The Pirates' Nyjer Morgan pulls in a fly ball hit by the Rockies' Chris Iannetta in the second inning last night.
By Chuck Finder Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
WASHINGTON -- Nyjer Morgan verbally passed the leadoff baton in the clubhouse a couple of hours before game time last night.
"One more day, DY," Morgan told Delwyn Young, his temporary replacement atop the Pirates' batting order.
Morgan yesterday sat out his third consecutive game with a left hamstring injury, though he was initially re-inserted into the lineup ... until some midafternoon baserunning.
"It's just when I'm doing my bases, when I'm doing my turn, I just have that little tight feeling," Morgan said. "Nothing major. I guess one more day, and then I should be able to go. But I don't want to push it or do anything stupid."
Entering last night at Nationals Park, Morgan ranked third on the team in batting (.304), second in RBIs (17), plus first in walks (16) and stolen bases (10) and feeling regretful for being honest.
"This is the first time I've really opened up and said something when there was really minor pain in there," said Morgan, ever the hockey player. "So I kind of feel like a sissy right now. It's just eating at me. It's killing me so bad, because I want to be out there and grinding with the boys, man. I just figure I got to be smart about this, too, and get over this little hump right here."
Morgan felt the hamstring grab slightly upon catching Troy Tulowitzki's flyout in the eighth inning Friday, which explains why he didn't throw home and instead tossed gingerly to Freddy Sanchez -- who then tossed the ball to Jack Wilson for an appeal that was granted and Seth Smith was called out for a double play.
Pirates add another Yankee
In a busy weekend of acquiring former Yankees, just two days after trading for starter Eric Hacker, 26, the Pirates yesterday picked up on waivers another Scranton/Wilkes-Barre right-hander, reliever Steven Jackson, 27.
Jackson, recalled in mid-April by the Yankees but never used, was designated for assignment May 8 amid a bevy of New York moves, the least of which was the activation of Alex Rodriguez.
Jackson, 27, had a 1.88 ERA and one save in seven Class AAA outings. He was acquired from Arizona in the Randy Johnson trade -- which also brought Ross Ohlendorf to New York roughly 18 months before he was swapped to the Pirates in the Xavier Nady/Damaso Marte deal.
• After a 11-for-19 streak (.579) and five consecutive multihit games, Brandon Moss got the night off.
• The Seattle Times reported on its blog, quoting unidentified sources, that Mariners officials have discussed with the Pirates a possible trade for shortstop Jack Wilson. It cited Mariners shortstop Yusniesky Betancourt as Seattle's potential chip in such a deal: He's a 27-year-old, Cuban right-hander who averages .281 for his career with similar production to Wilson. Betancourt is owed $2 million this season, $3 million next year, $4 million in 2011 with a $6 million club option or a $2 million buyout in '12.