnelly will throw a simulated game on Tuesday, assuming the rain holds off. If all goes well there, Donnelly (left oblique strain) will be reevaluated on Wednesday and is likely to come off the DL during the next homestand. He is not going to be sent down to make a Minor League rehab start.
- With Iwamura out, the Pirates are using Delwyn Young at the leadoff spot on Monday. It is his second time hitting leadoff this year. The Pirates have used five different leadoff hitters this season.
- This will be the Pirates’ first game against a team from the NL East in 2010. On the other side, the Phillies are 9-1 against the NL Central (3-0 vs. Houston, 3-1 vs. St. Louis, 3-0 vs. Milwaukee).
- Right-hander Daniel McCutchen has been placed on the Triple-A disabled list due to arm fatigue. He is expected to miss just one or two starts. McCutchen went 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in four starts (three appearances) with Pittsburgh before being demoted.
- As noted yesterday, the Pirates have promoted righty Bryan Morris (3-0, 0.60 ERA) from high-A to Double-A. Pittsburgh has now also promoted starter Hunter Strickland (acquired in Adam LaRoche trade) from low-A to high-A, presumably to take Morris’ rotation spot.
- In other Minor League news, Altoona starter Jared Hughes was named the Eastern League’s Pitcher of the Week. He leads all Minor League pitchers with seven wins this season.
- I realized the Pirates’ road record these last few years has been pretty forgettable… But can you believe that the club has not had a winning road trip since 2007? Yes, in manager John Russell’s tenure as manager, the Pirates have never finished above .500 on a road trip. They can do so with a win either on Monday or Tuesday.
- Charlie Morton enters this start having worked at least six innings in each of last two. After allowing 27 earned runs in his first 19 1/3 innings this year, Morton has given up just five in his last 12 frames (two starts).
- The Pirates have expanded their “You score as the Bucs score” promotion due to high demand. The limited number of $7 tickets for the May 21-23 series against the Braves sold out so quickly that the Pirates have made additional tickets available for the $7 promotional price. Until they sell out, those tickets can be purchased here.
- Delwyn Young (2B)
- Andy LaRoche (3B)
- Andrew McCutchen (CF)
- Garrett Jones (RF)
- Ryan Church (LF)
- Ryan Doumit (C)
- Jeff Clement (1B)
- Ronny Cedeno (SS)
- Charlie Morton (RHP)
- Shane Victorino (CF)
- Placido Polanco (2B)
- Jimmy Rollins (SS)
- Ryan Howard (1B)
- Jayson Werth (RF)
- Raul Ibanez (LF)
- Greg Dobbs (3B)
- Carlos Ruiz (C)
- Kyle Kendrick (RHP)
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