Results tagged ‘ neil walker ’
Kevin Correia helped out his own cause in the Pirates 7-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday afternoon in Bradenton, Fla.
Correia went 2 for 2 at the plate, including a two-run single in the fourth inning.
Kevin Correia told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “I just got my bat on the ball. I’ve played in the National League my whole career and I like hitting.”
Manager Clint Hurdle has had the pitchers batting in the lineup since March 6th. Last season, the Pirates pitchers batted just .089 (25-for-279).
“I think it’s a good idea,” Correia said. “When you look back over a season, you’d be surprised at how many times what a pitcher did at the plate was the difference in a big inning.”
Correia’s first two innings were solid –throwing just 26 pitches, 15 for strikes. Although, he did get up several hits, the defense behind him turned two double plays. Correia also had back-to-back strikeouts in the fourth inning. Correia struggled in the fifth. After walking Darnell McDonald (James McDonald’s cousin), he gave up back-to-back-to-back singles from Daniel Nova, Nate Spears and Marco Scutaro. Neil Walker commited an error, which scored another run in the inning.
Correia allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
Correia told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “The first inning, I was kind of getting my feel. I felt pretty good after that. Then they barreled a couple of balls in the fifth. But all in all, I felt strong through 80 pitches. At this point, I feel like I could make a regular-season start.”
An error by the Red Sox first baseman Nate Spears in the fourth inning allowed the Bucs to start a five run rally off Josh Beckett.
Neil Walker reached base on the error, Andrew McCutchen drew a walk, then Lyle Overbay hit a two-RBI double to give the Bucs a 2-0 lead. Matt Diaz and Dusty brown both hit singles. With the bases loaded, Correia hit a two-RBI single, but an error by catcher Jared Saltalamacchia allowed the bases to clear. The Pirates scored five runs, only one was earned by Beckett.
- Joel Hanrahan pitched a scoreless sixth allowing just one hit while striking out two.
- John Bowker hit a two-run homer in the seventh, his 3rd homer of the spring. He is 9-for-30.
Bowker told Langosch, “It’s going well. I’m trying to just get that rhythm and get the timing down like everybody else.”
- Pedro Alvarez, who has yet to hit a home run this spring, leads the club with six doubles.
- Lyle Overbay extended his hitting streak to 10 games. The first baseman went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
- McKechnie Field set another attendance record today. (previously 6,602 on March 13 vs. Red Sox) 6,644 fans packed the stadium.
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Manager Clint Hurdle Is not ready to name an opening day starter yet but it will be either right-hander Kevin Correia or Left-hander Paul Maholm.
Hurdle told Langosch, “We’re getting closer. We’ve categorized all the numbers. We have all the information we need. With us, it’s not so much our No. 1; it’s our best way to set up the rotation as we move forward. We’re still considering some things.”
- Brad Lincoln, who was dealing with stiffness and soreness in his right forearm on Saturday morning, may have to skip his side session on Sunday.
Lincoln told Langosch of MLB.com, “If I was to answer that today, I would say, ‘Probably not,’” Lincoln said, when asked if he’d be ready to pitch on Sunday. “But we’re going to do treatments all day on it and see where it goes. Try to get some of that swelling out of there.”
Lincoln was struck in the right forearm with a line drive by Jimmy Rollins on Friday.
- The Pirates will travel to Kissimmee, Fla. On Sunday to face the Houston Astros at 1:05. Charlie Morton will face Ryan Rowland-Smith.
Evan Meek, Mike Crotta and Chris Leroux are scheduled to throw.
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.
- The Pirates will face the Minnesota Twins in two games today (Game “A” and Game “B”) at 1:05. You can listen to live on MLB.TV
Brian Burres will start for Game “A” and Brad Lincoln will start Game “B”.
- Corey Wimberly, who the Pirates acquired this offseason from the Oakland A’s, is still hitless this spring in 12 at-bats. He has four walks and two stolen bases and may be trying too hard to make the big club.
“Coming to a new organization and all the new faces, you want to show them what you can do, Wimberly said Monday. “I’m just trying a little too hard to do things, but I’ll settle down and start making some things happen soon. … Can’t get worse, so you can only move forward.”
- Scott Olsen completed a 30-pitch (plus 2 pitchouts), “2-inning” session against live hitters at Pirate City this morning and said he felt fine afterwards.
- Ever wonder what some of the players do in the clubhouse prior to a game to relax? On Monday Neil Walker sat down with fan mail, in which he read every letter that he received. He also signed baseball cards that were sent to him.
Dusty Brown’s morning routine involves crossword puzzles (he finishes them every time too!) –something he picked up from Tim Wakefield when he was with the Red Sox organization.
- James McDonald is entering spring training this year for the first time in his career in the starting rotation.
“You come into the season knowing what you’re going to be doing,” he said. “That’s nice. It’s not like coming to camp and working as a reliever, and all of a sudden, you might be a starter next week.
“You know what kind of shape your arm needs to be in. You know what kind of shape your body needs to be in. You know your routine.”
McDonald says it’s tough bouncing back and forth but is ready this spring because he knows of his role.
