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Hurdle not a fan of increasing K's by hitters

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PITTSBURGH -- Today's game is not only different from your father's baseball, it's also different from your older brother's baseball. One of the most dramatic alterations on offense is the spike in, and acceptance of, strikeouts.

Older-school guys like Clint Hurdle still consider the rash of strikeouts "the rock in my shoe."

"That's a part of the game that still electrocutes me," the Pirates manager added, "and I've just got to let it go. We've lowered the bar, with that offensive mindset. Our guys understand my thoughts on that, and what we need to do."

The Hurdle guy with the biggest strikeouts issue is Pedro Alvarez, but Hurdle made a point that might help explain why he is more tolerant of the third baseman's propensity to whiff -- besides, that is, that power that can get plugged in at any time.

"We talk all the time about taking fastballs for third strikes with runners in scoring position. That, I don't get," Hurdle said.

Alvarez again leads the Pirates in strikeouts, with 20 in 52 at-bats entering Sunday's game -- but only three of them have been looking. His manager likes the aggressiveness.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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