Posts Tagged ‘Andrew McCutchen’

Pirates beat 8/29

August 30, 2010 Comments off

Outfielder McCutchen out of Sunday’s lineup

MILWAUKEE — Through 129 games this season for the Pirates entering Sunday, center fielder Andrew McCutchen had played in 121 of them. When game No. 130 rolled around, McCutchen’s name was left, surprisingly, out of the lineup.

“It’s good I guess,” McCutchen said. “I don’t really have days off. It gives me time to just kind of chill, relax and get myself right. I’ll always be ready, though. You never know, it could be a close game and I could come in late. So I keep myself prepared and mentally ready to play.”

All but two of the eight previous games McCutchen had missed came in a mid-July stretch when he sat out six consecutive contests with a shoulder injury. After returning from that injury, McCutchen sat out another time just three games later.

Before that day off, McCutchen had not missed a game for the Pirates since the first week of May. With that in mind, the center fielder did not expect to sit out the series finale at Miller Park on Sunday.

“How can you expect it when you’re arguably the best player on the team?” remarked outfielder Lastings Milledge as he sat nearby at his locker.

“You don’t really expect a day off when you play every day,” McCutchen said. “I don’t mind playing every day. I’ve had my days off with me being injured, so it’s not like I’ve been playing the whole season. I guess they felt I needed one, so they gave me one.

“I’m not thinking too much about it.”

Alvarez moving forward after costly error

MILWAUKEE — With two out and a runner on third in the bottom of the seventh on Saturday, reliever Chan Ho Park got Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy to ground to third.

With a hard hit grounder, the ball hopped off the glove of Pirates rookie Pedro Alvarez, caroming over his left shoulder and into shallow left field to shortstop Ronny Cedeno.

“The ball kicked up on me a little bit,” Alvarez said. “It took a tough hop and I can’t predict something like that.”

As center fielder Lorenzo Cain scored easily from third, the Brewers tied the game at seven runs apiece, coming back from four runs down when the Pirates led, 6-2, in the third inning.

Alvarez appeared a bit indecisive on whether to charge the ball or wait back on it. He chose the latter, and could not make the play.

“It’s still a sign of youth,” said manager John Russell. “It’s a big moment, you get a little tense and [he will] continue to get better.”

The error was Alvarez’s 10th of the season, which ranks as the ninth-most among National League third basemen. With a .942 fielding percentage, Alvarez now sits 14th among those in the NL who have started 60 or more games at the hot corner.

Even with the error leading to a crucial run for the Brewers, it’s not one that Alvarez plans to spend much time worrying about.

“Obviously you never want that to happen,” Alvarez said. “I can’t worry about it anymore. I tried to get myself in the best position possible to catch it and I just couldn’t come up with it.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates beat 7/9

July 9, 2010 Comments off

Pirates continue to struggle away from home

MILWAUKEE — After being swept in Houston, the road woes have continued this week for the Pirates, who have lost 21 of their last 23 away from PNC Park.

For manager John Russell, the trend is hard to figure out.

“It’s tough. I’ve never really seen much like it,” Russell said. “We can’t win on the road. I think it’s got to become a mentality at some point for these guys that they need to rise to the occasion on the road more.”

One thing Russell pointed out was a struggle in two key areas of the game: getting good pitching and scoring runs on the road.

Aside from that, Russell sees more mistakes away from home as well.

“I think on the road, we’ve found ways to kind of beat ourselves more than we do at home,” Russell said. “Especially the road trip when we lost a couple games in Detroit, if we make a couple plays we win. The same way in Oakland.

“Things that we need to do better as a team we don’t do. Part of that is youth, part of it is not making the play.”

Over the last 23 road games, the Pirates’ only wins have come in Chicago, when they took two of three from the Cubs from June 28-30. The club also took two of three from the Cubs at Wrigley Field in May.

Along with the two road series victories in Chicago, the Pirates have won just one other road series this season, April 19-21 in Milwaukee. The series victory snapped a 22-game losing skid for the Pirates at Miller Park.

Outfielders Andrew McCutchen and Lastings Milledge have both enjoyed plenty of success against the Brewers in their careers.

Entering Friday’s game, McCutchen had hit safely in 15 of his 17 career games against Milwaukee, going 26-for-75 (.347) with seven doubles, four home runs and 10 RBIs. At Miller Park, McCutchen’s average was even better as he owned a 12-for-31 (.387) mark.

Milledge had been even better in Milwaukee, going 20-for-45 (.444) in his last 11 games at Miller Park after going hitless in six at-bats in his first game in Milwaukee.

With that in mind, the Pirates will be looking to add a fourth road series win this weekend.

“We do it in Chicago, we play well there,” Russell said. “So we talked about that. We talked to the players a little bit about that, of the intensity and focus we have when we play in Chicago and trying to get that same focus.”

Reliever Gallagher expected to fill many roles

MILWAUKEE — After joining the club on Thursday in Houston, reliever Sean Gallagher was expected by manager John Russell to be available if needed Friday.

He’ll pitch in a middle-relief role for the club in the short term, though Russell expressed an interest Friday in stretching the right-hander out.

“We’d like to because he has that capability,” Russell said. “He’s got four pitches, he has started before. I think he’s going to be a guy that we could use in that multi-inning role.”

Gallagher was acquired by the Pirates on Wednesday, as they sent cash to the Padres in exchange for the right-hander, who had been designated for assignment by San Diego.

With the move to Pittsburgh comes a bit of familiarity for Gallagher, who began his Major League career with the National League Central rival Chicago Cubs.

Additionally, Gallagher pitched for Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League this past offseason, where Pirates first-base coach Carlos Garcia also was the manager. Garcia’s pitching coach on that Magallanes club was Pirates assistant pitching coach Ray Searage.

With that familiarity, Russell and his coaching staff likes the flexibility of Gallagher and what that could bring to the pitching staff.

“At some point, he is going to get stretched out,” Russell said. “That’ll be kind of the value that he brings as a guy that can pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen.

“We’ll see how it goes, he could work his way toward the back side a little bit or he gives us an option as a spot starter.”

D’Arnaud added to Eastern League ASG roster

MILWAUKEE — With a spot opening on the roster, the Harrisburg Senators and the Eastern League announced Friday that Double-A Altoona Curve shortstop Chase D’Arnaud was added to the Western Division roster for the Eastern League All-Star Game.

D’Arnaud replaces Richmond infielder Brandon Crawford, who is unable to play and will not be attending the game on July 14 at Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg, Pa.

With D’Arnaud marking the sixth Curve player selected to the All-Star Game, the Curve have tied the franchise mark for most players chosen in a single year. During the 2006 and ’07 seasons, the Curve also had six representatives.

Along with Harrisburg, the Curve have now tied for the most representatives on the Western Division roster. With seven selections, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern Division led all Eastern league teams.

D’Arnaud, the Pirates’ fourth-round pick out of Pepperdine in 2008, joins teammates Derek Hankins, Rudy Owens, Matt Hague, Josh Harrison and Hector Gimenez as the club’s representatives in the All-Star Game.

Worth noting

The Pirates announced Friday the signing of three more players from the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, all right-handed pitchers: 27th-round pick Kevin Kiels, out of Grossmont College; 41st-round pick Bryton Trepagnier, from East St. John High School; and 49th-round selection Logan Pevny of West Milford High School. … Friday marked the seven-year anniversary of the “Randall Simon incident” during the Sausage Race at Miller Park.

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.