It’s hard bouncing back and forth from the bullpen to starter, but it’s something I had to do to try to help my career,” McDonald said.
Lineup (A): McCutchen CF, Tabata LF, Alvarez 3B, Overbay 1B, Walker 2B, Jones RF, Cedeno SS, Doumit C, Burres P
Pitchers (A): Burres, Gallagher, Nieve, Leroux, Locke, D. McCutchen
Lineup (B): Wimberly SS, Presley LF, Pearce 3B, Lambo RF, Marte 1B, Hernandez CF, Jaramillo DH, Friday 2B, Toregas C, Lincoln P
Pitchers (B): Lincoln, Morris, McPherson, Wilson, Aguero.
*This will be Brian Burres third appearance this spring, but first start.
**Steve Pearce will be making his spring debut at third base.
Lineup (A): Revere LF, Nishioka 2B, Valencia DH, Brown 3B, Tolbert 1B, Dinkelman RF, Repko CF, Casilla S, Butera C, Pavano P
Pitchers (A): Pavano,
Lineup (B): Tosoni LF, Benson CF, Young DH, Parmelee 1B, Hughes 2B, Bailey RF, Plouffe 3B, Lambin SS, Holm C, Slowey P
Pitchers (B): Slowey,
I arrived to McKechnie Field early on Sunday, partially for Pirate fest (which was held outside the ballpark prior to the game) but also to catch some of the Bucs early morning workouts. Here are some pictures from both:
Paul Maholm and Neil Walker working out with Bucs trainer.
Pedro Alvarez taking swings in the batting cage.
Video of Pedro Alvarez taking swings in the cages.
Josh Fields during batting practice.
Jeff Locke and Josh Rodriguez signing with fans at Piratefest.
Justin Wilson and Justin Thomas signing with fans at Piratefest.
Neil Walker’s two-run homer off of J.C. Ramirez in the sixth inning gave the Bucs the lead in the 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, FLA. on Saturday.
Walker is batting .294 this spring (six games).
Paul Maholm started for the Pirates, allowing just one run (a solo homer by Ben Francisco in the 2nd inning) on four hits with two strikeouts over three innings.
“I’m right where I want to be,” Maholm said. “It’s getting more comfortable each time out. I felt a lot more comfortable today throwing inside. I missed a couple of them, but that’s part of getting through it. Now, for me, it’s flipping the switch. It’s time to make sure you mix all your pitches and get outs and go toward the season ready to go.”
The Phillies sent Cy Young award winner Roy Halladay to the mound. He allowed just one hit and two walks and struck out four through three innings.
With the tying run on second base in the ninth inning, Chris Leroux forced Freddy Glavis to fly into a double play to end the game.
- Corey Wimberly, after being walked in the 7th inning, stole both second and third base off of Phillies closer Brad Lidge. Jose Tabata and Pedro Ciriaco also stole a bag each. The Pirates have a grapefruit league leading 15 steals so far this spring.
- Lyle Overbay had a nice day at the plate going 2-for-3.
- Sean Gallagher pitched a perfect eighth inning, striking out one. In three innings (2 games) this spring, Gallagher has not given up a run or hit.
- Former Bucco Delwyn Young went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored for the Phillies. He signed a minor league contract with Philly this offseason.
- Ronny Cedeno was scratched again from the lineup with a bruised right middle finger.
- Scot Olsen threw a bullpen session today without any issues.
- The Pirates will play the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday at McKechnie (1:05).
James McDonald will get the start. Joel Hanrahan, Chris Resop, Aaron Thompson, Daniel McCutchen, Justin Wilson, Jeff Locke, Justin Thomas are all scheduled to pitch.
Prior to the game, the Bucs will hold a Piratefest in front of the stadium from 10-12:30 pm.
- The Pirates will face the Philadelphia Phillies at home (McKechnie Field) today at 1:05.
Kevin Correia will get the start for the Bucs followed by Brian Burres, Fernando Nieve, Bryan Morris, Kyle McPherson and Daniel Moskos.
Joe Blanton is scheduled to start for the Phillies.
- Neil Walker is working with Hall of Famer Bill Mazerowski at spring training again this year. Walker wants to learn everything he can from the eight time gold glove award winner and fears he may even be getting on his nerves.
“Maz is probably the best second baseman of all time,” Walker said. “It’s very humbling having him around. He treats me like a son, and I appreciate everything he does for me. I’m going to listen to every single word he says. I’m guessing by the end of Spring Training he is going to be sick of me. That’ll mean I got the most out of him.”
Maz laughed at Walker’s comment saying,
“He comes and asks me what he needs to work on,” Mazeroski said. “There are other guys who don’t do that. You have to go after them. But he comes after you to get work, and that’s good. You know he wants to learn and he’s learning well.”
“I look forward to him leading the league this year in double plays,” Mazeroski answered. “He adapts that quick. He’s a good athlete. It doesn’t take much. So far this year, he’s picked up everything. If he just keeps doing it for a while, he is going to be fine.”
- Evan Meek is scheduled to throw live batting practice today –not a bullpen session, as previously reported. Meek is sidelined by a right calf strain and –if all goes well– should make his grapefruit league debut Monday, March 7th against the Tampa Bay Rays.
