Pirates' lineup breathing Cy of relief

Pirates' lineup breathing Cy of relief

Pirates' lineup breathing Cy of relief
PITTSBURGH -- Great news for the Pirates' beleaguered lineup: It has just about run out of Cy Young Award-winning pitchers to be tormented by.

With the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter out for the season and Zack Greinke out of Milwaukee, against whom the Bucs have three series remaining, the only possible Cy Young Award-certified pitcher left on the horizon is the Mets' Johan Santana. The Pirates will be in New York for their final road series of the season on Sept. 24-27.

On Wednesday night, Dodgers left-handed ace Clayton Kershaw provided the season's 11th confrontation with a Cy Young Award pitcher, and the eighth the Pirates have lost, the second to the lefty who earned his award last season. The Tigers' Justin Verlander and the Giants' Barry Zito also two-timed the Pirates, who were also defeated by Roy Halladay and Greinke.

Pittsburgh's Cy Young Award victims have been Cliff Lee, Tim Lincecum and Santana.

Despite the occasional abuse of a Cy arm -- the Bucs roughed up Lincecum for six runs on 3 1/3 innings on July 8, for instance -- the Pirates have batted .201 (55-for-274) in 11 run-ins with the elite pitchers.

It's all part of the Major League challenge, reasons manager Clint Hurdle.

"We dwelled a lot early in the season on having to deal with all these Cy Young Award pitchers. But you're going to have to keep facing them," Hurdle said. "They're not going anywhere."