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Bucs unplug in preparation for Game 5

ST. LOUIS -- While the Cardinals were working out at Busch Stadium on Tuesday, the Pirates were still in Pittsburgh, having nice lunches before making their leisurely way to PNC Park for a late-afternoon flight to St. Louis for Game 5 of the National League Division Series on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET on TBS).

The Bucs' NLDS timeout may have displeased some, particularly media hungry for off-day access and stories. But manager Clint Hurdle and his team were merely being consistent. To counter last season's poor track record after a day off (7-9), Hurdle came up with a concrete plan.

Think of it like a take on a general manager's "best move never made."

"Sometimes, you've just got to get away from it. Unplug," Hurdle once explained. "We encouraged -- no, ordered -- the guys to just disengage, come back fresh the next day."

Hurdle's terms of disengagement have worked for a 2013 record of 14-6 following scheduled off-days (the Pirates also won following their only rainout of the season). That record already includes two wins this postseason -- in the NL Wild Card Game over the Reds and in Game 3 of the NLDS over the Redbirds.

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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