Results tagged ‘ jeff karstens ’
Left-hander Brian Burres had his first rough outing of the spring on Wednesday’s 10-6 loss to the Houston Astros in Bradenton, Fla.
Burres entered the game without allowing a single run over nine spring innings. But that didn’t last long as Burres allowed two in the first inning after allowing a lead-off hit, a four pitch walk (six straight balls thrown), a RBI double by Hunter Pence and a sac fly by Brett Wallace.
The Pirates quickly tied the game at two in the bottom of the first after a walk by Neil Walker and a home run by Andrew McCutchen off of J.A. Happ — his first of the spring.
The Bucs tacked on two more runs to take a 4-2 lead in the second, but Hunter Pence homered off Burres in the third to cut the lead to just one run.
More trouble came in the fifth for Burres. Angel Sanchez and Pence hit back-to-back doubles and Tony Manzella, who pinch ran for Sanchez, scored on a fielding error by Matt Diaz in right field. Jason Michaels doubled, but advanced to third on a bad throw by Diaz. Wallace hit a sac fly scoring Michaels and taking a 6-4 lead.
Burres combined to allow six runs on 10 hits with one walk and two strikeouts over five innings.
Burres told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “Even when I was throwing strikes, it wasn’t where I wanted them all the time. Little bit wild with the strike zone today. I wasn’t keeping the ball over the plate enough and when I was, it was up and they did a pretty good job taking advantage of it.”
Pedro Alvarez hit his first home run of the spring in the sixth –and it was crushed to deep center field.
The Astros combined to score four more runs off the Pirates relievers, three off of Tyler Yates in the ninth inning.
- Lyle Overbay continued his hot spring, going 2-for-2 with an RBI and a walk. He seems to feel pretty comfortable as a Bucco (He’s batting .425 ).
Manager Clint Hurdle told Langosch of MLB.com, “This man is determined this spring. He has made a conscious effort of getting out of the blocks clean. The confidence should have been built up. I think he’s found an approach that is going to work. It’s good to see.”
- Ronny Cedeno had a good day at the plate, he went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
- Ryan Doumit went 2-for-4 with a run scored but he allowed two passed balls (one scored a run in the seventh) and was picked off twice, at both first and second base.
- Mike Crotta pitched a scoreless ninth inning and has yet to allow an earned run this spring (10.1 innings).
- Ross Ohlendorf is scheduled to start on Thursday against the Orioles in Sarasota, Fla. He will pitch six innings followed by Evan Meek (one), Garrett Olson (one or two) and Chris Leroux (one). The O’s will send Jake Arrieta to the mound.
- The members of the 2010 Eastern League champion Altoona Curve received their rings in a pre-game ceremony held at McKechnie Field.
- On Monday, Pedro Alvarez, Josh Fields and Josh Rodriguez stayed after the game for additional batting practice with Manager Clint Hurdle, hitting coach Gregg Ritchie, and several other coaches. Today after the game, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Alvarez stayed after again, but this time he was joined by Neil Walker and Ronny Cedeno.
Hurdle told Langosch of MLB.com, It’s something I’ve always done. I would have preferred to have done it a few times earlier, but we waited because of the workload these guys have been carrying. It’s just more practice is all it is.”
So what exactly is the focus of the session? Manager Clint Hurdle said, “Sometimes you have to find a way to slow the game down. When you’re behind the fastball and ahead of the soft stuff, it’s a very uncomfortable place to be. Sometimes you get up there and just have too much going on. All the thinking needs to be done on-deck. Once you get in the batter’s box, you need to compete.”
- Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune reports that James McDonald (left side) is scheduled to pitch on Saturday, most likely in a minor league game. McDonald has not pitched more than three innings in a start this spring and has been sidelined since March 11th. If all goes well on Saturday, he could remain in Florida to pitch a minor league game on the 31st –putting him in line for an April 6th start for the Pirates. If he suffers any set backs, Jeff Karstens or Brian Burres could be used as a spot starter.
Biertempfel of the Trib also reports that Chris Snyder (back soreness) who has been sidelined since March 9th will be in the lineup on Thursday against the Orioles.
