When to pull starters can be quandary for Hurdle

When to pull starters can be quandary for Hurdle

PHILADELPHIA -- Edinson Volquez voiced his frustration about leaving Tuesday night's 4-3 loss to the Phillies after six innings and 92 pitches to reporters after the game. On Wednesday, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle spoke of the decision, and his practice of when to pull starting pitchers in general, calling it "one of the more interesting parts of the game."

"They have a lens in which they view the game, and it's individual with a team concept," Hurdle said. "My lens is a team concept and I'm focused on individuals. At the end of the day, Edinson had more gas in the tank, he could've pitched longer. He could've pitched all night, that's not going to score us another run."

Hurdle applauded the competitiveness of Volquez, who was charged with three earned runs in six innings and left with the game tied before the Phillies notched the game-winning run against the Bucs' bullpen in the seventh. Volquez was due up second for the Pirates in the top of the seventh, and he had just thrown a 27-pitch inning when he was removed.

It was the second time in two starts Volquez has been lifted with the game tied only to see the Pirates lose by a run. He also mentioned his 82-pitch performance in which he held the Cardinals scoreless for 6 1/3 innings last week in Tuesday's postgame interview.

Hurdle has been known to have a quicker hook for starters than most managers, and he said each situation is different. The one on Tuesday, he said, had to do with trying to get a seventh inning lead and avoid the Phillies' back end bullpen combo of Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon.

"If we have a lead last night, Edinson goes out for the seventh inning," Hurdle said. "I do believe there are nights he's just as good as anyone who goes out there to pitch the seventh. And he's got the pitches to do it."

Worth noting

Starling Marte is 5-for-8 with a homer and two doubles in the first two games of the series against Philadelphia. Since coming off the seven-day concussion disabled list on Aug. 5, Marte leads the NL with a 1.013 OPS.

First number, last word

29: How old Pirates second baseman Neil Walker turned Tuesday. Walker is first among NL second baseman in homers with 19 and in OPS at .813.

"I've seen it work both ways. I've seen guys return back and use it in a positive force, and for some guys it's really helped them."
-- Hurdle, on Vance Worley pitching well as he makes his return to Citizens Bank Park against the Phillies, his former team.

Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.