07/25/12 12:59 PM ET
Pirates expect Wandy to mesh well in clubhouse
By Mark Emery / MLB.com
Hurdle not worrying about brief offensive lull
PITTSBURGH -- After seeing their club post a combined one run on seven hits in back-to-back losses to Chicago, Pirates fans were left asking, "Where has all the offense gone?"After all, these are the same Bucs whose 146 runs in June led baseball. And until a few days ago, they were on pace to pull off the same feat in July. Not to worry, said manager Clint Hurdle, who was impressed by the two starting pitching performances he saw from the Cubs in this series. On Monday, Jeff Samardzija gave up one hit over eight innings, and the next day, former Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm held the Bucs to one run on five hits. "No. 1, I tip my hat to Samardzija," Hurdle said before Wednesday's finale. "We could face that guy tomorrow, and if he throws like that, we're not going to hit him. Not many teams are. "Yesterday, we had pitches to hit -- we missed them. But, that's another part of the game." Hurdle, the eternal optimist, said he doesn't focus on the bad in this game, opting to reinforce the positives instead. He isn't worried about the last two games, or their potential to knock his club out of the offensive rhythm it has been in over the last two months. "We didn't hit. But to make any more of it than that?" Hurdle said. "We deal with the reality of the situation, and then we move forward."
Alvarez proving to be ultimate afternoon slugger
PITTSBURGH -- Even though the Pirates play the majority of their games at night, Pedro Alvarez has managed to hit two-thirds of his home runs in the daytime.Of Alvarez's 21 dingers, 14 of them have come in day games. He's been such a prodigious slugger in the afternoon that some fans have taken to calling him DayDro. "He gets up earlier. That's what he said. That's what I'm going with," manager Clint Hurdle said. "No, again, we love to nail things down, the 'why.' Sometimes, there is no 'why.' It's just the way it's happening." Despite having 103 fewer at-bats during day games, Alvarez has managed to drive in 32 of his 58 runs when the sun is still up. He's batting .313 in such games this season. "I'm glad we still play in day games," Hurdle said. "We've got a number of them still on the schedule."
Kevin Correia brought a career-high five-game winning streak into Wednesday's start against the Cubs. In his previous six outings, the right-hander was 5-0 with a 4.05 ERA, his last loss coming June 13 in Baltimore.
Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.