The Pirates combined for just one run and six hits in the 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Monday afternoon in Bradenton, Fla.
Jason Jaramillo, who is 11-for-21 this spring, hit a RBI double (scoring Matt Diaz) for the lone run of the game.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “He’s worked very hard. “It’s gotten better each time out. Handling the ball, receiving the balls, it’s cleaned up. He’s slowed the game down, which I think was the biggest thing early in the spring was that games were moving real quick for him behind the plate. He’s showed up very, very good. I think he’s in a confident place and he’s worked very, very hard.”
Left-hander Paul Maholm had a solid outing today. Over six innings, he allowed two runs on nine hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Maholm has allowed just four walks this spring (20 innings), two of them coming today.
Maholm told Langosch of MLB.com, “Today I threw in a good bit. Everything was working. They hit a few changeups that were decent — they weren’t horrible, but they weren’t exactly where I wanted them. That’s part of it. It’s good to be able to battle and get through six innings and to throw close to 100 pitches.”
Hurdle told Langosch of MLB.com, “I thought he pitched well today. He was aggressive with his fastball. He threw some good changeups. Paul will give up some hits now and again, but he was aggressive. He was pitching to contact. It was a good outing.”
Joe Mauer hit an RBI single in the third inning to tie the game at one.
Delmon Young hit into a double play, scoring Denard Span in the fifth inning to give the Twins a 2-1 lead.
The scored stayed 2-1, until the 9th inning. Garrett Jones and Corey Wimberly called each other off on a routine fly ball, but the ball dropped due to the miscommunication putting runners on the corners. James Beresford hit a ground ball to second, scoring Jason Repko. After that, Pedro Ciriaco juggled the ball at short, which scored Mark Dolenc.
The Bucs lost 4-1 and dropped to 10-15 this spring.
- John Bowker had another good day. In his lone at-bat he hit a double (he is 10-for-31 this spring) and also made a nice catch in the 9th, taking a home run away from Steve Holm.
- Garrett Olson made his Pirates debut, pitching a 1-2-3 inning. Olson told Biertempfel of the Tribune, “When I found out I was on waivers, I didn’t know what to expect,” Olson said. “I’m very excited to get over here and get it going. I’m looking forward to this opportunity, and I want to make the best of it.”
Hurdle told Langosch of MLB.com, “You only get one chance to make a first impression. Low strikes, a few changeups, good downhill plane. We’ll get him back out there as quick as we can.”
- Hall-of-Famer Bert Blyleven threw out the first pitch to Kent Tekeulve prior to the game.
- Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune reports that after the Bucs 4-1 loss to the Twins, Pedro Alvarez, Josh Fields and Josh Rodriguez took additional batting practice for over an hour . Manager Clint Hurdle threw the BP, hitting coach Gregg Ritchie and several other coaches were on the field to observe and critique.
- Biertempfel also reported that Fields had a closed door meeting with Hurdle prior to the game today. Fields, 28, is batting just .178 this spring.
- Steve Berthiamume on Sunday’s episode of Baseball Tonight discussed the “Sunday Heroes” and Charlie Morton’s name came up. He went on to say, “Tim Kurkjian reported [Morton] has developed a Roy Halladay type sinker. He’s having a great spring for the Pittsburgh Pirates.”
- The Pirates will have their final “off day” of the spring on Tuesday. Not everyone, technically, will be off. Langosch reported that:
Jose Ascanio will throw two innings (35 pitches) of live batting practice to hitters tomorrow at Pirate City.
There will also be a “B” game. Daniel McCutchen, Sean Gallagher and Jeff Karstens (four inning) are expected to throw.
- The Bucs will face the Houston Astros at McKechnie Field on Wednesday. Ross Ohlendorf, who was originally scheduled to start, has been moved back to Thursday. Left-hander Brian Burres will start against the Astros instead.
The Baltimore Orioles offense pounded the Pirates on Thursday afternoon in Bradenton, Fla., as they combined for 20 hits in the 13-3 loss by the Bucs at McKechnie Field.
