Only a few minutes had passed since Clint Hurdle left the third base dugout when he and his staff were discussing how to rejuvenate his dormant offense. He only broke from the meeting to talk to reporters following the latest chapter of the Pirates' historic slump, a 6-1 loss to the Braves Tuesday night at PNC Park.
Hurdle typically defends his hitters' at-bats amid a slump. Not this time. Not after they narrowly avoided being shut out for a fourth time in six games and have scored in only four of their last 56 innings. His offense's ineptitude includes only six runs in six games, and they have only five hits in their last 62 tries with runners in scoring position.
It's spoiled an impeccable run by his pitching stuff, and more important, the slump has them falling out of the playoff chase. They've lost eight of their last 11 games and are back under .500, 63-64, with 6 1/2 games separating them from the second Wild Card spot.
"Can we adjust the lineup, look at some different things?" Hurdle said. "We’ve talked about it. It’s been hard. These guys are battling. Guys are doing different things. They’re trying to change up some things. Some guys are swinging more, some guys are swinging at spin, swinging at velocity. Coming out early, not taking so much. We’re not getting the results we want."
[caption id="attachment_679563" align="aligncenter" width="440"]TAP ABOVE FOR BOXSCORE[/caption]