Pirates pregame: McCutchen in lineup as DH, Polanco out today
TORONTO — The Pirates get manager Clint Hurdle back today, but have lost Gregory Polanco indefinitely. The lineup for today's game vs. the Blue Jays was a late arrival, as Polanco (hamstring) and Andrew McCutchen (knee) were under going what Hurdle said was a “battery of tests” to determine their availability.
McCutchen will play, although he'll be limited to a DH role to save him from having to run around on the artificial turf. “I think I'll be all right,” said McCutchen, who got some electrical stimulation treatment this morning before going outside to test his agility and running ability.
Polanco is out today and (although nothing has yet been announced) might be headed to the disabled list. The Pirates will wrap up the interleague series today, then have an off day before starting a two-game set vs. the Brewers.
“I asked them if they wanted me to bring any duct tape, chicken wire and spit with me from Austin,” said Hurdle, who was in Texas the past two days for Don Baylor's funeral. “We're going to be fine. We'll navigate through today's game. What makes it somewhat less challenging is it's an American League game with the DH in play, so we don't have to pinch-hit for the pitcher. We should be able to get through fine.”
Hurdle was one of several baseball luminaries who attended Baylor's funeral. The list included Rod Carew, Frank Robinson, Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre.
“It was really special,” Hurdle said. “A large group of people who came to honor a really good man. Throughout the funeral, the shares (of remembrances), collectively and individually, the lives he touched. Members of so many organizations. The networking of people he touched really showed up at the church.”
Too bad the Pirates don't need rotation help instead of outfielders. Triple-A Indianapolis has won seven of its past eight games, powered by a starting rotation that's posted a 1.30 ERA in that stretch.
Lefty Steven Brault tossed seven shutout innings vs. Syracuse on Saturday. Brault, who lost his first three decisions, is 10-2 with a 1.43 ERA since May 6. He leads the International League with a 1.94 ERA.
On Friday, Tyler Glasnow racked up 11 strikeouts in five innings. Since he was sent back to the minors last month, Glasnow is 8-0 with a 1.57 ERA.
Although he's dropped his past three starts, righty Drew Hutchison has put up decent numbers (6-8. 3.73).
1:07 p.m. at Rogers Centre, Toronto. TV: AT&T Sportsnet. Radio: Radio: 93.7 FM, 1450 AM, 1480 AM
PIRATES (58-59): Starling Marte 8, Josh Harrison 4, Andrew McCutchen DH, David Freese 5, Jose Osuna 3, Sean Rodriguez 9, Jordy Mercer 6, Francisco Cervelli 2, Adam Frazier 7. RHP Chad Kuhl (5-7, 4.53)
BLUE JAYS (55-61): Jose Bautista 9, Josh Donaldson 5, Justin Smoak 3, Kendrys Morales DH, Carrera 7, Ryan Goins 6, Kevin Pillar 8, Raffy Lopez 2, Darwin Barney 4. LHP J.A. Happ (5-8, 3.77)
Gamecast: The Blue Jays have used 12 different starting pitchers this season. … In his last outing on Tuesday, Happ gave up one on four hits in 5.2 innings vs. the Yankees. He struck out five and matched his career high with four walks. … The Pirates are 5-2 in Chad's last seven starts, including his last outing Tuesday night against the Tigers at PNC Park. … Kuhl has never faced the Blue Jays. In four career interleague starts, he is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA. Kuhl was in line to win two of those games, but fell victim to blown saves. … Andrew McCutchen's third-inning double on Friday was his 525th extra-base hit, which moved him into seventh place on the franchise list. He also played in his 1,303rd game, which moved him past Al Oliver for 14th on the club's all-time list. … On Saturday, the Blue Jays put Russ Martin on the 10-day DL with a strained left oblique.
TUESDAY, 7:40 p.m. at Miller Park, Milwaukee. Pirates RHP Ivan Nova (10-9, 3.87) vs. Brewers RHP Brandon Woodruff (1-1, 1.50)
WEDNESDAY, 2:10 p.m. at Miller Park, Milwaukee. Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole (10-8, 3.96) vs. Brewers RHP Zach Davies (13-6, 4.40)