Pirates notebook: Botched popup shocks Martin
Pirates catcher Russell Martin was so surprised to see his ninth-inning popup drop into shallow right field Friday night that he didn't know what to think.
At first he couldn't believe that Astros reliever Edgar Gonzalez threw him a 3-2 changeup with the bases loaded. Then he was upset after it seemed certain that the ball wasn't going to fall and second baseman Jake Elmore was right underneath it, prepared to make the catch that would send the game to extra innings.
“Then I'm getting close to first base and realizing that right fielder's coming in hot right now,” Martin said. “I'm like, ‘Is he going to crash into him?' and then I saw it happen. It was really funny how it happened. It wasn't like one of those big rushes, like, ‘Yes, I just won the game.' It was more like amazement of ‘I can't believe this just happened. They just gave us the game.
“It felt like, ‘I'm happy, but I don't feel like I succeeded, but we still won, so I'm going to take it but it's just weird right now.' ”
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last time a major league game was decided on a walk-off dropped popup or dropped fly ball was June 12, 2009, when Mets second baseman Luis Castillo dropped a popup off the bat of the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez that allowed the tying and winning runs to score.
A number of the Pirates' development staff, including Tom Prince, Brad Fischer, Gary Green and Jeff Livesey, have been with the team in recent days, and manager Clint Hurdle said he told them they should share video of the play with managers in their minor league system.
“You can take that tape down to West Virginia, you can take that down to Bradenton, and when those young managers are pulling their hair out because the kids aren't playing the game and fundamentally executing, show them a big league game and say, ‘Wow. It can happen,' ” Hurdle said.
Mechanical adjustments working for Hughes
With Jose Contreras on the bereavement list, Jared Hughes is back with the Pirates after being optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on May 3. The right-hander said he, Indians manager Dean Treanor and pitching coach Tom Filer have been working on ways to get his timing back and make sure he's moving properly.
“We've been working on some mechanical adjustments — a few really important ones — to get back to where I was last year when I was getting the ground balls and consistent sinkers in the zone,” said Hughes, who did not allow a run in six appearances (6 2⁄3 innings) with Indianapolis. “I put a lot of work into that, and I'm going to continue to work on it, but I feel like I'm in a much better place.”
Odds and ends
Hurdle said as of Saturday afternoon he hadn't decided whether Michael McKenry would catch Sunday. With Monday's off day, he said, he could turn to Martin again as long as Martin felt OK. … James McDonald is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday. … Hurdle also said that at some point the Pirates likely would consider sending John McDonald (back and elbow) on a rehab assignment. … Jeff Karstens threw 62 pitches in his first rehab start with Double-A Altoona on Saturday. He allowed two runs and two hits, walked two and struck out four. Infielder Chase d'Arnaud also began his rehab assignment with Double-A Altoona. … Hurdle said the rotation for next week is not set.
Show commenting policy
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.