Joel Hanrahan’s grandmother died yesterday and the Pirates closer is expected to be away from the team until Sunday on bereavement leave.
Daniel McCutchen, who threw 189 innings for the Pirates during the past three seasons, was called up from Triple-A to take Hanrahan’s place on the roster.
Juan Cruz is the obvious candidate to fill in at closer if Pittsburgh has any save chances in the next three days. Hanrahan missed some time last month with a hamstring injury and has struggled to throw strikes, but has converted six of seven save opportunities with 14 strikeouts in 11 innings.
A lot of people in the comments to Bill’s posts on the Urena-Acuña posts last night and in response to my rant about it in the recaps and on Twitter this morning, have talked about how silly writers don’t understand the culture of baseball and how pitchers have been brushing back batters for years. One guy said that old players would laugh at me for my naive notions about such matters and that, to make it as a pitcher, you have to brush guys back and reclaim the inside of the plate and make the hitter uncomfortable in the box.
I think that’s all b.s. obviously, but they are right about one thing: I don’t play baseball and baseball players probably know this stuff better. With that in mind, I’m going to defer to seven-time All-Star Michael Young’s thoughts on the matter of brushbacks and purpose pitches:
If you think you know more about this than Michael Young, you now have his Twitter handle and can tell him yourself.