It was a big start for the Pittsburgh Pirates 26-year old Phil Irwin against the New York Yankees. Unfortunately, the right-hander was able to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a bit early as he was chased after recording just seven outs.
The largest crowd in McKechnie Field history had to watch “Filthy Phil” go just 2.1 innings against the Bronx Bombers. Irwin gave up seven hits, six earned runs, a walk, but recorded zero strikeouts. The Yankees were led by Melky Mesa - who had a grand slam - and Kevin Youkilis who hit a bomb and the Greek God of Walks also added a double for three runs driven in on the afternoon. New York stole five bases and were caught once. (Note from Cocktailsfor2: Tom Singer reports that Martin thought there was a possibility that the Yanks were stealing signs )
The moneymaker wasn’t working for Irwin, who has now made five appearances this spring for the Bucs. Before today, Irwin had given up just two earned runs in eight innings. Against the Baltimore Orioles in his last appearance on March 11, the Pirates’ 2009 21st-round pick struck out seven batters over 3.2 innings.
Pedro Alvarez had a rough day in the field, but stroked two doubles. The Bucs were 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position and #AlwaysSmooth Clint Barmes went boardwalk to start a Buccos late rally that fell a few runs short. Left-hander Jeff Locke gave up two runs in his four innings of work.
The Pirates play the Red Sox in Bradenton at 1:05 on Monday. Right-hander James McDonald is expected to start against Clay Buchholz.