The (Friday) Windup: Correia returns edition

Let’s welcome Kevin Correia back to town. He was an outstanding “team pitcher” during his Pirates tenure and, let’s not forget, one of the pivots in the franchise’s turnaround — the Bucs were 105-game losers when he came, and postseason contenders when he left. …

We’ve heard enough about A.J. Burnett being the Majors’ biggest loser last season, with 18. But right behind him — Correia, with 17 losses camouflaged by the fact it was split between two leagues and teams, the Twins and the Dodgers. …

His Philadelphia debut tonight will be Correia’s first big league start since September. …

Something else that hasn’t happened since September: The Phillies winning a series away from Citizens Bank Park. So it’s a good thing the Pirates’ manager doesn’t believe in the law of averages, because the Phillies have gone 14-32 on the road since that last win, Sept. 5-7 in Washington. That includes 10-23 this season — their first time they’ve lost 23 of their first 33 away games since 1941. …

Pirates lineup v Correia:

  • Polanco RF
  • Marte LF
  • McCutchen CF
  • Walker 2B
  • Harrison 3B
  • Alvarez 1B
  • Cervelli C
  • Mercer SS
  • Locke P

Watching Pedro Alvarez’s latest bomb leave PNC Park — the 438-foot shot onto the riverwalk Wednesday night — I was struck by how captivating it would have been to see him bat in Forbes Field.

I was blessed to have been able to attend many games at the ole yard, and the right field roof was a Holy Grail for left-handed hitters. Few conquered it. In Forbes Field’s 62 seasons, only 18 balls were hit over that roof, by 10 different hitters:

Babe Ruth, Ted Beard, Mickey Mantle, Wally Moon, Bob Skinner (2), Eddie Mathews (2), Jerry Lynch, Rusty Staub, Willie McCovey, and Willie Stargell (7).

El Toro would have taken regular shots at that target. …

Corey Hart — remember him? — will soon come out of hiding. The Bucs will face Cole Hamels on Sunday, and will also get lefties the next three games against the White Sox — Carl;os Rodon, Jose Quintana and John Danks.

“I’ve never had a season with such a lack of left-handed pitching against us,” Hurdle said of the Bucs having thus far seen only eight southpaw starters. …

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