Pirates notebook: Tabata OK'd to return to play
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said outfielder Jose Tabata does not have a concussion, and after being cleared to play, he got a pinch-hit double in the eighth inning against Milwaukee on Thursday at PNC Park.
“He went through a battery of tests (Thursday), starting with the doctor,” Hurdle said. “They do the concussion test, the computer test. Passed that. Ran on the field, went in the cage, reflexes, all the different activities we could run him through.”
On Wednesday, Tabata ran into the left-field scoreboard at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park while making a catch of Brayan Pena's drive in the fifth inning during the Pirates' 4-0 loss. The immediate report was that he showed mild concussion symptoms, and he was pulled from the game.
Up there hacking
The Brewers like to swing the bat early and often. Entering Thursday's game, Milwaukee led MLB in fewest pitches per plate appearance and first-pitch swing percentage and was second in fewest called third strikes.
The approach isn't for everyone, but the Brewers took an MLB-best 11-4 record into the game.
“They're aggressive,” said Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton, Friday's scheduled starter. “Shoot, their leadoff guy, Carlos Gomez, he's swinging. And it's not like he just swings blindly. It's not strange because he's talented, but he gets to some pitches and hits them pretty hard for where those pitches are located.”
A 2013 All-Star, Gomez led off in one game last season. At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, he doesn't even look like a leadoff hitter. But he can run and effortlessly moved into the slot after Milwaukee traded Norichika Aoki to Kansas City. Gomez was hitting .328 with four homers, 10 RBIs and a 1.014 OPS.
Even though he had yet to win, Pirates right-hander Edinson Volquez took a 1.29 ERA in three starts into Thursday's game. But his mound opponent, Yovani Gallardo, was even better. The Brewers' right-hander was 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA.
“You might see five different pitches from him,” Hurdle said. “Two starts ago against Boston, he threw a game where there wasn't a swing and miss. Disciplined team, yeah, but that's a lot of strikes, and you're getting good hitters to put the ball in play, not hard. That's professionalism at its best. It's kind of like mastery of what you do.”
Gallardo throws a fastball, slider, curve and cutter, and he occasionally sneaks in a changeup.
“And he's going to work both sides of the plate,” Hurdle said, adding the way to deal with that is to pick one side and look for a pitch there. “You have to. But it's hard.”
Because of Penguins telecasts on Root, Pirates games Saturday and Wednesday will be broadcast on MLB Network. The Pirates play the Brewers at 7 p.m. Saturday and the Reds at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Bob Cohn is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.
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.
- Pirates find a bridge at end of baseball world
- Pirates notebook: Worley raring to go after skipping last start
- Pirates’ 5-game winning streak ends with 1-0 loss to Brewers
- Sunday’s scouting report: Brewers at Pirates
- Saturday’s scouting report: Brewers at Pirates
- Martin’s homer rescues Pirates in 4-2 victory over Brewers
- Pirates notebook: Morton scratched from Sunday’s start
- New approach on offense has Pirates in playoff contention this season
- Pitt notebook: Expanded game plan likely awaits Iowa
- Pirates analyst Kent Tekulve recovering after heart transplant
- Rossi: Melancon change good for Pirates