Pirates bat pitcher eighth for first time since 1957
CINCINNATI -- The Pittsburgh Pirates became the third NL Central team to bat their pitcher eighth, dropping shortstop Jack Wilson to the bottom of the order Monday for a game against the Cincinnati Reds.
It was the first time since 1957 that a Pirates pitcher batted someplace other than ninth in the starting lineup, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Manager John Russell decided to let left-hander Paul Maholm, a .179 hitter, bat in the eighth spot against right-hander Aaron Harang. Wilson was batting .311 and had seven hits in his last 15 at-bats.
"I don't foresee doing it every day," Russell said. "It seemed intriguing. Maybe we should try it to see what it looks like for us."
Russell likes the way No. 7 hitter Doug Mientkiewicz has been patient at the plate. If he gets on base, the pitcher can bunt him over, Russell said.
The last time a Pirates pitcher was in the starting lineup batting higher than ninth was April 18, 1957, according to Elias.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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