Now Commenting On:

Pirates used to playing tight ballgames

Pirates used to playing tight ballgames

NEW YORK -- For all that's been made of the Pirates' tendency to be involved in one-run games this season, manager Clint Hurdle wants to be clear: it really isn't anything new.

Pittsburgh has a 14-11 record in those close games so far, meaning nearly half of their 52 contests are decided by a single run. The team also played in 52 such games last year and 57 in 2012. Hurdle's first year on the Pittsburgh bench in '11 featured 43 one-run decisions.

Hurdle and his staff use it to illustrate a common teaching point.

"What we've done is we've taken this and packaged it in a different presentation to our club," Hurdle said. "The fact that this is who we are, these are the games we're going to play, so every pitch counts, every pitch matters. We can't take pitches off. The execution's got to be there. The focus has got to be acute.

"You're going to have fun and all that, but just let them know, we can't take pitches off in anything we do. This is the way we're built."

This season in particular, one-run games have been something of a bright spot for the Bucs. At 23-29, the team is six games under .500 overall, but it is three over .500 in the tightest games. Across the four seasons, the Pirates own a 92-85 record in one-run games.

"We're not uncomfortable playing the games," Hurdle said. "We kind of expect the games to go that way."

Tim Healey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español