The (Wednesday) Rewind, clean shaven edition

Jordy Mercer shaved off his beard prior to Wednesday night’s game, then went out and went 3-for-3.

Ballplayers are superstitious. But Mercer can’t shave off his beard again. He might shave off Sean Rodriguez’s beard before Friday night’s game. By the time the entire team is clean shaven, Mercer could be a .300 hitter. … 

Charlie Morton’s gem kept the Pirates rotation hogging wins. That’s 17 straight team wins claimed by starters — a Pittsburgh first since July 12-August 25, 1987.

Big difference: The Bucs’ overall record during the current streak is 17-11; during the ’87 run, the team record was 17-23. …

Good thing the starters — and relievers; can’t ignore their contributions because none of those 17 were complete games! — have kept up their end, because the offense is going through one of its funks. With 10 runs the last five games, the Bucs have been fortunate to win two of them.

Manager Clint Hurdle blames the lull on “a number of quick-fire at-bats,” the opposite of working counts. Sure enough, in that five-game span, hitters have seen an average of 3.5 pitches per at-bat. …

By the way, Pittsburgh’s rotation isn’t the only one in the Majors doing strange things. In a somewhat related note, the Blue Jays have won 18 games since May 4, with not a single save by their bullpen. … 

The Cleveland Indians, who a few years ago had both CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee help them to a 96-win season, just called up a pitcher named C.C. Lee. What’s in a name, you ask? The Tribe will soon find out. …

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