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Pirates remove one-time ace from rotation

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08:13 AM ET 09.17 | The second half of the season has not been kind to James McDonald, and he paid for it over the weekend. The Pirates removed [McDonald], one of the National League's better starters in the first half of the season, from the starting rotation Sunday because of the sharp decline in his second-half production. Rookie right-hander Kyle McPherson will take McDonald's place Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers. "As the games count down, we've got to look to give ourselves the best shot that we can of winning the game," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. McDonald has a 7.08 ERA in the second half of the season after finishing the first half with a 2.37 ERA. He has walked more batters in 61 second-half innings than he did in 110 first-half innings.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Clint Hurdle, Getty Images Clint Hurdle, Getty Images
September 17, 2012  08:22 AM ET

One or the other he has run out of gas or the league has caught up with him.

September 17, 2012  08:25 AM ET

He's probably mentally and physically Drained!!!

Comment #3 has been removed
Comment #4 has been removed
September 17, 2012  09:41 AM ET

wiseup: Hurdle should have thought of that the first of sept. when he brought up the extra ptchers . Too late to worry about that now.

September 17, 2012  10:36 AM ET

I am really rooting for them to finish above .500, but it looks like the pitching has run out of gas....it was only a matter of time for McDonald. More surprising is the bad pitching by Burnett.

September 17, 2012  10:59 AM ET

the pirates should remove somebody but not a player instead it should be the manager itself,,,,

September 17, 2012  11:00 AM ET

when a manager does nothing but lost confidence in his players and in himself,,, best thing to do is let him walk away,,,,

September 17, 2012  11:21 AM ET

the manager is the problem can't see it? who you going to blame the cat or the dog?? while the manager can't find the right formula to achieve the pirates goals the franchise will achieve another shamefull lost season!!

September 17, 2012  12:40 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I am really rooting for them to finish above .500, but it looks like the pitching has run out of gas....it was only a matter of time for McDonald. More surprising is the bad pitching by Burnett.

Pirates took a nice step forward this year, need to build on it for next year. Take a look at some new guys, let McDonald have a rest.

September 17, 2012  01:28 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Pirates took a nice step forward this year, need to build on it for next year. Take a look at some new guys, let McDonald have a rest.

Definitely. For a franchise with its recent record of futility, it's going to be baby steps getting back to the top. They had a good year this year -- they just need to start building on this success.

September 17, 2012  01:49 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I am really rooting for them to finish above .500, but it looks like the pitching has run out of gas....it was only a matter of time for McDonald. More surprising is the bad pitching by Burnett.

Surprised by the Bad Pitching by Burnett?

He's finally rounding into the form that is more typical of Burnett...

He hasn't had a sub- 4 ERA since '07 (and maybe if they shut him down he can break that streak :-)

It was only a matter of time for AJ & the Bucs.

Comment #13 has been removed
September 18, 2012  11:15 AM ET

<SIGH!>

 
September 19, 2012  11:18 PM ET

As a Pirates fan, I HATE to say I saw this coming, but I did! JC! can't we just have a winning season????? What a tank-job this was.....terrible all the way around......

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