SAN DIEGO -- By the 19th inning of Sunday night's win over the Cardinals, Pirates catcher Mike McKenry was probably having deja vu -- or at least his quads probably were. The man behind the plate for all 19 innings was also the man squatting behind the dish for the entirety of a six-hour, 39-minute 19-inning loss to the Braves on July 26, 2011. "If you asked me after the game last year, I was hurting," McKenry said. "Yesterday, I never felt down. ... I woke up this morning with a smile on my face and actually felt great, which was really strange. I could go again today in a heartbeat." He didn't have to, as manager Clint Hurdle gave veteran Rod Barajas the start for Monday's series opener with the Padres.
"Of course you [feel it]," McKenry said. "As a catcher, the longer you're in the game, the more foul tips you're gonna get, the more blocking you're gonna get, but I know my No. 1 job ... catch the ball well, call the game right and keep the ball in front of me. All my focus was on that." Calling the game, in itself, was no easy task. The Pirates used eight pitchers and the Cardinals sent 14 men to the plate -- some of them as many as nine times -- in the win.