Big series, but every series is big

Big series, but every series is big

ST. LOUIS -- With the Pirates holding just a half-game lead over the Cardinals heading into this three-game series in St. Louis this weekend, Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle wouldn't deny that this is a big series for his club.

But, Hurdle recalls having been asked how "big" or "important" a series will be before practically each series the Pirates have played this season. Such is life playing in the National League Central with three teams separated by 1 1/2 games at the top.

With that in mind, Hurdle won't be taking this three-game set any more seriously than he usually does or look too far into the future. That "one game at a time" mentality is more his speed.

"Time will tell, time will tell," Hurdle said before Friday's game. "There's so many intangibles that come along the way ... injuries, additions, subtractions, we're not gonna change our mindset. We're gonna continue to go out there and play these games one day at a time. That's what suits us best. That's what we're best built for, and then we'll go from there."

Hurdle's club keeps the same mentality.

"I think every series is," catcher Michael McKenry when asked how big this weekend's series is. "We're almost to the halfway point and we want to go into the All Star break with the best record we can. If we can go out on top or in second place, whatever it may be, we have to take it one day at a time and not worry about who the other team is, but worry about ourselves and try to play to the best of our ability and not make any mistakes."