Sunday, March 24, 2013

Not A Great Day To Evaluate Piching...

Well, Chris Leroux ought to be more careful about what he wishes for. Notified that he would finally get his wish, a start, four hours before the game, he got just one out while giving up eight runs (seven earned) on five hits (one a grand slam) and two walks.

Of course, he wasn't alone in the train wreck, giving up an infield knock, watching his teammates commit two errors on the same play and later a passed ball while having his catcher, Russell Martin, ejected for complaining about balls/strikes. Justin Wilson got the last two outs, with a walk in between.

Cutch smacked a two-run dinger in the Bucco half off Brian Matusz. The O's got a run back in the third off Wilson, using a double-single combo. Pittsburgh answered with a two spot on back-to-back two baggers by Cutch and Gaby Sanchez, followed by a Neil Walker knock an out later to make it 9-4.

Pittsburgh made it 9-5 an inning later thanks to a Fort McKenry double and Lucas May's two-out single in Matusz's last frame. The Orioles put up another score in the fifth with three singles off Ryan Reid. Then Pittsburgh exploded in the sixth.

With Travis Snider and John McDonald aboard on singles and two down, May singled home a tally and Cutch walked to jam the bases. Sanchez lined one up the middle off (literally) pitcher Troy Patton. Jacob Pettit relieved him, and Pedro doubled off the CF wall to bring home two more scores. So after 2-1/2 hours and six innings, it was a 10-10 game.

But not for long. Mike Zagurski, who has been snake-bitten by the long ball lately, gave up a solo shot to Steve Pearce with two down in the seventh. For the ex-Bucco, it was his the sixth homer of the spring, and was also the fourth straight appearance that the Z Man has been touched for four-bagger.

The Bucs loaded the bases in the eighth with two outs thanks to a walk, hit batter and infield single off Pettit, but a Josh Harrison bouncer ended the frame. David Bromberg, a minor-league guy, got within an out of going 2-1/3 clean innings, but a two-down flare into left by Pearce brought in Russ Canzler, who had doubled to open the final frame and make it 12-10.

Pittsburgh tried for some two-out lightning in their half when McKenry and Felix Pie both singled on two-strike counts. May, who had three hits on the day, didn't have a fourth knock in him. He looked at three strikes to end the game.

Who'd of thunk it? After playing a ten frame, 0-0 match a couple of days ago, the Bucs and O's decided to try their hand at Arena football today. And that doesn't make the roster decisions any easier on the pitching side. The Bucs used six hurlers and only Jared Hughes came out of the game unscathed.

The Pirates travel to Port Charlotte and Charlotte Sports Park tomorrow to bump heads with the Rays in their last night game of the spring. Kyle McPherson will take on Matt Moore.

  • It was sort of a head scratcher among local bloghorns, but David Miller of Rant Sports calls John McDonald and the Pirates the perfect match.
  • Rob Beirtempfel of the Tribune Review tweets that the Pirates are "intrigued" by RHP Chris Young, but wonders if they have a roster spot for him. Young, 33, has an opt-out clause with Nats; we'll see if he exercises it, as it's thought that he's the odd man odd in their rotation. We're not so sure he fits - he has a career ERA of 3.79, but has a 2:1 fly ball/ground ball ratio, and that's not a recipe for success at PNC Park. On the other hand, the four projection services used by Fangraphs have him working between 2.99-3.25 ERA in 2013, and he has a 20% lifetime whiff rate.
  • On the Neil Huntington radio show, he said the roster will probably be set Tuesday or Wednesday, and it didn't sound as if Jordy Mercer would be on it.
  • Kevin Wells of the Washington Times has his 2013 Pirate Preview. He picks the Pirates to finish third in the division.

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