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Astros Vs. Pirates, 11 May 2012

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PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 5:  James McDonald #53 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Cincinnati Reds during the game on May 5, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 5: James McDonald #53 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Cincinnati Reds during the game on May 5, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Here's the Pirates' lineup against Bud Norris:

Jose Tabata RF
Nate McLouth LF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Neil Walker 2B
Garrett Jones 1B
Rod Barajas C
Clint Barmes SS
James McDonald P

Alex Presley is out of the lineup yet again, and the idea is that he's working on his hitting. Unfortunately, the guy who's replacing him is even worse; Presley has a 66 OPS+, while McLouth is at 57. These are tiny sample sizes, obviously, but it isn't as if we expected McLouth to hit much.

McDonald, of course, had seven, 10, and eight strikeouts in his last three starts. The Astros lineup is better than you might think, though, and has gotten strong performances so far from Jose Altuve, Jed Lowrie and Chris Johnson.

UPDATE from David: Interesting quotes from Clint discussing Alex Presley in this piece. I think the comment, "It starts with focus. I think he is not as focused," was particularly noteworthy.

This may not quite be Bobby Valentine talking about Kevin Youkilis which basically set the Red Sox clubhouse and media ablaze, but I have rarely heard Hurdle speak so bluntly when discussing an individual player. It makes the whole #PresleySituation even more interesting. As Charlie notes above. Alex will have a seat near Clint again tonight.