Hurdle defends aggressive approach
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle understands baseball strategy. He was taught the game properly.
But he also won't back off what may be aggressive play just because conventional wisdom might suggest otherwise, and he won't apologize for it, either.
"We're not a conventional team," Hurdle said before Monday's game against the Washington Nationals. "That book that everybody reads• Show me a copy, I'll read it with you. ... That book, if you look at the foreword, it says, 'This is a manager's cover-his-backside book. If you stick to this book, you can never be second-guessed. Merry Christmas.' That more or less, is what it's for. My opinion."
The conversation came up during a discussion of the last out of Sunday's game, in which Andrew McCutchen attempted to score from third base when Jose Tabata hit a fly ball to right field with two outs and the Pirates down by three runs.
But adrenaline and an aggressive mentality sometimes take over in a game, and Hurdle said at least they have a better understanding for when they can run and when they can't -- at least when it comes to the depth of a fly ball.
"Take (Jason Werth's) arm: Was it a gamble• Absolutely," Hurdle said. "Did it not work out• Absolutely. Am I pleased with the aggressive mentality• Yes, absolutely."
Hurdle said he didn't ask whether McCutchen decided to go on his own or whether third base coach Nick Leyva sent the center fielder.
"I trust my third base coach implicitly," he said. "My guess is (Leyva) told him to go, and my guess is Andrew was going. I expected him to go. I would have been more shocked if he hadn't gone. Because one thing I told Nick in spring training is I don't ever want to wonder if he'd have been safe."
"It was just good to get some sleep. I was a little short on that, but I caught up (Sunday) night. I might have had 11 hours (Sunday) night."
Brandon Wood -- Pirates infielder, on whether it helped to have a few days to acclimate before making his Bucs debut
13 -- Sacrifice bunts by the Pirates going into yesterday's game (tied with Atlanta for league lead)
5 -- Sacrifice bunts that have led to a run being scored