PIRATES GO 5-5 ON ROAD TRIP
The Pirates finished 5-5 on their 10 game road trip, losing a controversial one Sunday, 3-2 in 10 innings to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The controversial play came with one out and runners on the corners when Andy Marte hit a grounder to shortstop Jordy Mercer, who flipped to second baseman Jayson Nix for a forceout and as it looked like what would be an easy double play, Nick Ahmed came in with his left arm raised and and was hit by Nix’s throw, allowing Tuffy Gosewich to score the winning run.
While Ahmed said after the game that’s how he’s taught to slide, it sure looked intentional.
What didn’t help the Pirates cause was how low Jayson Nix was when receiving the flip from Mercer as his throwing motion was lower than normal.
— The Pirates begin an 8 game home stand on Tuesday vs the Miami Marlins. The Pirates are an NL best 34-21 at home.
— Josh Harrison went 17-44 (.386) with 5 home runs, 7 RBI, 4 doubles and 1 triple on the 10 game road trip.
— Andrew McCutchen will be further evaluated in Pittsburgh Monday after leaving Sunday’s game with left side discomfort.
WILL PIRATES MOVE ALVAREZ TO 1B DURING PENNANT RACE?
One thing that was clear in talking to Pirate officials today, the final call on whether the Pirates move Pedro Alvarez to first base this season will be managements call not Clint Hurdle’s. Hurdle is involved and has given his opinion but it won’t be his call.
Hurdle has expressed his desire to management for Alvarez not to play third base again, at least not this year, but the message I got from one high ranking official is the Pirates still feel the need to find a way to get Alvarez’s bat in the lineup.
Hurdle is believed to be on the fence about playing Alvarez at first base in the middle of a pennant race.
“James Harrison is more than a viable option,” Hurdle told reporters Sunday. “He’s our best defender on the club right now at third base.” As for whether Alvarez moves to first base, Hurdle’s response……”I’m still involved in some discussions. Hypothetically, is that something you entertain during a pennant race?”