The (Saturday) Winudup, Morton ETA edition

Pirates lineup today:

  • Harrison 3B
  • Walker 2B
  • McCutchen CF
  • Marte LF
  • Kang SS
  • Hart 1B
  • Rodriguez RF
  • Stewart C
  • Cole P

Figured we wouldn’t see Gregory Polanco’s name in the lineup today — and nothing to do with his unfortunate pratfall at the end of Friday’s game. With lefty Jon Lester on the hill for the Cubs, this was gonna be Sean Rodriguez’s day in right field all along. …

Actually, probably a bad day for Polanco to take a seat. He’d love for a quick chance to make amends. …

Corey Hart, getting the start at first base, has two homers off Lester, and Andrew McCutchen has one. Otherwise, the Bucs don’t have much history with the former lifelong American Leaguer. … 

Not yet: Charlie Morton threw a smooth bullpen session, then was told to go make one more rehab start for Indianapolis. Then he’ll be plugged back into the Bucs rotation, most likely on May 25, for the opener of a three-game series with the Marlins in NC Park. … 

Bill Madlock, who won two NL batting titles with the Cubs (1975-76) then two more with the Bucs (1981, 1983) will instead be hitting notes today as he does the “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” honors during the seventh-inning stretch. … 

High- or low-scoring, 11 of the Bucs’ 19 losses have been by one or two runs. That’s gonna hurt when you look back at some point. … 

Rather than have “Kids run the bases,” as elsewhere following day games, the Phillies on Thursday invited those “55 and over to stroll the bases” following the game with the Bucs. So they did, long lines of seniors just shuffling around the basepaths. Funniest ballpark scene in a long time — in an endearing sense. …


Dear Clint,
You are widely recognized as one of the most inspiring and leading Skippers in Baseball.
But as one who only made it to Federation league, but a Bucs fan since I hid my transistor radio at nite under my pillow, I have the temerity to offer a few suggestions:
1. Tell Ray and your pitchers to continue doing exactly what they are doing. They are great. Tell them not to focus on the run support, just keep doing their job. No runs can eventually crater the best of staffs…..
2. Have your hitters play slow-pitch softball for two weeks. No swinging for the fences and do nothing but dump singles over short and second for a fortnight.
3. Instruct your hitters to stop swinging at filth out of the strike zone. Tell them if they are not called out on strikes at least once a week, they are not disciplined enough.
At least you got rid of a nice guy but insufficient hitting coach.
I will be happy to come up as acting hitting coach for food money until Mr Nutting gets a Searage quality replacement.

Here’s the team meeting:
“You’re gonna bat 4 times today. Everybody who gets called out once looking at strikes today gets a Primanti’s sandwich of their choice on me. If you hit/walk four times, you also qualify.”
It’s one game out of 162. Try it and you will win!
Coach Cozmo in Orlando

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