Hurdle gets new perspective

By John Mehno

For the Mirror

PITTSBURGH – It was a classic game for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and manager Clint Hurdle got to watch it from a comfortable seat, with air conditioning and a full refrigerator.

Hurdle saw most of Saturday night’s 6-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals from the comfort of his PNC Park office. He was ejected in the second inning of the game that took 14 innings and lasted more than five hours.

“I got to watch a game that I don’t normally get to watch,” he said. “I got multiple replays, things I never see in the dugout. I got all I need. I was overloaded last night with all the different angles and views, because I have one lens I watch the game with (from the dugout.)”

It wasn’t always the best baseball, but the give-and-take between the two teams battling for the division lead made it dramatic. The game ended with Andrew McCutchen’s two-run, walk-off home run.

“Just a lot went on,” Hurdle said. “Sometimes we did some really, really good things, both teams. It’s really good, gritty baseball. We both got in our way sometimes, but it just goes to show that you have to keep playing.

“There were some great pitching sequences, and some mistakes were made. It was fun to watch, it really was. And to have absolutely nothing to do with it…”

On further review

Hurdle was tossed by plate umpire Vic Carapazza after a controversy over a missed call. Carapazza ruled that Mark Reynolds had fouled off a pitch that replays showed as a swing and miss for strike three.

Reynolds then hit the next pitch over the left field wall for a home run, drawing an immediate and vehement reaction from catcher Francisco Cervelli. Carapazza ejected Cervelli.

As the argument continued, Carapazza also ejected Hurdle.

The call that sparked the controversy is not reviewable under MLB replay rules.

Hurdle said Sunday that he had placed a call to Joe Torre, who works for MLB on rules policies, including replays, and also serves as a liaison between managers and umpires.

“You’d be amazed what Joe Torre can do,” Hurdle said. “I’m just laying it out, (saying) here’s what I have.”

It was the second time in a week that Burnett was burned by a swing and miss that was incorrectly ruled a foul tip.

“Both times it would have been the third out,” Hurdle said.

Hurdle was also upset that Carapazza was so quick to eject Cervelli. Crew chief Larry Vanover said after the game the ejection was based on Cervelli’s language.

His ejection left the Pirates to cover the last 12 innings with one catcher, Chris Stewart.

“He’s upset (so) left him go,” Hurdle said of Cervelli. “For me (that’s) no game awareness. It was wrong.”

According to Vanover, Carapazza based his foul ball call on hearing contact. Based on replays, it appears that Carapazza heard the pitch bouncing off Cervelli’s chest protector.

Not guilty

Cervelli said the accusations that he said something personal to Carapazza were not correct.

“I screamed a couple of times, but I said, no, no, no,” Cervelli said. “I walked away and I didn’t know he threw me out. If I stand there and take off my mask and start an (argument), OK. He made a wrong call, and he threw me out. I’m not disappointed with what I did.”

Cervelli said he wasn’t aware he had been ejected until Burnett told him.

“I was surprised,” Cervelli said. “I didn’t expect that. If you make a mistake, we can talk about it. You say, ‘I was wrong,’ and we move forward. I play with passion. I play to win games. I think any catcher in the league would be upset when he makes that call and the next pitch is a home run.

“I didn’t say anything personal. I just started screaming, ‘no no, no’ I don’t know if he heard something else. I didn’t say anything personal. I walked away. I didn’t want to get into any argument.”

Quick call-up

The Pirates brought pitcher Wilfredo Boscan up from Class AAA Indianapolis for possible help in a tired bullpen.

Relievers Deolis Guerra and Vance Worley were not available Sunday.

Boscan was scheduled to start for Indianapolis on Sunday, so he was available to throw up to 100 pitches.

Boscan was with the Pirates from May 16-18 without appearing in a game.

Starter Jeff Locke was also available to relieve with the All-Star break starting today.

Mehno can be reached at johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com