Pirates Notebook: Kerrigan plays it cool

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Joe Kerrigan, the Pirates' pitching coach and centerpiece of the benches-clearing incident Monday with Milwaukee, had little to say on the matter in his first comments yesterday.

Not about his shouting match with Brewers catcher Jason Kendall.

Not about Kendall repeatedly -- and inexplicably -- referring to him as "Dave Kerwin."

"I'd rather just let it go," Kerrigan said. "I've known Ken Macha for a long time. I've been in the opposing dugout ever since Kendall broke in as a kid. He's a game-on guy. So, I'd rather just let it go. It's one of those things that come up during the course of a season. I've been around that block quite a few times."

Pirates reliever Jeff Karstens was hit by a pitch from Milwaukee's Chris Smith in the eighth inning Monday, prompting the benches and bullpens to clear. Not much more came of it than the visible rancor between Kendall and Kerrigan, after which Kendall declined to call Kerrigan by his real name even when he was corrected twice by reporters.

One team source close to Kerrigan said he was angry that Kendall made contact with Karstens in suggesting that Karstens "go to the mound or go to first," as Kendall later recalled what he said.

Wilson scratched

Shortstop Jack Wilson was scratched from the lineup last night because of a tight left hamstring, but he has not been ruled out of the series finale this afternoon.

He was injured while making a dazzling, bending-backward play to retire J.J. Hardy in the second inning Monday.

Ramon Vazquez took his place.

Nothing new with infielders

There remained no movement on any front regarding contract extension for Wilson and Freddy Sanchez, though all sides continue to sound willing to try anew.

Buried treasure

• Karstens' left elbow, the one struck by the pitch, was "fine," he said yesterday. He took infield drills -- including some shortstop, just for fun -- and should be available to pitch today.

• Phil Dumatrait, rehabilitating his left shoulder all summer, finally made his first Gulf Coast League start yesterday for Bradenton, pitching four scoreless innings -- three hits, two walks -- against Atlanta's affiliate.

• Macha, Milwaukee's manager, on hit batsmen: "Some of the things that happen today ... if you're going to talk old-school, like you hit a home run and pound your chest and point up to the sky. Well, if Bob Gibson is pitching? That doesn't happen. The game has changed so much, I don't know what the rules are right now."

Dejan Kovacevic can be reached at dkovacevic@post-gazette.com . Catch more on the Pirates and join the discussion at the PBC Blog .


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