Pittsburgh Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle was on TribLive Radio this morning. We captured a bit of the interview for you below. Hurdle sounded a bit tired to start the show, but he got rolling as the questions kept piling up from hosts Guy Junker and Ken Laird. At one point Hurdle joked which of those seven questions would you like me to answer first?
How fatigued were we? We left 22 men on base in the first two games against San Diego. We got on. We didn’t get ‘em in. The fatigue thing I am not in on that. We just got caught up in a 20 game strech in August that challenged us. We had a day off and we are going to be fired up to play at home tonight.
We have to stop the first innning runs and not leave opportunities on base.
It’s not comfortable when we give up first inning runs. We are trying to prep the guys before the game. He mentioned stretching prior and looking at adjustments.
The men are aware of it. In James’ (McDonald) case when you walk the first three hitters, there is a chance you are going to give up runs. We need to come out of the shoot with strike one.
The discussion moved toward roster expansion and Hurdle addressed with these responses.
We can start September 1st moving guys up. We have a Triple-A team in the playoffs. We don’t want to rob the barn, but we want to meet the needs of the major league club.
Hurdle was asked by Guy Junker about the young pitchers. We had Jeff Locke out of the bullpen. Justin Wilson and Kyle McPherson never pitched back-to-back games in their career and we were not gonna explore doing that on the Major League level.
We needed someone with length (in discussing the reason they were sent back down) and Tony Watson had thrown five of six games. Qualls was coming back. Grilli and Hanrahan–”NO.” We went and got Daniel McCutchen.
In discussing the months of August and September, Hurdle said that ‘your team needs to learn to get thru, and I think our team is finiding out its real, and embracing it as they move forward toward the goal–to get into the playoffs.’
Hurdle discussed fatigue after the 19 innning game saying it might take something from your stamina. ‘The Cardinals propelled a 19 inning loss into four straight wins over Houston. We left eleven men on base the next night. (and the next night) We didn’t play. It all makes for good topics for discussion, but I don’t know how much factual information it brings. We didn’t respond well in terms of wins or losses.
Our favorite part of the interview was when Hurdle said this:
“We called up the young men for a specific reason. I had a guy come up to me the other day and say ‘you hate young players, he used that word hate too,’ I don’t hate young players. I like guys who can play. We are comfortable bringing them up. You can anticipate seeing all three of them again.”