AJ Burnett has been really, really excellent the last two times he's taken the mound for the Pirates. In his last two starts, he's given up 11 hits and two runs over 16 innings. He's got 18 strikeuts and only four walks. He buzzed through the Rockies with a complete game last Sunday in what was one of his better starts as a Pirate. The point here is that if you had to pick a guy on the Pirates' staff to take the mound after last night's blowout loss to stablize things a bit, it'd probably be AJ Burnett. He'll face Juan Nicasio again. The Pirates knocked Nicasio out of last Sunday's game after 4 1/3 innings. In the start before that, the Braves chased him in four.
First pitch tonight is at 8:10.
Do people think Hurdle is a good manager? He just had Burnett pitch to the #8 hitter with 2 out and a man on 3rd. Shouldnt you walk the guy in that situation and pitch to the pitcher?
In hindsight, it was probably a bad decision. However, at the time I think both Hurdle and Burnett thought the #8 hitter could be made the 3rd out leaving the Rockies' pitcher as a potential easy first out in the next inning. Unfortunately, the gamble didn't work out.
In my opinion, Hurdle is a pretty good manager -- even the best occasionally make a poor decision. From the outside looking in, he seems to be pretty good at motivation and keeping the team on an even keel.