Pirates Notebook: Young clutch in pinch
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The problem with being good at washing windows is that someone always will remember it and assign you to wash the windows.
Delwyn Young frequently expresses his distaste for pinch-hitting, preferring an everyday role as most good bench players do. But the problem with that, as per the above example, is that he is good at it.
His pinch-hit two-run double brought a tie Sunday in the seventh inning of the Pirates' 8-5 victory against Philadelphia at PNC Park. That raised his 2010 total to 10 pinch-hits, tied for second-most in Major League Baseball, behind the 11 of Milwaukee's Joe Inglett, and those come with a .303 average, a home run, a double and five RBIs.
Going back further, Young's 40 pinch-hits since 2007 are second only to the 47 of Philadelphia's Greg Dobbs in that span.
To fully appreciate the hit Sunday, consider that he not only came in cold but also was able to handle a 1-2 splitter from fresh reliever Jose Contreras and flick it the other way into left field.
"It was a really good pitch," Young said. "I was just trying to hit something that finds a hole. Don't do too much, don't do too little. Just get the job done."
"That's the role Delwyn's had for three years, and he learned a lot from Mark Sweeney," hitting coach Don Long said, referring to Young's former teammate in Los Angeles who ranks second all-time on the pinch-hit list. "DY goes into every at-bat with a plan, and he's become very good at being able to carry that plan out. He doesn't know what pitch is coming, obviously, but he's ready for whatever it is."
Surgery is a possibility for the left knee of first baseman Steve Pearce, general manager Neal Huntington said, but that will not be known until after he is examined early this week by Dr. Patrick DeMeo, the team physician, in Pittsburgh. Pearce has been diagnosed with patella tendinitis.
"This is something that's bothered Steve for a while and through the offseason, and it's possible that rehabbing his right ankle caused additional stress," Huntington said. "We'll see what's there and decide the next course of action, whether it's shutting him down for a period or surgery."
• Total attendance for the series with the Phillies -- boosted greatly by fans supporting Philadelphia -- was 122,412, fifth-largest in PNC Park history for a four-date series.
• Starter Zach Duke will begin his minor-league rehabilitation stint tonight in Altoona with the first of two starts for the Class AA affiliate. He will be limited to 65 pitches.
• Washington closer Matt Capps, named to the All-Star roster just months after being released by the Pirates because of a contract dispute, told this to reporters covering the Nationals: "For things to have ended the way they did last season, to be able to bounce back and come here with a new beginning with this team and this group of guys, it is a little extra special."