By Chad Carlson
The Pirates’ pitching staff looked solid today. Starter Charlie Morton tossed four innings of scoreless baseball, giving up only a pair of hits while also striking out two batters. Joel Hanrahan, despite giving up a solo homerun, pitched well in the fifth inning, while Chris LeRoux and Ryota Igarashi threw a scoreless inning. Yeah, the pitching staff looked solid top to bottom this afternoon. That is…until the ninth inning.
Daniel McCutchen gave up six runs in the ninth inning, and the Detroit Tigers beat our battlin’ Buccos 7-2 this afternoon. D-Cutch faced a total of 13 batters in his two innings of work, and it was easily his worst performance in recent memory, whether in Spring Training, regular season, or anywhere else. So why did Clint Hurdle leave him in? Well, because that’s what Spring Training is all about. He wanted to see if he could work his way out of trouble. He obviously failed today, but there wasn’t any harm done, except for maybe a little bruise to McCutchen’s ego.
As for the offense, the Bucs did muster eight hits as a team, including three from Jose Tabata. Matt Hague showed his power again today with a homerun in the second inning. He’s making a strong case to be apart of the Opening Day lineup in a couple weeks.
Clint Barmes and Rod Barajas combined to go 0-6. Again, though, a lot of the regulars, including Andrew McCutchen, are in more of a maintenance type mode at this point. They know they’re on the roster, and there’s no sense risking injury right now. Still, though, the Bucs need some more offensive production from someone, anyone.
The Pirates face the Houston Astros (with Chris Snyder) tomorrow afternoon at 1:05pm.
Also, be sure to stay tuned this weekend for the premier 2012 edition of our Bucco Beat podcast, right here on FFTS.
Grapefruit Record: 7-12
Let’s Go Bucs!