- Scott Olsen (left hamstring) is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Saturday.
Pitchers: Joe Blanton, Beaz, Myers, Carpenter, Zagurski, Bastardo
Lineup: Rollins SS, Polanco 3B, Ibanez RF, Howard 1B, Young 2B, Schneider C, Garcia DH, Valdez LF, Martinez CF
Pitchers: Correia, Burres, Nieve, Morris, McPherson, Moskos
Lineup: Tabata LF,
Cedeno SS Ciriaco SS, Walker 2B, Overbay 1B, Diaz DH, Jones RF, Marte 3B, Snyder C, Hernandez CF
**Ronny Cedeno was scratched from the lineup with a sore right middle finger.
- Be sure to add me on facebook. I’ve uploaded over 100 spring training pictures so far in my photo album.
- Also, follow me on twitter (@kristpie)
With the help of Andrew McCutchen and the Pirates core, the Bucs beat the Tampa Bay Rays 10-3 on Sunday afternoon at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fl.
Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-3 with two RBI , a double, a home run and a stolen base –a triple shy of the cycle, playing just five innings.
Neil Walker went 1-for-3 with a run and a triple.
Pedro Alvarez went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a double.
Garrett Jones went 3-for-3 with an RBI, a double and a stolen base.
Kevin Correia’s spring training debut as a Bucco didn’t go the way he attended. Correia reached his pitch count and was pulled after 1.1 innings, two hits, two earned runs, two walks and a strikeout.
“I was overthrowing,” Correia said. “It seems like I do it every year, and I get mad because every year I say I’m not going to do it this year. You’re not nervous or anything. You just have that adrenaline rush that you have after not pitching in months.”
“I hate pitching bad,” added Correia. “It angers me every time, no matter where it is. It could be in the backyard. I’m also not real concerned about it. Giving up a run or two in my first Spring Training outing, I’ve done that plenty of times. I’m not concerned about it. But I obviously still have some work to do.”
Behind him, the bullpen pitched great for the Pirates.
Ryan Beckman, who was drafted in the 18th round of the 2009 draft, pitched 1.2 innings not allowing a single hit, run or walk.
Joel Hanrahan, the Bucs new closer, was solid in his 2011 debut, pitching a scoreless frame, striking out two.
- The Pirates will face the Tampa Bay Rays again on Sunday. This time, however, they will play at McKechnie Field.
Kevin Correia will start for the Bucs followed by Brian Burres, who will pitch two innings as well. Joel Hanrahan, Joe Beimel, Jose Veras, Tony Watson and Chris Leroux will all pitch one inning.
- Manager Clint Hurdle’s top of the order on Saturday was: Jose Tabata, Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez, but it could be one of the many possible lineups this season.
It’s one of many,” Hurdle said. “It’s the one we threw out there today. We all pretty much understand what Andrew can do at the top of the lineup. We need to look at what we can do to stretch out lineup, to become more diverse and dynamic. We need to score more runs than we did last year. I do believe he has the skill to hit third. We’ll see how it plays out.”
- Reliever Daniel Moskos has learned a lot from last season and says he’s ready to play in the big leagues.
“I’m a way better pitcher now, having had the two years of starting experience,” Moskos said. “I had to work through some kinks. I had to deal with a downgrade in stuff, and learn how to pitch and develop a third pitch. Those are weapons and things I’m going to take forward that can’t be replaced. I had to go through that.”
“I’ve matured and learned a lot over the past three seasons — last year, especially,” Moskos said. “I’ve had to grow up and mature a lot. It doesn’t always work out the way you plan. I feel ready.”
The Pirates will face the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday at 1:05 PM.
Charlie Morton will be taking the mound against David Price in Port Charlotte in the Grapefruit league opener. Morton will pitch two innings, followed by Brad Lincoln who will also pitch two innings.
This gives the staff a good look at both starters who are in the running for the 5th spot in the rotation.
So what is pitching coach Ray Searage looking for? “All I’m looking for right now is the aggressive approach, first-pitch strikes and attacking the bottom of the zone.”
They will be followed by Chris Resop, Daniel Moskos, Daniel McCutchen and Justin Thomas and Cesar Valdez, who will all pitch one inning each.
Here is the Pirates starting lineup:
Jose Tabata 7
Neil Walker 4
Andrew McCutchen 8
Pedro Alvarez 5
Matt Diaz 9
Lyle Overbay 3
Ryan Doumit DH
Chris Snyder 2
Ronny Cedeno 6
Charlie Morton 1
The Rays starting lineup:
John Jaso 2
Johnny Damon 7
Evan Longoria 5
Manny Ramirez DH
Ben Zobrist 9
BJ Upton 8
Dan Johnson 3
Sean Rodriguez 4
Reid Brignac 6
David Price 1
The Pirates will be facing Ace David Price of the Rays. He went 19-6 with a 2.72 ERA last season.
“The guy on the mound tomorrow can spin it a little bit, he’s got some plus [velocity],” manager Clint Hurdle said on Friday. “We could be behind a little bit. So you just got to wait and show up and find out what’s going to happen.”
The starters will most likely play five innings, two at-bats each.