Ross Ohlendorf was scheduled to pitch five innings but he outing was cut short due to his high pitch count (he only threw three innings). Ohlendorf allowed six runs on eight hits with two strikeouts. His sinker was effective in the first inning (enduced a double play) and had a 1-2-3 second.
Ohlendorf ran into trouble in the third. He allowed two runs to score before Jose Tabata misplayed a routine fly ball in the sun –It should have been the third out. From there, the O’s rallied. Matt Weiters hit a two-RBI single and Jake Fox hit a two-run homer.
Ross Ohlendorf told Colin Dunlap of the Post Gazette, I feel like I kept the ball down. The results really weren’t that indicative of that. I would have preferred to have thrown more [innings] but I think I should be OK.”
“I would like the results to be good, but I am much more concerned with how I am throwing. … I feel like I made good pitches for the most part.”
Scott Olsen and Joe Beimel (in their second spring appearance) also took a beating.
Olsen allowed three runs on three hits with three walks and a strikeout. Olsen was scheduled to throw two innings but was pulled after 1.1. He issued back-to-back walks and at one point threw six straight balls. Olsen also allowed Jake Fox to homer, his second of the game.
Is there still time for Olsen to be stretched out to be considered for the fifth spot in the rotation? Manager Clint Hurdle told Rob Biertempfel of the Trib, “I don’t know. He very well may be. I can’t say no. I’ll leave the speculation out there for people who want to speculate. We’ll give him the ball again and see where he takes it.”
Beimel allowed three runs on three hits with one walk and one strikeout in the eighth inning.
- Andrew McCutchen has reached base safely in 10 straight games.
- Jason Jaramillo went 1-for-2 with a RBI and a walk. He is 9-for-16 with four doubles, five RBI and three walks (.529 avg).
- Brian Burres pitched four shutout innings in the Pirates ultrasquad game at Pirate City today. He allowed two hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Brian Burres told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “There are a couple things that I still want to continue to do. But as far as where I am now, I think I’ve done a pretty decent job this spring trying to do the things that I’ve wanted to do.”
Burres has yet to give up a run this spring over nine innings and the opponents are batting just .179 against him.
- Jeff Karstens threw three scoreless innings with six strikeouts and no walks.
- Evan Meek and Fernando Nieve threw scoreless frames as well.
- So far, Paul Maholm and Kevin Correia are the only pitchers to have thrown five-inning starts. The others: Brad Lincoln (four innings scheduled tomorrow), Charlie Morton (four), Ohlendorf (three) and James McDonald (three).
Manager Clint Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “We’ve got work to do. We’re not throwing enough strikes. We don’t have good enough command right now. I have no idea what our pitch count was today, but we threw way too many pitches today. We’d like to see our starters lengthen things out. There is work to be done. That’s what Spring Training is for. That’s why you have the amount of games that you have, and that’s why these starters have to keep building up their pitch counts.”
- Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune reports that Ryan Doumit is scheduled to play against the Phillies on Friday. Doumit (strained oblique) has been sidelined since March 8th.
Doumit went 3-for-4 (double and a homer) in a minor league game today. Manager Clint Hurdle told Biertempfel, “We just needed him to see pitches and make sure he’s getting his swing off with no hesitation.”
- Corey Wimberly, John Bowker, Steve Pearce, Andy Marte, Ryan Doumit, Garrett Atkins, Josh Rodriguez and Pedro Ciriaco will start tomorrow against Philly. The positions have not yet been announced. As Biertempfel points out (Doumit excluded), perhaps a last chance before to show Hurdle what they got? Another round of cuts should be happening soon.
Brad Lincoln (four innings) will get the start against Roy Oswalt. Chris Resop, Jose Veras, Mike Crotta and Chris Leroux will follow.
The Pirates will face the Baltimore Orioles today at 1:05 at McKechnie Field. You can listen to the game on MLB.com
- Ross Ohlendorf is scheduled to pitch five innings against the Baltimore Orioles. Joe Beimel and Scott Olsen will make their second appearances of the spring. Daniel McCutchen and Sean Gallagher will also throw.
- Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune reports that Pedro Ciriaco will start in Center Field at Pirate City in an intrasquad game at 10 am. Steve Pearce will be starting at third base. Jeff Karstens is also now scheduled to start and pitch four innings. Brian Burres was originally scheduled to start. No word as to why he was scratched. Tyler Yates, Fernando Nieve and Evan Meek will follow.
