Monday, March 9, 2015

Pitching Stays Hot In 1-0 Win; Today's Game Lineup & Notes, Pedro Hyperextends Elbow

The offense was meager and came from unexpected sources - a JT double followed an out later by a Brent Morel two-bagger - but was enough to carry Pittsburgh to a 1-0 win over the Jays. Casey Sadler went three shutout frames while a scoreless inning apiece from Stolmy Pimentel, Bobby LaFromboise, John Holdzkom, Jeremy Bleich, Deolis Guerra and Josh Wall sealed the deal. The Bucs gave up just three hits, with no Blue Jay getting past second thanks to a pair of DPs. Gift Ngoepe may give Pedro Floriman a run for the best glove in camp.

Go figure - the first game was 8-7; in the past four games, the Pirates have scored seven runs and given up eight. We'll see what happens when the rosters tighten up; we'd expect the first no-brainer cuts to come next week.

Casey Sadler (photo:Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Today's Games: The Bucs play two today. A split squad B game will take place at 10AM at Pirate City and the main event is scheduled at 1:05 for McKechnie Field, with both contests against the Twins. The afternoon match will be aired by 93.7 The Fan.

A Game: 1:05 - Gerrit Cole (11-5, 3.65) v Ricky Nolasco (6-12, 5.38)

The Lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Cutch CF, Neil Walker 2B, Starling Marte LF, Andrew Lambo 1B, Jordy Mercer SS, Chris Stewart C, Gerrit Cole P.
The Bench: The Bucs list 17 guys today. Notable is that Jung-Ho Kang is scheduled to replace Josh at third mid-game, making his first appearance at the hot corner, and Jaff Decker will take Cutch's place in center.
The Pitchers: Radhames Liz, Arquimedes Caminero, Charlie Leesman, Angel Sanchez, Wilfredo Boscan.

Cutch gets his first start in center, so the starting outfield is intact. It's almost the first team infield, with Josh's return to the lineup but with Pedro's exit (see notes).  It's the first game with pitchers batting, tho with that deep bench, we don't really expect any to reach the box.

B Game: Vance Worley is the starting pitcher. The lineup hasn't been announced (B team lineups are usually pretty fluid affairs), but Corey Hart will return to the fray as DH in the morning game. (EDIT - Bucs are up 1-0; Worley went three shutout innings, using 41 pitches).

  • If you wondered where Pedro went, wonder no more. The Pirates explained his absence is due to a minor hyperextension of the right elbow. It may be another week before he's back in the lineup, so expect a heavy dose of Andrew Lambo.
  • Gotta love Fracisco Cervelli so far. Casey Sadler told Bill Brink of the Post Gazette that Cervelli even has a sign for a pitcher to shake off the sign.
  • Some chatter is already beginning about the fourth outfielder battle, with Jaff Decker off to a sizzling start while Andrew Lambo & JT are swinging icicles. We'd give it a week or two before we started handing out roster spots, tho Decker's early performance both in the field and at bat have been outstanding.
  • Bobblehead collectors, take note. On May 23rd v the Mets, the Bucs will be handing out Josh Harrison bobbleheads; on June 27th v the Braves, Starling Marte will get his day. Both are 4:05 Saturday games.


WilliamJPellas said...

Seems to me that Dccker was a first round draft pick once upon a time, by the Padres, wasn't he? Just looking at him with the eyeballs test that would appear to have been a significant overreach, but as you say he has been killing it this spring. Personally I'd rather see Lambo get the fourth OF gig, or even Tabata if he had his head on straight, but if Decker keeps raking....

Ron Ieraci said...

Actually Jaff's a sandwich pick, Will. He does fill the 4th OF'er bill - good OBP, good glove, above average speed. I'll give him credit; at least he's making it interesting.