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Hurdle doesn't play could've, should've game

ATLANTA -- About a half hour after the conclusion of the Pirates' 6-2 loss to the Braves here on Wednesday night, the Cardinals also entered the loss column, by a 3-1 score in Chicago.

That was a frustrating parlay: With a win, the Bucs could have put themselves into position to catch St. Louis atop the National League Central standings on Thursday, an off-day for the Cards.

Clint Hurdle's father wasn't shy about pointing out a big opportunity missed.

"My dad went, 'Man, you could've gotten a game.' He's always that guy," Hurdle said Thursday.

The Pittsburgh manager himself isn't wired that way.

"If we don't win our game, I don't go to 'hope.' That's never a strategy for me," Hurdle said. "We didn't take care of our game, and whatever we got after that is what it is. And what we got was a break, that we didn't lose any more ground."

Worth noting
Charlie Morton, facing surgery for his sports hernia, went on the club's 60-day disabled list. Although Morton had pitched five shutout innings in a comeback start on Sept. 16, raising hope for his possible postseason participation, this move became anticipated.

"We were all of the mindset that this was the next step to take," said Hurdle, who acknowledged that surgery "is being considered."

Morton's spot on the 40-man roster was given to right-hander Chaz Roe, whom the Pirates claimed off waivers after he had been designated for assignment by the Yankees. The 27-year-old native of Steubenville, Ohio, made 21 relief appearances with the D-backs last season.

• Everyone is pulling in the same direction, obviously, but infielder Clint Barmes has a unique reason for hoping the Bucs can overtake the Cardinals for the division title.

"This will be my fourth postseason, but I still haven't gone as a division winner," said Barmes, who experienced Octobers as members of Wild Card entrants in 2007 and '09 in Colorado, and last year with the Pirates.

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.
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