Tuesday, March 26, 2013

McPherson Fizzles Again In Bucs 6-2 Loss

Well, it was crunch time for young righty Kyle McPherson, and he went an inning too far against the Jays yesterday. In five frames, McPherson allowed five runs on seven hits, three of which left the park, and one walk with two whiffs.

The Bucs looked like they would get off to a fast start, but left the bases loaded in the first. In the second, Shelley Dincan went deep, and the Bucs answered with two outs in their half. McPherson and JT singled and Russell Martin roped a ground rule double to left; JT would have scored if the ball hadn't hopped into the stands. Still, that's four guys stranded in scoring position in two innings, and that's not good.

The Pirates took the lead in the third when Gaby Sanchez drew a free pass, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Josh Harrison's two-out knock. Both sides stranded a pair in the fourth, as the Pirates were walked twice and the Rays got men aboard on a Brandon Inge drop and single.

Pittsburgh went quietly in the fifth; not so Tampa Bay. With two outs, the roof fell in on McPherson. With a runner on first, Ben Zobrist cranked a long fly to right. baseball's a funny game; McP was an inch away from getting out off the frame: JT's leap to snag the ball wasn't quite Olympian enough, and it ticked off his mitt and into the stands. McPherson had another bad break when Neil Walker had a slight bobble to allow an infield knock, and that was followed by a booming blast to left by Evan Longeria that cleared the wall by fifty feet.

The game played out pretty quietly after that, with the Rays tacking on another tally off Vin Mazzaro in the sixth thanks to a walk, wild pitch and ground ball knock up the middle.

For the Bucs, it was a matter of stranding a dozen, blowing several golden chances early on, and not being able to corral that third out on time. For the Rays, it was long ball city, and that's a pretty good formula.

McPherson wasn't as bad as his final stat line, but his up and behind in the count too much; we'd guess he's taken himself out of the competition to break camp. And that's not much of a surprise; he's got the stuff to be a mid-rotation guy when it's clicking. But he's actually got more MLB innings than AAA on his resume (26-1/3 to 18-1/3), so a trip to Indy isn't the end of the world.

  • Brandon Inge went 1-for-5, struck out twice and left eight runners. He made an error at first and hasn't done much to help himself in the battle for the pine. 
  • Rick Gurnick of MLB.com wrote that "Scouts from Seattle, Pittsburgh, Texas and Cleveland trekked to a back field on Monday to watch Chris Capuano pitch ...as the Dodgers step up efforts to move a surplus pitcher."He added that many of those same scouts will be around today for Aaron Harang's start.
  • The Pirates' Easter Sunday workout will be open to all from 1-3 PM at PNC Park. Fans can enter at Legacy Square gates (LF entrance, where all the Negro League All-Star statues are).
  • Erik Bedard has won a spot in the Astro's rotation. He signed a minor league deal with them and made the most of it; we'll see how long the good times roll for the talented but fragile lefty. Xavier Nady was cut by KC, which hopes to keep him in their system.


Anonymous said...

Inge hasen't done much but that does not stop our mgt team from keeping him. Ugh! Maybe vegas has it right with the Buccos win total at 77.

This team CAN be real good this year. Marte and Pedro are the keys. If they advance as players this year will be fun. Better starting pitching this year especially when they bring Cole up.


Ron Ieraci said...

Cincy - I have to admit that the Inge thing is a real puzzler, even tho he's been projected to make the roster. I mean, he came to camp hurt, didn't perform, and got hurt even worse. I'm sorta thinking that's God's way of saying it might be time to hang 'em up.

I can see McDonald if the Bucs want to have DeJesus and Mercer compete this year at Indy to see if either one is an internal option when Barmes' contract is up. But Inge is, to me, a block on the bench and a spot on the 40-man that could be put to better use.

Ah well, we'll see shortly how the whole thing shakes out; the FO seems determined to finalize the roster tomorrow/Friday.

WilliamJPellas said...

Re: Inge. Weeellll....he did play fairly well in Oakland for most of last season after the Tigers cut him loose. If he can get healthy, he is certainly a far better defender at third than Pedro Alvarez, and as a platoon guy against lefthanders and a late inning defensive replacement, in theory he'd be pretty valuable. The problem, as you indicated, Ron, is that his body just might be breaking down permanently. That said, they also have McDonald and Mercer and Harrison, all of whom could play third and fill the same role---albeit without Inge's power. I think Inge was worth a look, but he has been hurt an awful lot in recent years and maybe this is all she wrote. In any case I don't mind either Inge or McDonald, just not both of them. That's too much age on the team at the same time, even for bench guys.

Ron Ieraci said...

Will, he's a mystery to me, especially considering that the Pirates seem, for a change, to have a little infield depth. For a team that brags on its farm system, the FO doesn't seem to show much faith. He is a good glove guy (if his shoulder ever heals), but you'd think that McDonald makes him a redundancy on the bench.