Pirates postponed again; play twinbill today
PITTSBURGH — The weather keeps wreaking havoc on the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers. Steady rain at PNC Park on Tuesday forced the clubs to postpone a game for the third time in the first month of the season.
The game was the 28th postponement in the majors this season, the most related to weather through April since the commissioner’s office started keeping those records in 1986. Baltimore and Tampa Bay were also rained out on Tuesday.
Detroit and Pittsburgh will make up the game with a straight doubleheader today starting at 4:05 p.m.
This is the second time the teams will play a doubleheader this season and the third time they’ve had to reschedule due to weather. Wintry conditions pushed back opening day at Comerica Park on March 29 and their game on March 31 was also postponed. Pittsburgh swept a doubleheader from the Tigers on April 1. Detroit also had two games against the New York Yankees wiped out earlier this month.
Pittsburgh will send out Jameson Taillon (2-1, 2.86) in Game 1 against Detroit’s Jordan Zimmermann (1-0, 7.71). Chad Kuhl (2-1, 4.57), who had been scheduled to start on Tuesday and was originally slated to take the hill for the opener of the doubleheader, will face Matthew Boyd (0-1, 1.40) in the nightcap.
The Pirates have dropped six of seven following a hot start, while the Tigers have won five of seven.
Pittsburgh’s offense has cooled off during its current slide and manager Clint Hurdle believes his team’s struggles are part of a somewhat larger trend, one the weather is impacting. There could be more strikeouts than hits across the majors in a month for the first time, and Hurdle pointed to frigid temperatures as an issue.
“This has been the most challenging weather I’ve ever been a part of, and I’m not playing,” said Hurdle, who spent a decade in the majors as a player from 1977-87 before going into coaching. “It’s hard to hit when it’s cold.”
Pittsburgh had more strikeouts than hits in each game while dropping a four-game set with Philadelphia last week. Hurdle pointed to his own experiences as a player as proof that when conditions aren’t ideal, hitting can become painful.
“Sometimes, you can only have one bad at-bat, the first at-bat of a game, in this kind of weather, (and) that can re-arrange your mental furniture,” he said. “I know if I hit a ball right off the end of the bat, that first at-bat, I knew I didn’t want to do it again. Some of my aggressiveness might have leaked out of me.”