The Pirates showed us several positive things yesterday. Jeff Karstens cruised. You know you pitched well when you have to throw extra pitches after the game to get all your work in for the day. We’ve always been a member of the Karstens Zombie Nation here at RumBunter.
But what Karstens is doing is blowing our minds. And we love it.
The right hander needed only 35 pitches. His changeup is showing some life. Every year, Karstens seems to be on the outside looking in on the rotation. Pretty soon that’s not going to be the case.
In the second, Pedro Alvarez hit a solo homer off Kyle Drabek. A collective sigh was heard throughout Pirate Nation. We hope Clint Barmes (who followed with a double) saves a few of these knocks for the regular season. Josh Harrison, who is hitting very well this spring, followed with a double of his own and Barmes scored. Alex Presley singled, which plated Harrison.
Garrett “Manchild” Jones hit a solo bomb off Drew Hutchison into the strong Bradenton wind in the third inning. It was one of those cracks that just splits through the airwaves. God, we love that sound.
Brandon Boggs worked a walk in the seventh and Starling Marte got his seventh straight hit…..a two-run bomb off Ryan Tepera. Marte is exciting. Really exciting.
Harrison had two doubles yesterday in two at-bats. He has reached base safely six of his first seven plate appearances this spring. Marte has gone 8-for-11 this spring.
Brad Lincoln and Jeff Locke got rocked as they combined to allow seven earned runs.
Jose Diaz pitched a clean inning. We love Jose Diaz.
In the intrasquad game at Pirate City, Charlie Morton went 1.1 innings and gave up three hits and an earned run. Morton walked one and struck out one.
The name we are watching is Kyle McPherson, who struck out the side in the first. He lacked some defensive support later in his outing. It would be nice if we could see KMac get a few innings with the big boys this year.