{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Pirates' rotation picking up steam recently

Pirates' rotation picking up steam recently

|
Pirates' rotation picking up steam recently
PITTSBURGH -- It was one of the challenges that manager Clint Hurdle laid out in the early days of Spring Training, a challenge that was designed to get the attention of his starting pitchers. Hurdle wanted one starter's success to infect the rest of the rotation.

That concept of piggybacking on strong starts is something the Pirates executed beautifully in their recent series win over the Astros. Though only one of the three won, Paul Maholm, Charlie Morton and James McDonald strung together three quality starts. The Pirates won two of the three games, with the only loss coming because of a bullpen meltdown.

In the three games, the starters combined to throw 21 innings and allowed just two runs and 15 hits.

"They are so into watching the other guy pitch. All of them," Hurdle said. "You hear people talk about hitting being contagious all the time. I think that happens with your starting pitchers. Nobody wants to drop the baton."

With his six shutout innings on Sunday, McDonald helped lower the rotation's ERA over the past seven games to 2.79. The club is 14-9 this year when a starter goes at least six innings, and a year after accruing only 34 wins as a group, the starters have already won 13.

"It's been huge," first baseman Steve Pearce said. "With the way our pitchers have been throwing, we have a chance every single day."

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español