Monday night’s game at McKechnie against the Orioles was the last game to be televised on ROOT until Opening Day, and it wasn’t an impressive showing by the Bucs. It was a fast paced pitcher’s duel through 6 innings, but the Pirates ended up losing 4-1. All five runs scored came in the 7th inning or later.
Offensively, the lineup couldn’t get anything going. The only two hits were Neil Walker‘s double and a Michael McKenry single. The lone run scored was on a weak groundout by Garrett Jones, which was set up by Andrew McCutchen swiping second base and then advancing to third on the throw into center fielder by Oriole catcher Matt Wieters.
Three errors were committed by the Pirates’ defense, all fairly routine plays. Pedro Alvarez fielded a ground ball cleanly but then air mailed the throw past Jones at first and into the stands, which allowed Mark Reynolds to score. Minor leaguer Gregory Polanco dropped a ball that Adam Jones hit off the right center field wall, which allowed him to get to third base instead of holding him to a double. Jones was pinch run for and the runner ended up scoring. The third error was committed by GI Jones at first when he tried to backhand swipe at hard hit ground ball. The ball was hit hard enough that Jones could have gotten in front of it and at least knocked it down to get the out at first. That runner also ended up scoring. Baltimore also had two errors, one on the errant throw by Wieters and a fielding error by Wilson Betemit.
On the mound, starter Erik Bedard pitched very well through the sixth inning, until he gave up a few hits in the seventh. After giving up a run and putting guys on first and second, Bedard was replaced by Jason Grilli. Overall though, Bedard was very efficient, walking one and striking out six, and only giving up two runs, one of which was unearned. Grilli came in and got Ronny Paulino to ground to Alvarez, who then sent the throw into the stands. After that, Grilli struck out two and got a groundball out. Juan Cruz and Tony Watson pitched the eight and ninth innings, each giving up a run. Not at all a bad showing by the pitching staff, giving up only two earned runs.
Pedro was very tough to watch tonight. Not only did he make an error, he looked bad at the plate. He stuck out swinging in his first at-bat, then was up 3-0 in his second. The pitcher worked it back to a full count, and Alvarez looked at strike three. In his third AB, Pedro rolled over a ground ball to the first baseman. Twitter was not happy with the Pedro’s showing, which is expected. With about a week of Spring Training games left, you have to hope that he’ll be able to get his game together.
The Pirates head to Clearwater tomorrow for a 1:05 game against the Phillies.