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Steve Pearce has eliminated his leg kick from his swing. Pearce is hoping this adjustment (less movement during at-bats) helps earn him a bench spot.
Steve Pearce told Langosch, “I’ve felt amazing. If I had more at-bats during the season, a leg kick might have been beneficial, because it worked for me last year. But with limited at-bats, I need to limit my movement.”
Pearce is seeing immediate results. Since losing the leg kick last week, he has reached base in six of his last nine at-bats.
Hitting Coach Greg Ritchie told Langosch, “You don’t want to take away what’s natural but you definitely want to be simplified, so things can be maintained very easily. There is a magnitude of things that it’s going to accomplish. He is seeing the ball bigger, eliminating the strikeouts, putting the ball in play and hitting the ball on the money.”
The following pitchers are scheduled to throw on Friday: Brad Lincoln, Chris Resop, Jose Veras, Michael Crotta, Chris Leroux.
Charlie from Bucs Dugout was at Pirate City on Wednesday and he posted this great article of what he saw from the prospects and games. Be sure to check it out.
- Both Jameson Taillon (first round pick in 2010) and Luis Heredia are huge a huge part of the Pirates future. Taillon, although it hasn’t been formally announced, said at Pirate City that he will be starting the season for the West Virginia Power. It hasn’t been announced where Heredia will start the season, but when I spoke to President Frank Coonelly he didn’t rule out the Gulf Coast League.
- Biertempfel also reports that Ryan Doumit (strained oblique) will lead off of every inning in a minor league game this afternoon.
Lineup: Tabata LF, Walker 2B, A. McCutchen CF, Alvarez 3B, Overbay 1B, Diaz RF, Cedeno SS, Jaramillo C, Ohlendorf RHP
Pitchers: Ohlendorf, Beimel, Olsen, D. McCutchen, Gallagher
Lineup: Pie CF, Hardy SS, Reimold LF, Wieters DH, Fox C, Winn RF, Harris 2B, Bell 3B, Snyder 1B
Pitchers: Tillman, Rupe, Accardo
The Pirates will be wearing green hats today in honor of St. Patty’s day. The bases will also be green.
*Photo credit: @BucsInsider
The Blue Jays scored three runs in the fourth inning off Paul Maholm, and went on to win 5-3 at McKechine Field in Bradenton Fla., on Wednesday afternoon. The Pirates drop to 8-12 this spring and have lost seven of the last 10 games.
Paul Maholm allowed four runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts over five innings.
Maholm pitched well, but ran into trouble in the fourth inning. He walked Eric Thames, who then stole second base. Jose Molina hit a RBI single to left field, then David Cooper hit a two-run homer.
After the game (on twitter) Maholm said, “Had one bad inning today had 2 sliders hammered but able to come back out and throw six pitches for 3 outs. Ready for season.”
“Glad to have a rough inning and make adjustment learned a lot today and feeling better other than one inning.”
Paul Maholm told Rob Biertempfel of the Trib, “It was good to go back out and have a quick inning, get ground balls and fix what was going on. This was the first time all spring — bullpens, game, anything — when I’ve all the sudden gotten out of whack. It’s hard when you know you’re off and you’re trying to compete. I was able to come back and do what I need to do.”
The Pirates scored just three runs (on 11 hits) against the Blue Jays. Neil Walker hit his second homer of the spring in the first inning. Garrett Jones hit a RBI single (scoring Lyle Overbay) in the fourth and Jones drew a bases loaded walk to score the third and final run in the eighth inning.
- Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-3 with a double. He is continuing his hot spring (batting .382) and has eight hits in his last 11 at-bats.
- Joel Hanrahan pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.
- Mike Crotta threw a perfect ninth. He has yet to give up a run in 7.1 innings pitched this spring and has allowed just three hits.
- Biertempfel also reports that Pedro Ciriaco will start in Center Field tomorrow at Pirate City in an intrasquad game at 10 am. (No, that’s not a typo). Jeff Karstens is also now scheduled to start and pitch four innings. Brian Burres was originally scheduled to start. No word as to why he was scratched. Tyler Yates, Fernando Nieve and Evan Meek will follow.
