PITTSBURGH (AP) – Clint Hurdle hasn’t had an at-bat in a major league game since 1987. The Pittsburgh Pirates manager hasn’t thought once about stepping back in either.
Which makes Hurdle all the more in awe of Colorado’s Jamie Moyer. The 49-year-old Moyer is only five years younger than Hurdle, and while Hurdle hasn’t played in a game in more than two decades, Moyer is still out there finding ways to get guys out.
Moyer became the oldest pitcher to win a major league game after working seven solid innings in a 5-3 victory over San Diego last week.
“It’s a wonderful story,” Hurdle said. “It’s a story that only sport can come up with.”
Moyer’s chance to break his own record will have to wait a day at least. Colorado’s game with the Pirates on Monday night was postponed due to inclement weather. The game will be made up on Wednesday as part of a doubleheader beginning at 12:35 p.m.
The cancellation gives the Pirates an extra day to prepare for Moyer (1-2, 2.55 ERA). The left-hander surrendered six hits in seven innings against the Padres, mixing speeds and using pinpoint control while picking up his first win in nearly two years.
“He’s going to battle and he’s going to compete and you need to be patient,” Hurdle said.
Something the Pirates have struggled to do this season.
Pittsburgh is last in the majors in batting average (.202), runs (30) and next to last in home runs (seven). Yet the Pirates have managed to be a competitive 6-9 while facing the hardest opening month schedule in the National League.
Hurdle expects the bats to come around eventually, though Moyer’s unusual stuff will present another challenge.
“You need to try and beat him with singles,” Hurdle said. “From my perception across the field for many, many years now. He definitely plays bigger than he is.”
Hurdle managed against Moyer in the 2007 National League division series when Hurdle was with Colorado and Moyer was throwing for Philadelphia. Moyer – a few weeks short of turning 45 at the time – allowed one run over six innings in Game 3 but took the loss as the Rockies advanced to the NLCS with a sweep.
“He threw the best game of the three games we matched up with the Phillies,” Hurdle said. “It was just that mindset. He sinks the ball. He changes speeds. He will pitch in. He stays out of the heart of the plate.”
Kevin Correia (1-0, 1.50 ERA) will start Tuesday’s game for Pittsburgh. Correia skipped his scheduled start last Saturday with pain in his side. Tests came back negative and Correia’s improved significantly over the weekend.
Pittsburgh’s James McDonald (0-1, 3.45) will face Juan Nicasio (1-0, 6.19) in Wednesday’s first game for the Pirates, with Charlie Morton (0-1, 3.60) taking on Jhoulys Chacin (0-1, 4.80) in the second game.
By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer
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