In his 11th season as a Major League manager, Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle is fed up with pitch counts, and he's banning them from the club's vocabulary.
"We had a conversation today, I'm not paying attention to the number of pitches anymore," he said before Tuesday's 8-2 win over the Giants. "For the rest of the year. And I'm serious. It's going to be about the barrel of the bat on the other team. It's going to be about men getting on base, and how they handle the stress situation.
"I want to make sure we have nobody looking in the rearview mirror at 95 pitches thinking, 'I'm done.' That's out the window."
Hurdle's new policy applies to his entire rotation, from top prospect Gerrit Cole, who allowed just two runs in 6 1/3 innings in winning his Major League debut, to veteran Francisco Liriano, who has flourished in his move to the National League this season.
To this point, Liriano -- who faces the Giants on Wednesday -- is just a couple of outs shy of giving Hurdle a quality start in five of his six outings; he is 4-2 with a 1.75 ERA.
Because his first seven big league seasons came in the American League, Liriano has never faced the Giants before, even in Interleague Play.
Giants: Road woes continue
• With the series-opening loss to the Pirates, the Giants fell to 12-19 on the road in 2013. In its two recent World Series seasons, San Francisco finished 46-35 away from home in 2012 and 43-38 in '10.
• After leading baseball with 25 errors in May, the Giants have improved their glovework since the start of the month. In fact, they've committed just one error in the past eight games, a mark that is tied with the Red Sox and Orioles for the best in both leagues.
Pirates: Club struggles vs. left-handers
• Pittsburgh owns one of the best records in the National League against right-handed pitching (32-19), but has not sustained the same success against southpaws.
The Pirates enter Wednesday's contest against Giants lefty Barry Zito with a 6-7 record against left-handers. Pittsburgh's everyday lineup has three left-handed hitters and a switch-hitter, which helps explain the club's success against right-handers, but also the struggles against lefties.
• Zito is 2-3 with a 3.73 ERA in seven career games against the Pirates. In his only start against Pittsburgh last season, he tossed five innings and allowed four earned runs on seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts in a victory.
• Pittsburgh has had San Francisco's number at PNC Park, holding a 14-8 advantage over the Giants since 2006.