Pittsburgh Pirates home stand report card for 5/30-6/6
By Joe Smeltzer
To me, this home stand went as Clint Hurdle went.
The Pirates lost three of four to the Brewers largely because of Hurdle’s poor decision making. Saturday afternoon, he inexplicably threw Clay Holmes in the sixth inning two-run game instead of starting the frame with Francisco Liriano, and the Bucs lost the lead and, ultimately, the game as a result. The next day, the Pirates had Milwaukee on the ropes with two on an nobody out in the ninth… until Hurdle decided to bunt Adam Frazier, killing any chance of a comeback. Against the Braves, however, Hurdle did his job well.
Wednesday night, Hurdle rode Joe Musgrove until Musgrove had nothing left, and gave his starter the chance to throw a complete game. Wednesday, he pulled Chris Archer at the right time, went with the right reliever (Liriano), and made sure his team wouldn’t lose the lead.
Hurdle will never be a great on-field manager, and I don’t even think he’s a good one. This week showed, however, that he’s capable of balancing poor decisions with intelligent ones.
Overall grade: C