Game 9: Rockies (4-2) @ Pirates (5-3)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Jim Tracy’s final managerial decision of the night on Friday continues to baffle me. Actually, I’m sure it always will. Pitch to Jose Tabata? Really? With Garrett Olson up next, two outs and the Pirates with no choice but to have him hit for himself? Yeah, I’d take my chances with Olson — even with a runner in scoring position.

In case you missed the 14-inning, 5-hour, 11-minute affair on Friday, you can read about it here. Tracy was asked about the decision to throw to Tabata and his answer is in the story. Whether or not it makes any sense is for you to determine. And whether he was duped by Andrew McCutchen moving onto the on-deck circle or not is something only Tracy will ever know.

But now, we move on to Game No. 9. I can only hope that this one ends before midnight.

Other news and notes…

  • Ross Ohlendorf was placed on the 15-day DL on Saturday with a right shoulder posterior strain. The Pirates called up righty Daniel McCutchen to fill the roster spot. Pittsburgh had to get someone up here to relieve the bullpen, which will be without the services of Chris Resop, Jeff Karstens and Olson on Saturday because of how many pitches each threw in Friday’s win. Manager Clint Hurdle also said that Mike Crotta is probably not an option because he’s worked back-to- back games. Evan Meek is listed as “doubtful” because of right shoulder tightness.
  • That leaves Joel Hanrahan, McCutchen and Jose Veras as your three relievers available on Saturday. Both Kevin Correia and Paul Maholm could also throw an inning or two, if necessary, since it’s their day to throw on the side.
  • As for Ohlendorf’s rotation spot, the Pirate are not filling it just yet. Karstens is a possibility, though the Pirates are also contemplating skipping the spot the next time through. They can do that because of Monday’s off day. I’d expect an announcement after Monday one way or the other.
  • Ohlendorf said he was surprised at how good his right shoulder felt on Saturday and still doesn’t believe the injury is as bad as it was last year.
  • Meek said he is feeling better, but for precautionary reasons, he doesn’t expect to throw on Saturday or Sunday. With an off day on Monday, that would give Meek until Tuesday to make sure he is completely healed. There is no suggestion at a possible DL stint to this point.
  • With so much to cover in the gamestory last night, I wasn’t able to include Hurdle’s explanation for walking the bases loaded to face Todd Helton in the top of the 14th. For those of you who were asleep by that point of the night, Colorado had two on and two out with Troy Tulowitzki at the plate. Helton, who had been a game-time scratch due to back soreness, stepped to the on-deck circle. He was Colorado’s last bench player. Hurdle called for Tulowitzki to be intentionally walked (for the second time of the night) in order to face Helton instead. Was that because it was known Helton was hurt? “I don’t know what I do if Helton’s healthy,” Hurdle said. “There’s still a chance that we might [walk Tulowitzki]. The matchup, the left-hander versus Tulowitzki, there’s a good chance we might still do that. It’s no disrespect to Todd Helton. The guy was scratched from the game. We figured that was a better opportunity for us to go at him rather than it was at Tulo at the time.”
  • If there was ever a night when the Pirates need a deep start by their pitcher, this would be it. Pittsburgh needs Charlie Morton to go at least six innings — preferably at least seven — in order to give the bullpen the breather it needs.
  • Today’s digit: 554 — the number of pitches bullpen catcher Heberto Andrade caught on Friday. Talk about a guy earning his paycheck.

Lineups:

PIRATES: J. Tabata (LF), N. Walker (2B), A. McCutchen (CF), L. Overbay (1B), P. Alvarez (3B), R. Doumit (C), G. Jones (RF), J. Rodriguez (SS), C. Morton (RHP)

ROCKIES: D. Fowler (CF), J. Herrera (2B), C. Gonzalez (LF), T. Tulowitzki (SS), S. Smith (RF), J. Lopez (3B), T. Wigginton (1B), J. Morales (C), G. Reynolds (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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