After reading the cover of The NY Post today, many Pittsburgh Pirates decided not to attend the game at George Steinbrenner Stadium. The rest of the Pirates that made the trip had a rough night.
Pirate pitchers hung breaking balls, pitches caught way too much plate, the Pirates offense struggled with only a few balls making it out of the infield–in fact no outfield putouts were made, and the Yankees mauled the Bucs 9-2.
CC Tabathia kept the Bucs silenced for most of the night striking out seven over four innings and allowing only one hit and one earned run. Mariana Riveria was also impressive putting the Bucs down in order in the fifth inning, striking out two Bucs along the way.
In the top of the 7th, Nate McLouth had the first Pirates hit to reach the outfield. Jose Tabata had the only other Pirate hit at that point of the game being driven in by a groundout off the bat of Steve Pearce. Later in the 7th, Tabata had another single, but was erased on a double play ball by Pearce.
Starter Virgil Vasquez, who was showcasing his right arm for a spot in the rotation, moved his name into a pile with several other uninterested Pirates pitchers. Vasquez was roughed up for six earned runs over 2 1/3 innings.
For the first time this Spring Evan Meek struggled. He even did the unthinkable and allowed two runs. He pitched 2/3 of an inning and walked three batters. His first earned runs of the Spring.
Two relievers pitched well for the Pirates. Tyler Yates, who had allowed his only run of the spring last time out against the Rays, showed off his lively arm over two innings allowing only one hit. Sean Burnett bounced back from his poor four earned run outing against Tampa Bay and struck out two Yanks in his one inning of work.
The scoreboard was covered in zeros after the third inning until a Machado error in the bottom of the eighth led to the final Yankees run. In the top of the ninth Jeff Salazer hit his second home run of the spring a solo shot for his eighth RBI.
I still can’t believe AIG made the cover today.