Ross Ohlendorf is scheduled to pitch five innings against the Baltimore Orioles. Joe Beimel and Scott Olsen will make their second appearances of the spring. Daniel McCutchen and Sean Gallagher will also throw.
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that The Pirates will be wearing green hats on Thursday in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. McKechnie Field will also use green bases.
Andrew McCutchen was spotted posing for a shot in Sports Illustrated.
*Photo credit: @BucsInsider
The Pirates will face the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05 in Bradenton, Fla., today.
Paul Maholm will start for the Bucs against Kyle Drabek.
According to Rob Biertemepfel of the Trib, Woody Huyke will manage the Pirates this afternoon, as Manager Clint Hurdle spends the day at Pirate City watching minor league camp. Huyke has spent the past 43 years with the Pirates organization.
- Injury updates:
According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com,
James McDonald will throw on flat ground on Thursday. He will also to throw a bullpen over the weekend. McDonald tells Langosch, that he feels “way better”.
Chris Snyder is taking it easy today after waking up with back stiffness. He has been hitting and throwing the last two days.
Ryan Doumit (oblique strain) took batting practice this morning. He will also take some at-bats during a minor league game on Thursday. Doumit tells Langosch, “Feel just fine. I knew it was nothing to begin with.”
- During Tuesday’s game against the Orioles, Andrew McCutchen stole second base with Pedro Alvarez (batting fourth) at the plate and no outs. Clearly, McCutchen will still be stealing despite batting third.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “You have to remember who we are,. Our four hitter right now, we want to get runners in scoring position for him. If Pedro is hot and rolling during the season, we might not take as many chances. But we’ve got usable speed and if we can go get a base, we’re planning on going and getting a base.”
“We’ve got to take some chances. Pedro is a power hitter in growth. It’s not like we’re running with [Albert] Pujols up at the plate. It’s a whole different complex, a whole different dynamic. We want to keep this mindset of going, of being aggressive, especially with Andrew. I do think that’s a part of his game that he can continue to open up more and we don’t want to take that away at all if he ends up in the three spot.”
- Left Fielder Jose Tabata is getting more comfortable leading off this spring.
Tabata told Ron Musselman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazete, “I feel comfortable leading off, but I will do whatever they want. If they say lead off, I’ll be there. If they say bat second or third, I want to do whatever I can to help my team.”
Tabata batted .255 when leading off, .328 in the No. 2 spot last season.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Musselman, “I really like his approach leading off. He’s shown some discipline. He’s had some walks. He can hit the ball the other way. He’s a contact hitter. You can use him to hit and run. You can use him various ways. He’s got speed when he gets on.”
- Ross Ohlendorf (three or four innings) will start on Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles. Joe Beimel (one), Scott Olsen (one or two), Daniel McCutchen (one or two) and Sean Gallagher (one or two) will follow.
- Brian Burres will pitch the first four innings Thursday at Pirate City. Tyler Yates (two), Fernande Nieve, Jeff Karstens (three or four) and Evan Meek (two) also will throw.
Lineup: Patterson CF, McCoy SS, Encarnacion 3B, Thames LF, Molina DH, Cooper 1B, Arencibia C, Tolisano RF, Diaz 2B
Pitchers: Drabek, Villanueva, Janssen, Henn, Lewis
Lineup: Tabata LF, Walker 2B, McCutchen CF, Alvarez 3B, Overbay 1B, Jones RF, Cedeno SS, Brown C, Maholm, LHP
Pitchers: Maholm, Hanrahan, Resop, Veras, Crotta
*Photo credit: @Colin_Dunlap
Pirates outfielder Matt Diaz, along with Jeff Karstens, Brian Burres, Charlie Morton, Justin Thomas, Triple-A Manager Dean Treanor, front office members and 120 volunteers built a playground for kids on their off day on Tuesday.
The Matt and Leslee Diaz Family Foundation was formed two years ago, which helps orphaned and disadvantaged children.
