Saturday, March 30, 2013

Curve Beats Bucs; J-Mac & Tony Watson Rocked

OK, if there is anything more insignificant than a spring game, it's an exhibition against a minor league club in March when it's 45 degrees out. The pitching staffs were mixed up, and the big league club sprinkled a few minor league guys in the lineup. So the Buccos 8-6 loss to Altoona didn't matter much except to a Twitterer or two.

Here is what matters: James McDonald had another first inning from hell. He faced the entire Curve order and gave up four runs on three hits, three walks, and gave up two stolen sacks. Tony Watson went against Pittsburgh and lasted for two outs. He gave up four runs on three hits with a walk and a K.

Starling Marte continued to look sharp. He went 2-for-3 with a grand slam off Watson, launching a 3-2 heater down Broadway over the left field wall. Russell Martin and Travis Snider had a pair of knocks. The Bucs actually banged out 14 hits, but were 2-for-13 in RISP and stranded nine.

Andrew Lambo, Mel Rojas and Justin Howard had two hits apiece for Altoona. Lambo was pretty solid at the plate when he got into the spring games. The 24 year old's quest will be to get through a season in one piece to get back on the radar screen. The Curve drew eleven! walks, four served up by J-Mac and four more by Nathan Baker, who were the main wild children.

Baker gave up the other four runs to the AA club. Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, Jared Hughes and Justin Wilson all put up zeroes in their inning of work.

Time for fun and games to end; the Bucs practice tomorrow and host the Cubbies Monday. And that one counts.

  • Jack Moore of Fangraphs (and Disciples of Uecker blog) has a piece on Andrew McCutchen's "Controlled Aggression."
  • Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports thinks that Clint Hurdle is one of the twelve MLB managers on thin ice this season.
  • Zach Link of MLB Trade Rumors reviews the Pirates off-season moves and gives his team overview.
  • Hey, it's just not the Bucs. Lyle Overbay made the Yankee squad after being cut by Boston.
  • Steve Pearce made the Orioles club after clocking seven spring bombs.
  • Nick Evans, who played at Indy last year, signed a minor league deal with Arizona.
  • The Mariners released Ronny Paulino.
  • The Curve drew 10,116 people for today's game, a team record.
  • Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror points out that the Curve are now 2-0 all-time against the Pirates. They won the only other matchup 8-5 in 2000.
  • Even though they beat them, the Pirates magnanimously extended the Curve's minor league working agreement through the 2018 season.

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