Today, the San Francisco Giants will rest their hopes on right-handed pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, who spent parts of 2001-06 with the Pirates.
Since then, he has played in Japan and in the minors, wrestled with being released and, finally, caught on for the second time with the Giants, who invited him to spring training this season.
"Long and tough," Vogelsong said of his journey. "Obviously, my time [in Pittsburgh] was, basically, in one word, a 'struggle.'
"I had some good days here but a lot more bad ones."
The toughest part for Vogelsong with the Pirates was understanding his role. Early on, he was used almost exclusively as a starter, but then, in 2005 and '06, was shifted to the bullpen.
"I felt like I kind of got labeled as a bullpen guy," said Vogelsong, referring to his 64 relief appearances after being 10-19 with a 6.00 ERA as a Pirates starter. "I just knew that, coming into games, I never quite felt the same, mentally and physically, as I did when I was able to start.
"But, sure, everything I went through did help me mature. You don't realize it, maybe, when you're going through it. But now, yes, I do."
In the Pirates' 3-2 loss in 10 innings Tuesday night against the Giants, shortstop Ronny Cedeno hit a ball softly down the third-base line in the ninth that turned into the third out. He didn't run to first on the play, thinking it was foul and subsequently argued with the home plate umpire.
Television replays showed manager Clint Hurdle having a one-sided discussion with Cedeno in the dugout.
Wednesday, Hurdle had more for him -- a seat on the bench.
"It's a manager's decision," Hurdle said about Cedeno's absence from the lineup Wednesday night and before being asked why Cedeno didn't run.
"I don't understand. I've talked to Ronny about it. He just needs to run. ... It's late in the game, you got to run a ball out. Your job is to play, it's not to umpire."
• For the second time in the past three games, first baseman Lyle Overbay (hitting .253) did not start Wednesday night. Instead, Steve Pearce started at first base. "He's healthy," Hurdle said. "We're working on some things on the offensive side of the ball."
• Right-handed pitching prospect Bryan Morris (oblique injury) was placed on the disabled list by Class AA Altoona. Right-hander Matt McSwain was promoted from Class A Bradenton to replace him. There is no timetable for Morris' return.
Colin Dunlap: firstname.lastname@example.org .