Hurdle, players review seven errors as effective teaching tool

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Before a game Saturday night against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park, some of the Pirates re-lived their defensive miscues from a night earlier.

Manager Clint Hurdle went through video of the seven errors the Pirates committed Friday night with his players, not as a punitive measure but as a teaching tool.

"You're out there playing, you feel one thing, then you're able to watch it from a different vantage point," Hurdle said. "I think more often than not we just didn't keep moving through balls that we should have. More often than not we slowed down, we just didn't get through plays."

Hurdle said the coaching staff and players usually review what he calls "action plays," including tag plays, double plays and booted balls.

"Seeing them visually, talking them through, not sticking your head in the sand, but if this happens again, here's the way we'd like to see you do this, and then actually show them a play where they've done it before," Hurdle said.

The seven errors the Pirates committed in their 12-2 loss Friday night led to nine unearned runs and were the most the Pirates made in a game since 1985, according to STATS LLC.

The Pirates' .982 fielding percentage, an instructive yet imperfect statistic, tied them for 21st in the league entering Saturday. According to ultimate zone rating, a metric that attempts to quantify how many runs a player or team saved or allowed via its defense, the Pirates ranked 10th.

"We always have them re-visit it," Hurdle said. "It's not for punishment, it's just to show them, and we show them good stuff as well as stuff that didn't work out so well. I feel it's as effective a way of coaching them up as anything."

Fortunately for the Pirates, the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers, the teams the Pirates are battling in the race for the second National League wild-card spot, also lost Friday.

"The fact that the other teams that we're battling with didn't win as well," Hurdle said, "we caught a break."

Karstens update

Jeff Karstens threw a bullpen session Saturday, Hurdle said, and is scheduled to pitch in a simulated game Tuesday in Cincinnati.

Karstens left his start Aug. 31 because of right hip pain, an issue that affected him previously this season. He allowed four runs on five hits in one-third of an inning against the Milwaukee Brewers before leaving because of right hip flexor pain.

Rotation set

Hurdle announced that Wandy Rodriguez will start a game Monday against the Reds in Cincinnati. Kevin Correia will start Tuesday and A.J. Burnett will start Wednesday.

Minor league playoffs

Class AAA Indianapolis stayed alive in the International League playoffs by defeating Charlotte, 8-0, in Game 3 of the best-of-five series. The Indians trail Charlotte, 2-1.

Phil Irwin pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out 11. Yamaico Navarro went 2 for 4 with a double and drove in two runs, and Hector Luna went 3 for 5.

Clevenger suspended

Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger was suspended one game and fined for his role in an on-field argument Thursday against the Washington Nationals. He served his suspension Saturday and Welington Castillo started at catcher.



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