video thumbnail

CHC@MIL: McGehee blasts a two-run, go-ahead home run

The Pirates can finally exhale.

At least they can temporarily.

Monday's day off is the first break the Pirates will have this season, and the breather could not come at a better time. The Pirates, who are 5-5, were the only club to play 10 games in 10 days to begin the year.

The short-lived break will end Tuesday when they send Kevin Correia to the mound as they play host to the Brewers. Milwaukee will counter with Shaun Marcum.

It's been quite a stretch for Pittsburgh. The bullpen was taxed after pitching 11 1/3 innings on Friday against Colorado and hasn't been at full strength since. Reliever Evan Meek, who didn't pitch during the Rockies series because of tightness in his right shoulder, hopes to be ready to return on Tuesday.

"The whole point right now is just there's no point in throwing me out there and risking something happening where it's going to take me a week or two weeks to come back," Meek said. "It's not something that's serious, but it is something that they want to give me a few extra days."

The Pirates could use the help, though Meek is 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA in 2 2/3 innings over four games this season.

"The frustrating thing for me is all of our guys threw on [Friday] night, so our bullpen is pretty tired right now," Meek said. "I feel like I can pitch, but it just makes more sense to take a day and heal and get better."

There's still a chance the Pittsburgh bullpen will get some rest on Tuesday. Correia pitched an inning of relief on Saturday, but he's been the team's most consistent pitcher to this point, outdueling Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter in his previous start.

As for Marcum, he remains a work in progress. He pitched six innings against the Braves for his first Brewers win, but is still trying to hone his command after missing his next-to-last spring start with a stiff shoulder.

Brewers: Hart working his way back
• Outfielder Corey Hart, who was hurt in a throwing drill back on Feb. 26, took part in throwing and outfield drills on Sunday and felt "great." He's scheduled to start taking batting practice on Tuesday and could begin a Minor League rehabilitation assignment in the middle of the Brewers' three-city trip.

• The Brewers, who finished last year's season series against the Pirates with a sweep at Miller Park, are 46-17 against Pittsburgh since 2007, including a 13-5 mark in 2010.

Pirates: Doumit climbing the Bucs' homer ladder
• Ryan Doumit's home run on Saturday was his 48th with the Pirates, tying him with Smoky Burgess and Manny Sanguillen for fourth place on the franchise's all-time list for homers by a catcher. Jason Kendall leads that group with 66 blasts.

• The Pirates will not keep three catchers on the roster when Chris Snyder returns from the disabled list, and it appears that Jason Jaramillo could be the odd man out. The Pirates have not said when Snyder might be ready to return, though he was eligible to come off the DL as of Saturday.

Worth noting: The first time the Brewers were in Pittsburgh last season, from April 20-22, they embarrassed the Pirates, outscoring them 36-1 in the three-game series. That included a 20-0 Brewers win.

MLB.com Comments