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).

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