Grilli on Bereavement List, Locke Recalled

Relief pitcher Jason Grilli has been placed on the Bereavement List due to the death of his wife’s grandfather. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the extended Grilli family at this time.

To take his place on the roster, pitcher Jeff Locke has been called up from AAA. Locke was part of the 2009 Nate McLouth trade along with Charlie Morton and Gorkys Hernandez. All four pieces of that deal are currently on the Bucs’ big league roster.

Locke was called up for four starts at the end of last season and went 0-3 in 16.2 innings with 5 strikeouts, a 6.48 ERA and 1.86 WHIP. His AAA line for this season is 3-3, 47.2 IP, 36 K, 3.02 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. For now, Jeff is expected to pitch out of the bullpen in long relief.

Today’s game starts at 1:05. Lineup:

Jose Tabata RF
Neil Walker 2B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Pedro Alvarez DH
Garrett Jones 1B
Josh Harrison 3B
Rod Barajas C
Nate McLouth LF
Clint Barmes SS

Kevin Correia SP

Tigers:
Don Kelly CF
Andy Dirks LF
Miguel Cabrera 3B
Prince Fielder 1B
Delmon Young DH
Brennan Boesch RF
Jhonny Peralta SS
Alex Avila C
Ryan Raburn 2B

Max Scherzer SP

Meek Down, Gorkys Gets The Call

As expected, the Pirates sent down Evan Meek to call up a bat for this weekend’s series in Detroit. Surprisingly, the hitter they called up was not Matt Hague or Jake Fox, who could provide some pop off the bench or in the DH role, but Gorkys Hernandez. Gorkys was acquired with Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke from the Braves in the Nate McLouth deal and is know for his defense and baserunning ability. Hernandez is hitting .266/.343./355 this season and has a .279/.347/.383 line in 548 at bats over two seasons in Indianapolis.

Series Preview: The Tigers

Current record: 18-20, 3rd place in NL Central, 4.0 games back

Up Next: Detroit Tigers, 18-20, 2nd place in AL Central, 4.0 games back

Season Series: 0-0, First time playing.

Notes: The Pirates head to Detroit for the start of Interleague play. Miguel CabreraPrince Fielder and Austin Jackson lead an offense that has scored 167 runs in 38 games, 4.39 per game. Fortunately, the pitching and defense has yielded 4.66 r/g. Curious to see who’ll be DHing for the Pirates this weekend.

Familiar Faces: Jim Leyland, Octavio Dotel and Don Kelly.

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH Charlie Morton (2-3, 33.1 IP, 20 K, 4.05 ERA, 1.44 WHIP)
vs. Rh Justin Verlander (4-1, 58.1 IP, 56 K, 2.47 ERA, 0.87 WHIP)

Morton’s mechanical adjustments were very effective in his last start. Just when you thought the Pirates had already faced every good pitcher in the league, they face last year’s AL Cy Young award winner and MVP.

Saturday: RH A.J. Burnett (1-2, 31.2 IP, 31 K, 5.12 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)
vs. LH Drew Smyly (1-0, 39.0 IP, 32 K, 2.31 ERA, 1.10 WHIP)

Burnett’s been amazing, save the one awful start. Smyly is the Tigers’ hot young rookie.

Sunday: RH Kevin Correia (1-4, 40.0 IP, 14 K, 4.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)
vs. RH Max Scherzer (2-3, 41.2 IP, 48 K, 6.26 ERA, 1.73 WHIP)

Really hoping that Brad Lincoln gets this start instead of Correia. If not, then you have to imagine that Kevin will be on a very short leash. Even with nothing else going his way Scherzer still strikes out a bunch of guys. He’s the kind of pitcher that always
seems to right himself against the Bucs.

No lineups yet.

4:58 Update: Lineups:
Josh Harrison DH
Neil Walker 2B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Garrett Jones RF
Casey McGehee 1B
Nate McLouth LF
Clint Barmes SS
Michael McKenry C

Tigers
Don Kelly CF
Andy Dirks LF
Miguel Cabrera 3B
Prince Fielder 1B
Delmon Young DH
Alex Avila C
Brennan Boesch RF
Jhonny Peralta SS
Ryan Raburn 2B

Marlins & Nationals Wrap Up

Scores:
Monday: 3-2 Win at Miami. Lincoln efficient and effective. Box score.
Tuesday: 6-2 Loss at Miami. Correia falls apart in 4th. Box score.
Wednesday: 7-4 Loss at Washington. Old Bucs beating current Bucs. Box score.
Thursday: 5-3 Win at Washington. McDonald & McCutchen lead the way. Box score.

