By Chad Carlson
|Photo Credit: J. Meric/Getty Images
The Pirates entered today’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies playing bad baseball. Bad pitching, base-running and fielding mistakes, and a general lack of offensive firepower have been the main reasons for the team’s recent slide, and, unfortunately, it has lately seemed a lot like a typical regular season for our Buccos.
After having their latest two starting pitchers getting knocked out of their games early, the Pirates sent Brad Lincoln
to the mound to take on the Phillies’ Roy Oswalt. Lincoln
, while expected to begin the season with Triple-A Indianapolis, has pitched well this spring, and that trend would continue today against Philadelphia
pitched a nice game, giving up one run on one hit, while walking two through his 2.2 innings of work. He was expected to continue, but his afternoon was cut short after Phillies’ shortstop Jimmy Rollins
smacked a line drive off his right arm. Lincoln
suffered a bruised forearm on the play and was removed from the game immediately.
Oswalt pitched well against the Pirates today. He gave up two runs, neither of them earned, on five hits and struck out five through six innings of work. The Pirates scored both of their runs off Oswalt in the third inning. After a Josh Rodriguez
leadoff single and a Phillies’ error, Corey Wimberly
hit a sacrifice groundout to give the Buccos a 1-0 lead. John Bowker’s
RBI double scored Lincoln
to make it 2-0. The Pirates wouldn’t score another run the rest of the afternoon.
Overall, the pitching staff for the Buccos did a nice job. Scoreless innings thrown by Chris Resop, Jose Veras,
and Michael Crotta
in the game into the final inning.
Ben Francisco and Pete Orr opened the ninth inning with back-to-back base-hit bunts against the Pirates’ Chris Leroux. Then, with two outs in the final frame, Tuffy Gosewisch’s two run single gave the Phillies the walk-off victory in front of their crowd at Bright House Field.
Ryan Doumit also returned to the field today for the first time since he strained his right oblique on March 8. He went 0-2 with one strikeout on the afternoon.
So while the Pirates lost again today, they played well for the most part. Certainly the pitching staff kept them in the game throughout, which is something that hasn’t happened the past few days. The Phillies are expected to be at the top of the National League this year, so it was a good opponent for the Pirates to play against again today.
Still, there was room for improvement today. The Buccos managed just seven hits, left five runners on base, and were 2-9 with runners in scoring position. Those are the type of stats that make it that much more difficult for the inferior Pirates to get a victory in a close game like this was today.
The Pirates’ record this spring is now 8-14. They return to McKechnie Field on Saturday to take on the Red Sox at 1:05pm. Kevin Correia
will make the start against Boston
’s Josh Beckett.
The game will be televised for us Pirates’ fans, and the majority of the Buccos’ starting position players are expected to be in the lineup.
Let’s Go Bucs!