Game 73: Orioles (33-37) @ Pirates (35-37)
Don’t forget to tune into tonight’s telecast a little earlier than first pitch time to see a celebration of the 1971 World Champion Pirates. Both the Orioles and Pirates — who faced off in that ’71 Series — will be wearing throwback uniforms from that season. But before the game gets underway, 19 members of that ’71 team will take part in a pre-game ceremony. There will be story and video of the reunion on pirates.com later.
Fittingly, Steve Blass and Manny Sanguillen will be the battery for tonight’s first pitch. Pirate fans would know why that pair is fit for such an honor. Also, for those who want to relive the ’71 Series (or watch it for the first time, a category I would fall into), ROOT SPORTS will re-air Game 7 at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night.
Other news and notes…
- Manager Clint Hurdle announced that the team will skip Charlie Morton’s next start in an effort to help him battle through fatigue issues. Morton has had three consecutive less-than-stellar starts now, and both Hurdle and Morton believe he’s leaving more pitches up because he’s carrying a much heftier workload than he was at this time last year.
- The Pirates will not need to find a spot starter for Morton’s spot because of the two upcoming off days. Morton’s next start will come July 1, which will give him 10 days of rest. James McDonald will now pitch on Sunday, which would give him a normal four days of rest. Kevin Correia, Paul Maholm and Jeff Karstens will take the mound in the three-game set in Toronto.
- Now, the club will have a need for an extra starter for the scheduled doubleheader on July 2 in Washington. You can expect someone from Triple-A (Brad Lincoln, perhaps?) to come up to make that start. If not Lincoln, the Pirates could go with Brian Burres, Garrett Olson, Justin Wilson or Rudy Owens.
- Hurdle will keep a close eye on innings/pitch counts for his pitchers all season, and don’t be surprised if McDonald and/or Karstens find themselves having a start skipped at some point. Both are on pace to throw more innings than they did a year ago.
- The Pirates have re-acquired Josh Rodriguez from Cleveland for cash considerations. He is joining Triple-A Indianapolis and will be playing all across the infield. He’ll also probably get some time in the outfield.
- Joe Beimel returned to the mound for a bullpen session on Monday and said he felt “outstanding.” He’ll throw his next one tomorrow — again 20 pitches, all fastballs.
- Much more from the day in the pirates.com notebook, which I need to begin writing now.
PIRATES: J. Tabata (LF), J. Harrison (2B), G. Jones (1B), A. McCutchen (CF), N. Walker (2B), X. Paul (RF), R. Cedeno (SS), M. McKenry (C), J. McDonald (RHP)
ORIOLES: J. Hardy (SS), N. Markakis (RF), A. Jones (CF), D. Lee (1B), M. Wieters (C), L. Scott (LF), M. Reynolds (3B), R. Andino (2B), J. Guthrie (RHP)
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