Pirates Caffeine: Offense Hot, Maholm Not So, But Heh–Doumit Back


Andrew McCutchen is tagged out by Mike McCoy trying to steal second. McCutchen has been red hot with 8 hits in his last 11 at-bats in Spring Training

The Pittsburgh Pirates offense has put up ten hits in six of the past seven.  Perhaps it’s starting to click for the Bucs?  They aren’t always turning the hits, leadoff doubles, and on base opportunities into runs, but we will take it.  Let’s trust it’s the start of something as the 8-12 Buccos head into the downhill part of the Spring Training schedule.

The starting pitching still has work to do.  We won’t get into details here other than one awful inning for Maholm who threw ‘two bad pitches,’ (just like his last outing which actually was his best) and this time it’s the difference in the game.

Joel Hanrahan had a good fastball, another clean inning, another strikeout.  What do you say?  He’s back to being the machine.

Neil Walker hit his second bomb.  Kyle Drabek was the victim this time.

Ronny Cedeno is hitting well.  He had two more hits and Cedeno has now hit safely in six of his past seven.  Cedeno’s baserunning and knowing the game situation?  Ah, not so much. 

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Today the Bucs battle the Orioles for what seems like the tenth time this Spring Training.

Ryan Doumit is going to back in action in an intrasquad league game today and should be ready to play this weekend.   DK Blog  One of those games is against the Astros.  We hear they might need a catcher.  DK also said Jeff Karstens will get stretched out tomorrow in that intrasquad game.

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Don’t know who Huyke is?

He also helped give a struggling minor-league infielder named Tim Wakefield a second life after a player got Huyke’s attention. During a routine game of catch, Wakefield had thrown a knuckleball.

“I said, ‘Throw a couple more.’ He did,” Huyke said. “Then I turned around and left.”

The light-hitting Wakefield was about to be released when Huyke, during an organizational meeting, suggested putting Wakefield on the mound. After enduring a few bumps and bruises, Wakefield and his knuckler helped the Pirates win a division title in 1992, and he has gone on to win 192 games and two World Series rings in 18 seasons.

Huyke took great pleasure last year in watching another former protégé, Jose Bautista, club a major-league-leading 54 home runs with the Blue Jays.

“That was fun to see. He always had talent,” Huyke said. “It finally gelled.”

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Tags: Clint Hurdle Jeff Karstens Joel Hanrahan Kyle Drabek Neil Walker Paul Maholm Ronny Cedeno Ryan Doumit