For the second time in as many days, the Pittsburgh Pirates fell to the Toronto Blue Jays. After taking a 7-1 defeat yesterday, the Buccos returned to Bradenton, only to fall 8-5. One good thing is that it is only Spring Training and these games gives the players and team as a whole an idea on what they need to improve before the games start to count.
For the second straight start, a Pirate pitcher gave up a crooked number in the first two innings. This past offseason the Pirates made numerous moves to improve their club, including in the starting rotation. After deciding not to pick up the option on southpaw Paul Maholm, the organization was in need of a lefty to join the rotation. The front office went out and reeled in polished lefty Erik Bedard. Bedard was once known as one of the best pitchers in the league in Baltimore, but has been plagued by the injury bug in recent years.
On Sunday afternoon, Clint Hurdle and staff were looking to see how their newly acquired ace would fare in his first action as a Bucco. Bedard did not give the Pirates exactly the results they were looking for.
Bedard’s day got started on the wrong track, as he hit the first batter he faced. Bedard continued to have issues as the very next batter, Travis Snider, doubled in the gap, leaving runners on second and third with no outs. Bedard was able to settle down, but after the Jays manufactured both runs via a sacrifice fly and groundout.
Today also marked the first game where most of the starters were in action. Although there were no bright spots from the likes of Andrew McCutchen or Pedro Alvarez, there was a spark from a new face. Newly acquired veteran catcher, Rod Barajas, went a perfect 2-2 on the day with two singles, two RBIs and a run.
We also got to see the two most valuable pieces to the Pirates bullpen in action. Last year’s all-star closer Joel Hanrahan picked up where he left off in a solid inning of work. Hanrahan pitched a perfect inning, including two strikeouts. On the other hand, this year’s setup man, Evan Meek, was less fortunate with his success. Meek was out for the majority of last season due to injury and today’s performance showed he still has work to do. Meek allowed four runs on three hits and two walks in one inning of work.
The Buccos also got their first home run of the spring, compliments of Nick Evans. Other offensive bright spots were Alex Presley going 1-3 with a run and Chase d’Arnaud going 1-2 with an RBI.
The Pirates will travel to Sarasota next in their first night game of the spring against the Baltimore Orioles. Non-roster invitee Jo-Jo Reyes is scheduled to start.
Photo published by daylife.com
About the Author
Written by Drew Karpen
I am a graduate from Clarion University. I am currently the beat reporter for WVU football at ovathletics.com. I work part time as a stringer at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and as a producer at WJPA radio station. I also have my weekly column on ovathletics.com. I am from Pittsburgh and my favorite team is the Pirates.