Scouting Wednesday's Pirates-Cubs game
Pirates beat reporterRob Biertempfel's inside look at Wednesday's game:
• Ballots for the Gold Glove awards were distributed last week, and the Cubs are touting their candidates. Welington Castillo leads all major league catchers with a 2.7 defensive wins above replacement. Anthony Rizzo tops the majors with a 0.5 defensive WAR. Darwin Barney is tied for first among NL 2B with a 1.5 defensive WAR. Barney's four errors are by far the fewest among everyday second basemen, and he was riding a 48-game errorless streak going into Tuesday's game.
• Rizzo has 63 extra-base hits, tied for fifth among NL batters. It's also the most by a Cubs left-handed hitter since Corey Patterson had 63 in 2004. The last Cubs lefty batter to have more extra-base hits was Mark Grace, who got 65 in 1999.
• Steelers coach Mike Tomlin sent manager Clint Hurdle a congratulatory telegram after the Pirates clinched a playoff berth. The Mario Lemiuex Foundation tweeted: “Congrats to the Pirates on making the 2013 MLB postseason! #buctober”