Gerrit Cole struck out the first six batters he faced (on 26 pitches) before hitting a bump in the third, when he gave up a walk and a pair of knocks, but a pickoff at first defused the situation. Like most Pirate pitchers early on, he was working on his heater, which sat at 95, and some sliders.
Stolmy Pimentel followed with two innings of shutout ball, while Andrew Oliver and Mike Zagurski added goose egg frames. The Buc staff gave up six hits with one walk and 11 K in the seven inning match.
Gaby Sanchez, Anderson Hernandez and Jeff Larish went long against team Spain. Back to the real world tomorrow against Boston.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America tweeted that Gerrit Cole should be in Pittsburgh by "midseason, unless Pirates totally collapse, in which case 2014." We think that if the Bucs end in that situation that they'll bring him up in a heartbeat to get a jump on 2013 if he's ready. Callis added that OF prospect Josh Bell has a Top 50 bat, but isn't willing to call him an overall Top 50 Prospect yet.
- By the by, if you're worried about the Bucs start, remember that Cincy has two wins and the Rangers have three. Sadly, the last two seasons we've been brutally reminded that it ain't how you start, but how you finish...
- In other WBC exhibitions, Jameson Taillon gave up two runs on four hits, two walks and two strikeouts in 2-2/3 IP for Canada against the Brewers while Jason Grilli tossed a scoreless frame with a hit and walk for Italy versus Oakland. Taillon's line wasn't as bad as it seemed; he was an out away from three scoreless frames, but gave up a couple of two-out RBI knocks in his final inning.
- ESPN Deportes and ESPN will premiere "The Clemente Effect," a feature-length documentary that chronicles the life and accomplishments of Roberto Clemente, on Sunday, March 10th. Air times are: ESPN at 4:30 p.m. and ESPN Deportes at 10:30 p.m.