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Pregame: Clint Hurdle, Gerrit Cole respond to Victor Martinez's comments

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Pirates respond to Martinez

Following last night's game, Victor Martinez had strong words for Gerrit Cole and the Pirates, saying he had "no respect for no one on that team, including Cole and their coaching staff." His comments were in reaction to being hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fourth, which he viewed as retaliation to Starling Marte being hit in the top half of the inning.

This afternoon, Clint Hurdle and Cole seemed neither terribly affected nor impressed by Martinez's remarks.

When asked for his reaction, Cole shrugged, looked straight ahead and said:  "That's his opinion, man."

Cole isn't sure if Justin Verlander hit Marte on purpose.

"I don't know," Cole said. "It's a 1-2 count, he hit him in the wrist or the forearm. He got him pretty good. I don't know."

Asked if he hit Martinez on purpose, Cole said: "I mean, I let one go inside."

Part of the backstory to all of this is that the Pirates are somewhat sensitive to the number of times their position players have been hit by pitches. They lead the league with 44. On the other side, Pirates pitchers have hit 26 batters, tied for 11th in the league.

"There is no doubt our guys are getting attacked inside," Cole said. "It happened the rest of the night. We got hit three times last night."

While the feeling doesn't appear to be mutual, Cole said he respects Martinez.

"Everybody is entitled to their opinion," Cole said. "I can't control who he respects and who he doesn't. Yes [I respect him], how can you not? He's been in the league like 15 years. He's one of the best hitters in baseball."

Hurdle dismissed Martinez's comments.

"I wasn't aware that he was the voice of reason," Hurdle said, when asked for his reaction. "I'm never surprised by what players might say."

John Holdzkom to the DL

The Pirates announced that John Hodzkom has been placed on the 7-day disabled list (retroactive to June 29) with a right shoulder strain.

It is unfortunate timing for the right-hander, as he was perhaps a likely candidate to join the team given the overuse of the Pirates bullpen lately.

Bastardo quietly has an excellent month

After rough start to the season, Antonio Bastardo quietly put together an excellent month of June. His line for the month reads:

Name IP H BB K ERA
Bastardo in June 10.2 6 1 10 0.84

"The numbers have picked up," Hurdle said. "You look where the ERA sits right now. Where the batting average is against, right and left-handed. Look at where they were last year. I mean, this guy is hard to hit. There is a lot of swing and miss. A lot of fly ball. It's there, it's playing. His command, his strike throwing has ramped up dramatically. There is no doubt he is the guy we thought we were getting in the trade."

Hurdle and the Pirates organization preach process over results and not getting caught up in short-term outcomes. That approach appears to be paying dividends again.

"We encouraged him through the hard times to just keep after it, because we felt strongly he'd be able to help us in many different ways heading into season," Hurdle said. "And it's happening right now."