The (Monday) Windup: Cleaning up with Walker edition
Pirates lineup tonight, with Neil Walker — and his .438 lifetime average against Ryan Vogelsong — back in the cleanup slot:
- Harrison 3B
- Polanco RF
- McCutchen CF
- Walker 2B
- Marte LF
- Alvarez 1B
- Kang SS
- Stewart c
- Cole P
Cole is matched up with Stewart for the fifth straight time. Clint Hurdle:
“Every once in a while, you run into a situation — and it’s hard to explain — they seem to think alike. And when it happens, you take advantage of it.” …
Hurdle is a big admirer of the Giants, and of their manager. He and Bruce Bochy grew up in the same corner of Florida, and have a relationship that dates back 40 years. Bochy is from Melbourne, about 15 miles from Hurdle’s Merritt Island roots.
“So we were in the same conference,” Hurdle recalled. “I was a sophomore when he was a senior. The name — he was one of the biggest baseball stars we had. We played against each other throughout high school, and on the same (American) Legion team one summer.” …
It’s been a while since I took a fresh look at All-Star Alchemy — the remarkable relationship between hosting a Midsummer Classic and soon thereafter appearing in a World Series — but the historical trend has continued in recent years. Quite spooky:
- 2007 ASG host: Giants (2010 WS champs).
- 2008 ASG: Yankees (2009 WS champs).
- 2009 ASG: Cardinals (2011 WS champs).
- 2012 ASG: Royals (2014 WS).
- 2013 ASG: Mets (?, but on heels of Nationals).
- 2014 ASG: Twins (?, but currently have AL’s best record).