Notes: Bullington wants to stick around
Former first-round pick anxious to prove he's ready for Majors
PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Bryan Bullington was anxious to get back out on the mound for his second career Major League start on Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park.
The 26-year old right-hander, a former Pirates No. 1 overall Draft choice in 2002, has battled back from shoulder surgery which cost him the entire 2006 season.
He was roughed up in his first start at St. Louis on Thursday, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks in three innings.
"I was missing location," Bullington said. "The pitches were a little flat in the zone. I caught too much of the plate at times and the slider was a little loopy and not real crisp, and the fastball flattened out and didn't have a lot of sink."
Pirates manager Jim Tracy had a strong message for Bullington after his first start.
"I think it's important that he realizes, just like some of the other guys that have been here with us, that you don't have a bad start and then be put on the bench," he said. "I think it's important that we get him back out there."
"It's good to get another opportunity," Bullington said. "Hopefully, I can go out there and make the most of it and stay in the rotation the rest of the way."
Tracy had some thoughts on what Bullington's focus should be after a very rocky starting debut. "His focus needs to be his focus," Tracy said. "He has to set aside what happened before and just go pitch."
"It will be a good test," Bullington said. "Obviously, Milwaukee is playing really well and it will be good to go out there and face a challenge.
9/11 remembered: A color guard was on hand as the Pirates took a moment to remember the tragic events of 9/11 before their game with the Brewers.
For Bucs' shortstop Jack Wilson, the memories of that day are very vivid.
"I remember I was at the doctor's office for our first checkup, because my wife Julie was pregnant," Wilson recalled. "It was her first checkup for her pregnancy and they had been talking about the planes and the Trade Center, and I went home and saw them and I was in complete disbelief. They canceled a bunch of the games and we were supposed to play the New York Mets that day, so my first thoughts went out to those guys -- are your family and friends OK?
"Then our first game back was in New York at Shea Stadium, and being there in the aftermath of it was very fresh in everybody's minds. You can't really describe it, and I think everybody in our country was in the same kind of shock. We were out there trying to bring some normalcy back to the lives by playing some baseball. We tried to do our part to get everything back to normal."
Duke and Torres back: The Pirates activated right-hander Salomon Torres and lefty Zach Duke from the disabled list before Tuesday night's game with the Brewers.
Torres had been out with right medial elbow inflammation and Duke was suffering with left elbow tendinitis. Both will be available for work out of the bullpen.
"Hallelujah," Torres said to being activated. "I'm feeling great and I want to play, I didn't want to finish the season like this. I worked really hard and the trainers worked hard to get me back on the mound, and I feel really good."
Duke was also excited about being activated.
"So many emotions are going through me right now," Duke said. "The main thing is I just want to get back out there and compete and pitch and help this team out."
Doumit on 60-day DL: Ryan Doumit, who sprained his right ankle on Saturday while pivoting to make a relay throw to second, underwent a MRI on Monday and has been placed on the 60-day disabled list.
"It was a third degree sprain," Tracy said. "It actually turned out to be not as bad than they thought it was. We, in essence, dodged a bullet there. It's still a four-to-six-weeks thing; a high ankle sprain."
Lincoln update: Right-hander Brad Lincoln, the Pirates' first-round Draft pick in 2006 who had Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery to repair damage in his right elbow back on April 3, has been rehabbing to get his career back on track.
"It's coming along great," Lincoln said. "I started throwing about three and a half weeks ago -- it felt funny at first, but it's coming along good."
Lincoln said he is improving daily.
"Most definitely -- at first, it was a little weak and it felt weird coming out of my hand. But now, everything is starting to fall back into place and I'm starting to build my arm strength back up and it's feeling good."
Lincoln will not throw off the mound most likely until January and didn't want to put a time frame on his return.
"You hear about guys rushing it a little bit; I want to come back healthy and not rush anything and play it by ear," he said. "Hopefully, by Spring Training I will be ready to go, but if not, I'm not going to rush it and try to get ready to break with the team for the season."
On deck: The Pirates and Brewers play the finale of their three-game series on Wednesday afternoon at 12:35 p.m. ET. Lefty Tom Gorzelanny (14-7, 3.48) pitches for Pittsburgh while the Brewers counter with right-hander Dave Bush (11-10, 5.25).
George von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.