Pittsburgh Pirates Notebook: Looking Out From The Crow’s Nest


The Pittsburgh Pirates have an off-day Monday as they are preparing to go on the road Tuesday for a three-game set with the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

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Then it will be time to come back to the North Shore as the Bucs open a three-game series Friday against the Cleveland Indians at PNC Park. The crew of the Jolly Roger are one game over .500 in interleague play this season at 5-4.

Clint Hurdle‘s squad is 2-3 in their last five outings and 4-6 in their last 10 match-ups. Coming into Tuesday’s meeting with the Tigers, the Pirates are 16-9 in June. Let’s sit back in the crow’s nest and open up the Pirates log to look over some news and notes for this week.

Pittsburgh needs to revisit their “Lumber Company” roots as they are 13th in the National League after 75 contests with 56 home runs. The Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves have hit fewer round-trippers with 48 and 44, respectively. The Bucs were third in the N.L. last season with 156 homers, and third in 2013 with 161. They are still on the look out for their first grand slam, inside-the-park home run, and walk-off homer of the season.

The Pirates are ninth in the league with 284 RBI and they have been driving in those runs mainly with doubles. The Bucs are second overall on the Senior Circuit with 137 two-baggers. Meanwhile, in addition to more home runs, a few more triples would not hurt as they are last in the N.L. with five.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates /

Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh made some changes to the 25-man roster Sunday as they now have seven relievers and five bench players. They designated 26-year-old outfielder Jose Tabata and 28-year-old right-handed pitcher Chris Volstad for assignment, and brought up 27-year-old outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and 26-year-old infielder Steve Lombardozzi from the Indianapolis Indians.

Mark Melancon leads the N.L. with 24 saves, and is tied with left-hander Glen Perkins of the Minnesota Twins for the overall Major League lead in saves. The 30-year-old right-hander has struck out 24 batters, and has posted a 1.72 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP.

Josh Harrison, Starling Marte, and Andrew McCutchen are in a three-way tie for the team lead in hits with 78 apiece. When the Pirates fire a cannon shot, it is Marte who is the home run leader with 12, followed by Pedro Alvarez with 10. In driving runs across the plate, Marte again is the leader with 45, followed by McCutchen with 44. Gregory Polanco is the artful bandit on the base paths with 17 steals.

Up Next: When the Pirates and Tigers take the field Tuesday in the opening round of their three-game set, Detroit will send 32-year-old Justin Verlander to the hill. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound right-hander is 0-1 with a 6.17 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.

The Pirates will give the ball to 24-year-old Gerrit Cole (11-3, 2.16 ERA/1.13 WHIP). The 6-foot-4, 230-pound right-hander will be making his 16th start of the season. He is 6-1 with a 2.81 ERA in eight career interleague starts. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. and it will be broadcast on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.

Next: Pirates' Bell And Diaz Set For All-Star Futures Game

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