Matt Diaz told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I’m watching Gregg Ritchie sweat through his shirt on an off-day. I’m humbled and amazed at the teammates that have showed up today. They have given up their off-day — as a baseball player those are few and far between — so for them to give up their off-day to help kids [in an area where] they don’t live in or play in just speaks volumes to where their hearts are.”
“I was shocked,” Diaz said. “It floored me. I barely know these guys — I’ve known them for four weeks. It just goes to show the kind of players that the Pirates look for and have. It’s not just a ballplayer, but a good person as well.”
Jeff Karstens told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “Any time you can donate your time to benefit kids, it’s for a good cause. Matt asked for some guys to show up, and a few did. I know these days are hard to come by, so to come out and give a few hours of your day is beneficial to come by.”
For more information on Diaz’s foundation click here.
*Photo credit: @Bucsinsider
6,602 fans –the largest attendance in the 42-year-history of McKechnie Field –watched the Pirates beat the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, 9-4.
Brad Lincoln started for the Bucs, allowing two runs on two hits with three walks and two strikeouts over three innings.
Lincoln retired the first six batters in a row and was really throwing his changeup with confidence.
He got into a good rhythm at times,” Manager Clint Hurdle said. “There were a few times when he rushed and he was missing arm-side out, arm-side up a little bit. I was happy with the way he pinched off the (third) inning. It was an extended inning, with two runs scored, but he put up the outs after that. He’s working in the right direction, no doubt.”
Josh Beckett allowed five runs on four hits through four plus innings with two walks and five strikeouts.
The Pirates scored six runs in the fifth inning –lead by Pedro Alvarez’s two-run double. Ronny Cedeno lead off the inning with a home run, Andy Marte walked and Jose Tabata was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Neil Walker hit an RBI single followed by Alvarez’s two-RBI double. Lyle Overbay hit a two-run single –12 batters came to the plate in the inning.
- Jeff Karstens and Joel Hanrahan both allowed a home run in their outing on Sunday.
Hanrahan’s mistake was his only hit of the inning. He retired the other three batters.
“It was just something today that I really didn’t have the feel for,” Hanrahan said. “I would have liked to have been able to throw a 3-2 slider, but I didn’t feel like it was a good pitch to throw today.”
- Chris Resop allowed no hits or runs with three strikeouts during through two innings.
- John Bowker picked up his second homerun of the spring in the second inning –a solo blast. He is batting .333 in 18 at-bats.
- Jose Tabata started in center field today, a plan of “what if’s” by Manager Clint Hurdle.
“I want to explore as many Plan Bs as we might have to run into the season so we’re not doing it on the fly come the season,” Hurdle said. “(Garrett) Jones is going to get some reps at first base. (John) Bowker will be at first also. (Pedro) Ciriaco was at third today. (Josh Rodriguez) will probably get a couple games at third also. We’ll move some people around just to see how much versatility we have.”
- Hurdle is still unsure of where Andrew McCutchen will bat in the lineup just yet, but seems to like Jose Tabata batting leadoff.
“I’ve really liked his approach leading off,” Hurdle said of Tabata. “He’s shown some discipline. He’s had some walks. He can hit the ball the other way. He’s got speed when he gets on. He looks like that’s something that he’s able to do.”
- The Pirates will face the Baltimore Orioles on Monday in Sarasota, Fla.
Kevin Correia is scheduled to pitch the first five innings, followed by Evan Meek, Scott Olsen, Joe Beimel and Mike Crotta.
** Olsen and Beimel will be making their Pirates spring debuts.
Hurdle is looking forward to seeing them pitch on Monday.
“I’m very anxious, and anxious for them to be able to get out and compete. Each of them had a setback and they’ve worked hard to get back in the position where they can take the mound and make pitches. Hopefully, they’re not too amped up and they can just go out, throw their pitches, get their work in.”
After a great start by southpaw Paul Maholm, the Pirates bullpen got lit up –combined for 11 hits, 10 runs and seven walks over five innings in the 11-8 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night at McKechnie Field.
Maholm allowed just four hits and one run over four innings, striking out one in his third appearance this spring. The lone run came from a homer by Veteran Vladi Guerrero.
