The (Wednesday) Windup, “Hunting” Bany edition

Clint Hurdle had no reason to be aware of the White Sox’s schedule until he got to the visiting manager’s office in U.S. Cellular Field. That’s when he realized that following the Pirates into Chicago will be the Texas Rangers, managed by Jeff Banister, his former bench coach and good friend.

“I’ll probably leave something in the drawer here for him,” Hurdle said from behind his desk. “Leave him some music, maybe.”

Hurdle acknowledged keeping close tabs on the Rangers — who, as did the Pirates, came out of an early-season tailspin to play better ball the last six weeks. Or, as Hurdle put it, “I hunt him. I follow. I’m a big fan of the Rangers, have been ever since I left there (after being Texas’ batting coach in 2010).” …

The Bucs’ lineup tonight, noteworthy because Andrew McCutchen is making his second career start at DH — the other was in 2011 — and the absence for the fourth straight game (all against lefty starters) of Pedro Alvarez:

  • Harrison, 2b
  • Marte cf
  • McCutchen dh
  • Kang 3b
  • Cervelli 2
  • Mercer ss
  • Rodriguez lf
  • Hart 1b
  • Polanco rf
  • [Locke p]

Where are the people who were throwing darts at Mark Melancon two months ago? Why aren’t they showering him with rose petals now? Nineteen straight saves, an ERA that was 8.53 on April 21 down to 1.99. That’s an amazing statistical nosedive. … 

The Shark’s 70th Pirates save on Tuesday, incidentally, tied Jose Mesa for fifth on the club’s all-time list. …

Never mind that the Bucs already have more series sweeps (seven) this season than they had in all of 2014 (five) — last year, they did not even wield their first broom until July 6, that’s the noteworthy part. … 

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