by Zane Heiple
|Photo by Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
Maybe the Pittsburgh Pirates are just getting tired of spring training. Maybe they are ready to head north and play some meaningful games. I sure hope so, because their performance over the past week has me a little concerned on what this team will look like when the games do count. For the ninth time in eleven games they Pirates lost a spring training game, this time to the Tampa Bay Rays 6-3.
Now its not like things went horribly wrong for Pittsburgh tonight. The offense was able to collect ten hits, Neil Walker would go 2-4 and Andrew McCutchen would hit a solo home run. Another plus was that Pedro Alvarez did not strikeout, granted he did not play, but we take any positive news on Pedro that we can.
The downside of the night came from Charlie Morton. While he is still about a week behind other pitchers, he did not have a good night. Morton would pitch five innings allowing six runs on eight hits. Tonight showed that he definately needs more time to recover from the offseason hip surgery and should stay behind for a few extended spring training starts before joining the Pirates roster. While Charlie struggled, Evan Meek, Chris Leroux, and Juan Cruz each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
Now i understand that records are not important during spring training, but it just seems like the Buccos just aren’t performing up to the level they are capable this spring. Like I said earlier maybe its just the lull of spring training. I hope they are ready to play come April 5th at PNC Park. Pittsburgh will be back in action again tomorrow at 1:05 against the Minnesota Twins.
Grapefruit League Record: 8-16
Let’s Go Bucs!