08/22/2002 9:28 pm ET
MLBeat: Young doesn't start
By Jared Hoffman / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- On Thursday, for the second time in three games, first baseman Kevin Young was out of starting lineup because of pain in his knees
Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said Young is not a candidate for the disabled
list, but classified his status as day-to-day.
"Some days are better than others," said McClendon regarding Young's health. "He
just doesn't know how he is going to feel until he wakes up."
This has been Young's worst offensive season since coming to Pittsburgh in 1997.
He began the year by hitting .188 in April and .197 in May, but has batted .260 since to raise his
overall average to .247. With 40 RBIs, Young is on pace for his lowest RBI total as a Pirate and
it would mark the fourth consecutive season his RBIs have dropped since he set a career high of 108 in 1998.
As has been the case each time Young has been out of the lineup, Craig Wilson started at first base on Thursday. Wilson has hit .364 (16-for-44) with three homers and 11 RBIs against St. Louis and is a .311 hitter in his career against the Cardinals.
Bird watching: No matter what the outcome is of Thursday's game, the Pirates have already doubled their victory total against the Cardinals from last season when they went 3-14 against St. Louis.
The Pirates are 6-10 against the Cardinals coming into Thursday's game and a victory in the series final would give Pittsburgh a 4-3 mark at Busch Stadium this season. The other teams in the NL Central each have a losing record at Busch Stadium and are a combined 8-17 at St. Louis.
McClendon is glad his team has fared better against the Cardinals this season but
he knows the Pirates have a long way to go. "They've got more bullets than we do right now," McClendon
Notes: The Pirates past eight homers have been solo shots. ... Pittsburgh has dropped the series final in nine of its past 10 series heading into Thursday's finale at St. Louis.
... Reliever Al Reyes hasn't allowed a run or hit in his first three appearances with the Pirates totaling three innings.
"He"s keeping the ball down and throwing strikes," said McClendon. ... The Pirates haven't had a winning streak of more than three games this season since a six-game winning streak
from April 15-21. Since then they have had five losing streaks of four games or more.
Fantasy Edge: Pokey Reese is hitting .235 (4-for-17) since moving into the leadoff spot. Thursday's game was the sixth consecutive game Reese has batted leadoff.
Jared Hoffman is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.