PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Former Pirates and Tigers manager Jim Leyland joined “The Cook and Poni Show” Tuesday to chat about the series between his former teams. The Pirates travel to Detroit to open a three-game set tonight.

“The Pirates have an excellent team. Maybe one more bat would help, but they have an excellent team,” Leyland said. “They are going to have to make one heck of a run in order to catch St. Louis, but certainly a Wild Card is definitely in sight for the Pirates.”

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Leyland, like everyone in Pittsburgh, has been surprised by the way the Cardinals have been hit with injuries yet they keep winning.

“It’s a little frustrating I’m sure for Clint and the Pirates,” Leyland said. “You know, they win a few games in a row and they just don’t gain anything or just one game on the Cardinals. So, it’s been a little tough because both teams are very good.”

Leyland also talked about how he believes teams are throwing at Pirates’ outfielder Andrew McCutchen. He is convinced that the Pirates and Clint Hurlde will handle it the proper way, but the manager does need to show everyone that he is going to protect his star players.

He also talked about how the track records of both Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez would indicate that they will both come alive and have impacts on this offense

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Leyland will be in Detroit tonight to watch both of his former teams square off and he is excited to watch Gerrit Cole.

“He is one of my top five pitchers in baseball right now,” Leyland said. “I really admire him because I think he is really good. He is obviously really good, he has excellent stuff and I don’t know him but I watch him and I think he quietly has a nice mean streak in him.”

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