With five Grapefruit League games left, the Pittsburgh Pirates have a fifth starter spot still open. The trouble is nobody has stepped forward this spring to grab the job.
Sure, Jonathan Sanchez flashed brilliance for his last eight innings, but perhaps the favorite heading into camp, Jeff Locke has done little to impress as camp grinds to a close.
Locke really failed to impress me against most of the Boston Red Sox regulars (that are healthy.) Certainly the southpaw feels the nerves as the job is still up for grabs. The Pirates have until they head to L.A. at the beginning of April to send their fifth starter to the hill, but damn is it really now Sanchez’s job to lose? Locke gave up three runs, two of them earned and seven hits in his four innings of work.
It’s just a fifth starter spot, maybe we are looking for too much. Locke wasn’t awful, just hittable. The lefty threw strikes, but we failed to see much swing-and-miss stuff like he has shown at times this spring.
The Pirates offense was limited to four hits off Red Sox right-hander Clay Bucholz, but rallied late to grab the 5-3 victory in Fort Myers. Bucholz struck out four and walked one in his 5.1 innings of work. Garrett Jones lead off the second inning with his first blast of the spring getting the Bucs on the vintage Fenway South scoreboard.
But the big charge was a tiebreaking two-run #PedroBomb from third-baseman Pedro Alvarez off Anthony Carter–Petey’s first home run of the spring. The Buccos scored four times in the eighth inning and Nate Baker worked his way around two Matt Curry errors in the ninth to preserve the 12th win of Grapefruit League action for the Pirates.
Starling Marte ripped a leadoff double and continues to look solid at the plate. Jose Tabata came off the bench a blasted a double.
Jeff Karstens will pitch tomorrow.