Season Record: 18-20, 3rd place in NL Central, 4.0 games back

Notes: The offense was all Andrew McCutchen, Rod Barajas and Josh Harrison. The trio had 16 of the team’s 28 hits with 3 doubles and 5 homers. The pitching staff was uncharacteristically porous so getting a spilt over the four games is pretty good. James McDonald took a no-hitter into the 6th and struck out a career high 11. Joel Hanrahan closed out both wins and looked better than he had last week.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh   AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO  LOB     AVG     OBP
Tabata, RF 16 2 3 0 1 4 4 0.188 0.235
Walker, 2B 16 0 2 1 0 4 3 0.125 0.125
McCutchen, A, CF 14 4 6 3 1 2 4 0.429 0.438
Alvarez, 3B 13 0 3 1 0 4 4 0.231 0.231
Barmes, SS 12 0 2 0 0 5 7 0.167 0.167
Barajas, C 10 3 6 3 1 2 2 0.600 0.636
McGehee, 1B 9 1 0 1 2 3 3 0.000 0.167
Jones, G, 1B, RF 8 0 1 1 0 1 1 0.125 0.125
Harrison, 3B-LF, SS 7 2 4 3 0 0 1 0.571 0.571
Presley, LF 6 0 0 0 1 1 2 0.000 0.143
McKenry, C 3 1 1 1 0 0 0 0.333 0.333
Navarro, LF 3 1 0 0 1 1 1 0.000 0.250
McLouth, PH 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
Bedard, P 2 0 0 0 0 2 2 0.000 0.000
Lincoln, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000
McDonald, J, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
Resop, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
  Totals 128 14 28 14 7 32 38 0.219 0.259

Batting
Doubles (4): Tabata (6), Alvarez (6), Barajas (5), Harrison (2)
HomeRuns (6): Barajas 2 (3), McKenry (2), Harrison (1), McCutchen 2 (5)

BaseRunning
SB: McCutchen (7), Tabata (5)
CS: Barmes (2), Presley (4)

Fielding
Errors: McGehee (2)
Double Plays: (Barmes-Walker), (Alvarez-Walker-Jones)

Pitching

Pittsburgh     IP    H    R   ER  BB  SO  HR    ERA   WHIP
Bedard (L, 2-5) 6.0 6 4 4 1 7 3 6.00 1.17
Lincoln (W, 3-0) 6.0 4 2 2 1 3 1 3.00 0.83
McDonald, J (W, 3-2) 5.7 4 3 3 1 11 0 4.76 0.88
Correia (L, 1-4) 3.7 8 6 6 4 1 0 14.73 3.27
Hughes, J (H, 3) 3.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.67
Resop 2.3 3 0 0 1 2 0 0.00 1.71
Grilli (H, 8,9) 2.0 2 0 0 1 3 0 0.00 1.50
Hanrahan (S, 7,8) 2.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 1.00
Watson (H, 4) 1.3 0 0 0 2 2 0 0.00 1.50
Meek 1.0 1 3 3 2 2 0 27.00 3.00
Cruz, J (H, 6) 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 2.00
  Totals 34.0 32 18 18 15 33 4 4.76 1.38

Transactions: Optioned Alex Presley to AAA. Recalled Evan Meek from AAA.

Presley Optioned, Meek Recalled

In a surprising move, OF Alex Presley was just optioned down to AAA. RHP Evan Meek has been recalled from AAA to take his place on the roster. Presley has been struggling at the plate and has spent much of the past week on the bench. The Pirates likely feel that some time in the minors may help him regain the form that got him to the majors last year.

The main impetus of the move however, is likely the need for another pitcher. The pitching staff has been taxed lately — going extra innings on Sunday, having Brad Lincoln fill in for Eric Bedard on Monday, and Kevin Correia not getting out of the fourth inning last night. The Pirates don’t have another off day until Thursday the 24th. I’d expect a bat to be brought up for this weekend’s Interleague series against Detroit.

Series Preview: The Nationals

Note: The series recap for the Marlins series will be combined with the series recap for this Nationals series so that the data will have a broader base.

Current record: 17-19, 3rd place in NL Central, 4.0 games back

Up Next: Washington Nationals, 22-14, 2nd place in NL East, 0.5 games back

Season Series: The Pirates took 2 out of 3 against the Nationals last week.

The top two pitching staffs in the NL face off tonight in Washington as the Pirates and Nationals conclude their season series. The Pirates go against the two starters they missed in the three game set last week. Bryce Harper hit his first two major league home runs in his last two games. Catcher Wilson Ramos was just lost for the season with a torn ACL. Closer Henry Rodriguez has been shaky and may be pulled from the role.

Probable Pitchers
Wednesday: LH Erik Bedard (2-4, 35.0 IP, 37 K, 2.57 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)
vs. LH Gio Gonzalez (4-1, 41.1 IP, 50 K, 1.94 ERA, 1.01 WHIP)

Bedard returns to action after only lasting one inning in his start against the Nationals last week. Gonzalez is finally showing consistancy to go along with his talent.

Thursday: RH James McDonald (2-2, 44.2 IP, 39 K, 2.42 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)
vs. RH Jordan Zimmermann (2-3, 46.1 IP, 32 K, 2.14 ERA, 0.97 WHIP)

Very similar lines for the two young righties.

Tonight’s lineup:
Jose Tabata RF
Neil Walker 2B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Casey McGehee 1B
Yamaico Navarro LF
Rod Barajas C
Clint Barmes SS
Josh Harrison
Erik Bedard P

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