PHOENIX -- When Clint Hurdle got in the car Sunday morning to begin the ride to Chase Field, he experienced a different kind of motion sickness. His phone vibrated with an incoming text message informing him of Adam Wainwright's Achilles injury.
"It's sad. I feel bad for Adam Wainwright," said Hurdle, who opened up about his admiration for the Cardinals right-hander now expected to miss the rest of the season. "He's as good a man as there is in the game, as good a pro as there is. I appreciate him for what he's done for the game, and for the way he's helped a lot of young men in a lot of different uniforms grow up and perform."
Any change to the National League Central dynamic was the furthest thing from the minds of the Pirates -- many of whom learned of Wainwright's injury as they filtered into their clubhouse. The Cardinals ace fashioned a 2.38 ERA in five starts last season against the Bucs and has a career record of 11-6 against them.
"You never want to see anyone get hurt. It stinks," third baseman Josh Harrison said. "It's something they'll have to deal with. Every team knows there will be injuries. One player is not going to affect a division. He is a marquee pitcher, but still is a factor only once every five days."
Within this context, it is worth noting that in June 2014, the Pirates dealt with the simultaneous loss for a month of two aces -- lefty Francisco Liriano and right-hander Gerrit Cole -- and still persevered to reach the postseason.
"You love the competition, and this guy is fierce," Hurdle said of Wainwright. "He battles. I wish him a speedy recovery."
"We all do," Harrison added.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.