Charlie Morton gave up two home runs, five runs and eight hits in five innings, while striking out four and walking none in another lackluster performance by a Pirate starter.
But hey, don't worry. None of them are. After all, it's the spring. It doesn't count for another whole ten days.
To add insult to injury, the dingers were whacked by two 2009 Pirates, Nate McLouth and Eric Hinske, and was the first for both.
Still, the Bucs took a 7-6, 10-inning victory against the Atlanta Braves today at McKechnie Field, led by Steve Pearce, Delwyn Young, and a pretty good job by the pen.
After Morton, Evan Meek, Jeff Karstens, and Steve Jackson threw scoreless frames, while Brain Bass gave up a run in his two-inning stint. Pearce hit his third homer of the spring and drove in three runs, and Young added a pair of RBI. And today's prospects d'jour, Starling Marte and Chase d'Arnaud, both had singles.
It's not like the Pirates' starting lineup is doing any better of a job than the rotation. Atlanta's Kenshin Kawakami pitched six scoreless innings, limiting the Bucs to four hits and a walk with two strikeouts.
Oh yah, and Jesse Chavez. He more than made up for Nate the Great and Hinske's heroics when he gave up five runs in 1/3 of an inning, surrendering six singles (a Pirate rally!) and a walk.
-- Zach Duke will start against the Astros on Friday at Kissimmee. Duke will be allowed up to 85 pitches, with Jack Taschner and Jeff Karstens scheduled to follow.
-- A couple of minor injuries to report: Vinnie Chulk has been bothered by right bicep soreness, and is expected to be back this weekend to work a scrimmage. Ryan Church expects to return by the end of the weekend after missing time because of a fractured tip of his left middle finger.
-- There's a lot of noise concerning John Raynor and Brandon Moss. Hey, it's a battle for the fifth outfield spot, with future upside the only question. The suits have to figure out if Moss should be given more time to come around; at least until Tabata is ready. Pretty simple, actually.
-- More interesting is the Jeff Clement situation. It looks like he needs a little more work at first, and his sub-.200 batting average is a little shaky, too. The smart money says that Ryan Church is the RF if Clement goes to Indy and Garrett Jones to first (and it still does).
First, we wonder if this leaves room for Steve Pearce to make the team? Not likely, but he would allow the team another option to go right-handed. But he has an option left, and Moss and Raynor have none, and that's probably the key.
Also, if memory serves us, Delwyn Young has been in the outfield just a couple of times this spring. We think the Bucs are looking at his bat as a potential everyday weapon. But why limit him as Aki Iwamura's successor, when he probably wouldn't look too bad in right, either? Just sayin'...