The Pittsburgh Pirates host the Minnesota Twins at 1:05 in Bradenton. James McDonald will be trying to put together another solid outing for the Bucs. He sparkled last time out, not allowing the Astros to even get a hit until late in his outing. He went seven innings and gave up just two hits and one run.
In spring training, McDonald has thrown 15 innings, allowed 12 hits and nine earned runs. He’s been sketchy to say the least. Before the Astros sparkler, McDonald fizzled. The Orioles got to him for five runs in just three innings.
Today should be a telling sign for the right hander. A number that jumps off the stat page for us is that he has struckout only seven batters in those 15 innings while in Florida. It might be due to the long ball effect which has hurt McDonald this spring.
One good sign is that he has controlled the hits allowed as the bad guys are hitting just .218. But it’s rather difficult to tell if he is figuring it out, or if it was the Astros effect. The Twins aren’t bringing their best today, so JMac needs to roll. We would love to see it.
Daniel McCutchen is also scheduled to pitch today in a key opportunity. The Danimal is facing some pressure as the Bucs bullpen was solid last night. Evan Meek walked two, but struckout two. Clint Hurdle said his movement is coming back. Chris Leroux had a clean inning with two strikeouts and Juan Cruz struckout one in his one inning of work.
Lefthander Matt Maloney will pitch for the Twins.
The game will be broadcast on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh and on the Pirates Radio Network