-P- I answered some questions about the Pirates for the Brewers blog Right Field Bleachers earlier this week.
-P- Tom Gorzelanny will start tonight against the Brewers; Paul Maholm and Jeff Karstens will each be pushed back a day. Also, Matt Capps should be activated today. The Trib reports that Romulo Sanchez and Nyjer Morgan are will be sent back to Class AAA to make room, but that doesn't seem right to me. If Morgan is sent back, then it's possible the Pirates' centerfielder the rest of this series could be Jason Michaels. Nate McLouth had blood tests done on Thursday, but it could be several more days before the results come back. He could be out for a while. If Morgan is sent down, that leaves the Pirates with just two outfielders--Michaels and Brandon Moss--plus Doug Mientkiewicz, who can handle a corner outfield spot. I doubt Morgan will be sent down, unless Steve Pearce is recalled.
UPDATE: T.J. Beam, and not Morgan, is the one to be demoted.
-P- Gorzelanny at Indianapolis: 35 innings, 33 strikeouts, 4 walks, and a 2.06 ERA. Not bad at all.
-P- Quinton Miller was just about to depart for the University of North Carolina when the Pirates called and made a last-minute, $900,000 offer. Miller's wording--he says the Pirates told him they "had the money"--makes it sound, in contrast to what the Pirates said at the time, that they had probably decided early on the deadline day not to sign Tanner Scheppers and to sign Miller instead.
Thomas said that as the season draws near an end and two non-contending teams are playing, umpires often start calling more strikes. That's one of the things that's happening to him lately, as the A's DH has gone hitless in 23 consecutive at-bats.
"That's just the way it is," Thomas said. "Right now, with two teams out of it, it's all about pace of game, so they call a lot of first-pitch strikes so everyone starts swinging the bat. It's a frustrating way to hit."
Having seen a lot of September Pirates games in my lifetime, one would think I'd know a lot about this phenomenon, but this is actually the first time I've ever really thought about it much. Has anyone else noticed this in Pirates games against non-contenders?
-P- Posting will be a bit sketchy again this weekend; my band is playing in Wheeling tonight and Brooklyn tomorrow. Here are details if you feel like coming out. Thanks for your patience.