“The last two (outings) have been kitchen sink and trying to get outs,” Maholm said. “I’m getting into the rhythm of mixing sequences, reading hitters’ swings and going that way, instead of saying, ‘I’m going to throw a whole bunch inside.’ I understand there still are opportunities in each at-bat to go inside and open up the outer half. Tonight, if I missed it was in and not hittable. I tied up some guys and got some swings and misses with my changeup.”
“Paul was excellent,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Paul threw very, very well tonight. Command, the cutter, changeup, sinker, he looked good today. Very crisp.”
Brad Bergeson was pulled after 2.2 innings (68 pitches). He allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits with two walks and one strikeout.
Both Joel Harahan (the Pirates closer) and Evan Meek (the Bucs set up man) had a rough outing. Hanrahan allowed four runs on five hits with one walk before striking out the side in the fifth inning. Hanrahan was relying mostly on his fastball while facing the first five batters –it wasn’t until he starting throwing his slider that he struck out three to end the inning.
“I was embarrassed for a little bit there,” Hanrahan said. “You give up five hits in a row, it’s not looking too good. I’m not overly concerned about it, but you’ve still got to get people out.”
“There wasn’t a downhill plane that you like to see,” Hurdle said. “It is what it is. No major concerns. He got his work in and he’s healthy. He’s got to have better command. If the ball’s up, you get hit. He’s got work to do, just like everybody else.”
Meek gave up three runs on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts. It was Meek’s second appearance since being sidelined this spring with a tight right calf.
Jeff Karstens allowed three more runs in the seventh (all un-earned), on three hits with a walk.
The Pirates scored three runs in the second inning and were showing aggressive base running –going from first to third on singles, stealing bases –something Manager Clint Hurdle has been focusing on a lot this spring.
“We looked good there for a spurt,” Hurdle said. “We ran the bases well. We put the barrel on the ball. We had better at-bats. That’s the kind of game we have to play. Speed, surprise and variety. Use the skills that we have.”
The Bucs attempted to rally in the eighth inning –scoring four runs. Garrett Jones hit an RBI single, Corey Wimberly picked up his first hit of the spring (after going 0-for-13) which scored Josh Fields. Dusty Brown followed up by a Sacrifice fly and John Bowker hit a RBI single scoring Jones.
- The Pirates committed four errors during the game –Jason Jaramillo, Pedro Ciriaco, John Bowker and Chase D’Arnaud. Jaramillo’s error happened after trying to throw out Matt Angle at second base but Neil Walker was not covering the bag.
- Ryan Doumit was scratched from Friday’s lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was reported that Doumit tweaked his right oblique during batting practice earlier today.
Doumit will be reevaluated tomorrow morning and is listed as day-to-day.
- I jumped on a Podcast tonight, along with Tom from Rumbunter, that was hosted by Three Rivers Blog. We discussed spring training, prospects, pitching and what to expect in 2011. Be sure to check it out.
When talking about young players that should have good seasons this year, I completely failed to mention Tony Sanchez (blonde moment). I expect a huge year from Sanchez, who is healthy and anxious for the season. I got the opportunity to sit down with Tony at spring training. Click here for the interview.
- The Pirates will face the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday at 1:05.
James McDonald will start (four innings) followed by Brian Burres (two), Daniel Moskos, Justin Thomas and Chris Leroux.
If Sunday’s 13 strikeouts weren’t bad enough, the Pirates managed to top it on Wednesday night –fanning 16 times in a 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees in Tampa, Fla.
The Pirates have struck out 106 times through 13 spring training games so far but Manager Clint Hurdle isn’t worried.
“I’m not worried,” Hurdle said. “Worried wouldn’t be an appropriate word. I think one of the things you look at is how we’re getting to two strikes. I think we’re getting balls early to hit in the count and we’re not hitting on them.”
“Nobody likes to strike out 16 times,” Hurdle said. “That’s the challenge in front of our guys which has been presented since the beginning of Spring Training. It’s something they’ve got to continue to work at.”
As it was pointed out, The Arizona Diamondbacks have struck out 102 times in 15 games but no other team in the Arizona or Florida Leagues have struck out more than 87 times this spring.
