ST. LOUIS -- Outfielder Nate McLouth, who grew up in Michigan as a devoted Detroit Red Wings fan, has yet to shake off his team's loss to the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference quarterfinals last month.
McLouth was born in Muskegon and attended Whitehall High in the western half of the state. He kept a close eye on the series and is still upset over the Wings' loss in five games.
"I thought they were going to go places," McLouth said.
The Pirates went on a nine-game western swing in early April, which gave McLouth a chance to watch some of the games in the clubhouse before he took the field.
McLouth attended Wings games regularly at Joe Louis Arena while growing up, and he said Detroit tough-guy Bob Probert was one of his favorite players.
McLouth still checks out the NHL playoffs as much as possible, but he is not as fanatical about the postseason since the Wings were eliminated.
"I just wish they were still playing," he said. "It would make it a lot more fun."
McLouth, an All-Star in 2008, got his fifth start of the season on Wednesday, replacing Andrew McCutchen in center field. McLouth went 0-for-4 and carried a .148 average into play on Thursday. He entered in the fourth inning Thursday when McCutchen left with a stomach flu.