Share This Page

Pirates notebook: Team, McDonald pleased with outing

| Thursday, April 4, 2013, 7:42 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher James McDonald delivers during the third inning against the Cubs on Thursday, April 4, 2013, at PNC Park.

James McDonald's first start of 2013 was better than his first start of 2012 despite one thing.

McDonald fell victim to the Pirates' offensive shortcomings and took the loss despite allowing one run on two hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out four.

“I was happy with the way I competed,” McDonald said. “Every pitch meant something to me, and I just went out there and went straight after guys and did OK.”

McDonald kick-started his first half of 2012 with a two-run, six-hit effort through six innings against the Phillies. He did not get the decision but went on to compile a 9-3 record and a 2.37 ERA in his first 17 starts. He finished the season 3-5 with a 7.52 ERA in his last 12.

“I'm happy he was able to go out and do what I believe he's able to do and what we've seen him do,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Big picture, you want your team to win. If you can't win, for James to go throw seven and (allow) one run, we couldn't have hoped for much more than that. He was very, very good.”

Teammate Andrew McCutchen said McDonald was amazing.

“I think it's just more him knowing himself, not worrying about what other people think or what they say,” McCutchen said. “He knows himself the best. He went out and pitched a gem. You hate for guys to go seven innings and get the loss.”

First one out of the way

Clint Barmes didn't get his first hit until the fifth game of last season. Those opening games set up an awful first two months for Barmes, and the Pirates' shortstop said he'd be lying if he said he wasn't thinking about that after going 0 for 2 on Opening Day and 0 for 2 in his first two at-bats Wednesday.

But Barmes hit a leadoff double in the seventh inning and later scored. He doubled again Thursday in the third inning.

“At this point, compared to where I was at last year, it's completely different,” Barmes said. “That's a good thing.”

Steal away

McCutchen stole two bases Thursday and has four on the year. He stole 20 in 157 games last year.

“I'm feeling pretty good,” he said. “Just not thinking about so many things but getting on the base paths and just go.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.