Kevin Correia made his third appearance this spring, allowing three runs on six hits through four innings (65 pitches). He walked three and struck out four.
“I threw a couple of pitches I didn’t really like, but I feel like I’m getting a ground ball when I need to and a strikeout when I need to,” Correia said. “They hit the one ball hard in the first, and everything else, I kind of made a pitch that I wanted, and they got a hit. I think I’m real close. Obviously, there is a lot of work to be done, but we are in early Spring Training. I feel pretty good about where I’m at right now.”
Yankees’ Bartolo Colon struck out the side in the first inning on just 12 pitches (10 for strikes) and allowed two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts through four innings.
Charlie Morton pitched three strong innings –and is really having himself a nice spring. In eight innings he has allowed just two runs.
Pirates beat reporter, Jenifer Langosch said, “Actually, I think it’s fair to call him the favorite [for the 5th spot in the rotation] at this point — both because of what he has done and what Scott Olsen has not been able to do.”
Morton allowed just one run (Andrew Jones homer in the 5th) on two hits with two strikeouts.
“Very aggressive with all of his pitches,” Hurdle said. “I think the comfort is picking up. You’re watching him get on the mound, get set over the mound, get a sign and deliver. There’s not a lot of fidgeting. He’s very confident out there. He’s been very, very aggressive.”
“For the most part I felt pretty aggressive,” Morton said. “I fell behind in some counts, but I managed to stay in those counts and not allow a bunch of baserunners. That’s good. There are some things that I’m working on, but I feel fine. I’m just glad to get out there and compete instead of hanging out in Bradenton like I was all winter.”
Russell Martin hit a solo home run off of Correia in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead early. Steve Pearce hit a sac fly (scoring Matt Diaz) and Chris Snyder hit a RBI single (scoring Garrett Jones) to tie the game at two in the 2nd. The Yankees added two more runs in the third inning. Derek Jeter tripled, Alex Rodriguez singled and Robinson Cano had an RBI single.
- Daniel Moskos, is one of the players most likely moving from Double-A Altoona to Triple-A Indy this year. Pitchers Bryan Morris, Jeff Locke, Tony Watson, Rudy Owens and Michael Crotta; Position players Chase d’Arnaud, Andrew Lambo and Gorkys Hernandez are in the mix to make the jump as well.
“The team last year in Altoona was really good,” said Daniel Moskos, a former first-round pick and Altoona’s closer for most of 2010. “I think it’s almost to the point where there are so many good ballplayers that I don’t know where they are going to put them all. There is a lot of young talent, and it’s really good baseball talent.
“It’s starting to be exciting. You’ve heard management talk about how the focus was on the Minor League system initially, and now the focus is on the Major League team. They’re right, because they’ve got a lot of talent.”
- Andy Marte doubled in his pinch-hit at-bat. Three of his four hits this spring have been doubles.
- Manager Clint Hurdle could have used a designated hitter in the 4-2 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday night, but wants to work the pitchers at the plate –and improve last year’s results (pitchers batted just .089).
If anybody watched our club last year you saw the lack of execution we had from our pitchers,” said Hurdle, who hasn’t used a designated hitter since Saturday. “It was worse than a soft spot in our lineup. So we’ve put the pitcher in play much earlier in the season than they did last year just so they can get acclimated walking up there, digging in, putting down a bunt or swinging the bat, running down the baseline then having to go out and pitch.”
Hitting coach Gregg Ritchie said, Ritchie said. “It’s going to run that pitcher’s pitch count up. It’s going to move a baserunner 90 feet. Every 90 feet we’re one step closer to scoring a run. So if that pitcher can always get in there and move the runner ahead of him 90 feet no matter how he does it — whether it’s a sacrifice bunt, putting the ball in play, drawing a walk — that’s going to give our offense a better opportunity to score runs.”
- Pittsburgh will face the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday at McKechnie Field. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. ET. If you are in the Pittsburgh area, the game will be televised on FSN Pittsburgh.
Paul Maholm will start, (four innings) followed by Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek, Chris Resop, Jeff Karstens and Tony Watson.