8/22/2014 8:59 P.M. ET
Pirates hope to get Barmes back vs. Cards
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- When infielder Clint Barmes returns from his rehab assignment, Pirates fans should have a new appreciation for him -- and they may not have to wait long for a chance to show it.
The defensively steady Barmes, in his third season with the Bucs, has often had to go on the defensive when the subject turned to his bat. Fans have been quick with criticism. However, after a month of watching Michael Martinez and others called on to serve as backup infielders, Buccos Nation will cheer the return of Barmes, who hit .333 in his final 12 games before suffering a serious strain to his left groin in early July.
Manager Clint Hurdle on Friday expressed cautious optimism that Barmes would be able to rejoin the Bucs during the three-game series with St. Louis that kicks off a six-game homestand beginning Monday. That would mark the seven-week stage of Barmes' recovery, and originally his rehab time frame was set at between six and eight weeks.
Barmes is five games into his rehab -- two with Double-A Altoona and three with Triple-A Indianapolis -- and is scheduled to play two more complete games during the weekend.
First number, last word
32: Comeback wins by the Pirates, with the latest Wednesday night's walk-off over the Braves. The total leads the National League, and ranks third in the Majors behind the Angels (39) and the Tigers (33).
"We always feel we're going to win, going in. We felt that way for the last eight days. We were finally right." -- Hurdle, on winning Wednesday after seven consecutive losses.
• The Bucs are holding their annual Father & Son Weekend during this series, with the dads of numerous players and non-playing personnel sharing pregame field time.
• Right-hander Stolmy Pimentel (sprained right ankle) pitched a scoreless inning for Altoona in his first rehab outing Thursday, and is scheduled for another turn on Monday or Tuesday.
• The Pirates continue to rank among the Major Leagues' scoring leaders since the All-Star break, with their 141 runs entering Friday's games fourth best (Houston led with 145 runs). The bad news? The Bucs have also allowed 144 runs in that stretch.
• Travis Snider is the seventh different Pirates player with a hitting streak of 10-plus games, something none of the other 29 teams can boast. Josh Harrison (twice), Neil Walker (twice), Andrew McCutchen, Russell Martin, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco had previously compiled hitting streaks in double figures. Snider's streak was alive at 11 games entering Friday.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.