RumBunter Pregame: Bucs Look to Stop the Vanimal

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The Pittsburgh Pirates hustled out a 2-1 win in ten innings last night against the Philadelphia Phillies.  Today’s Easter Sunday task is not an easy one.  The Vanimal, Vance Worley goes to the mound for the Phillies.  The right hander is coming off a strong rookie season.  He did some solid work in spring training against the Pirates, too.

Worley was able to crack the Phillies rotation in 2011 after injuries to other Phillies starters, and wrapped up his freshman season by finishing third in National League Rookie of the Year voting.  Worley went 1-3 in five spring training starts, pitching 20 innings while sporting a 4.50 ERA.

The Bucs counter with right hander James McDonald.   If McDonald can pitch admirably, the Bucs should be in the game.  Mainly because we feel the Phillies are being managed as if they are an anemic offense.  It appears the Pirates might hold that title, but Charlie Manuel is giving it a helluva go with his faithless moves thus far in the series.

Take last night as an example:  Jimmy Rollins bunts – yeah, it got them a run, but what the hell?  Laynce Nix bunted.  Jim Thome hit for John Mayberry.  Sure, the team might be light right now, but Manuel’s managing of the bench is eye-popping to say the least.

It’s hard to fathom, but the Bucs could have easily lost the game last night 1-0.  Cliff Lee rarely throws wild pitches.   It was tough to imagine a player as athletic as Lee not being able to catch that toss – which should have resulted in Yamaico Navarro being tagged out at the plate.

Let’s trust it doesn’t come down to a one run nail biter today, because that doesn’t bode well for the Bucs let alone my heart this early in the season.

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Tags: James McDonald Pittsburgh Pirates Vance Worley

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