Pittsburgh Pirates Fall To New York Yankees
The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 7-3 in Grapefruit League play
The Pittsburgh Pirates fell to the New York Yankees by a score of 3-2 on Sunday afternoon. With the loss, the Pirates are now 7-3 in Grapefruit League play. This loss snapped a four game win streak for the Bucs.
Jameson Taillon made his second start of the spring on Sunday. Taillon pitched two fantastic innings. After the game, he threw a simulated inning in the bullpen.
On Sunday, Jameson Taillon faced six batters and retired all six of them. He induced four ground ball outs, he recorded a strikeout, and the other out came on a pop fly to shallow right field that was caught by first baseman John Jaso.
Taillon needed just 26 pitches to get through his two innings of work. If there was any area of improvement after Sunday’s start for Taillon, it would be first pitch strikes. Taillon only threw a first pitch strike to 50 percent (3/6) hitters he faced on Sunday.
When Taillon’s day ended, Nick Kingham took over on the mound. Kingham had a quick eight pitch 1-2-3 third inning. However, the fourth inning did not go as well for the right-handed pitcher.
Kingham retired the first two batters he faced in the fourth inning and then allowed a two-out double to Matt Holliday. Chris Carter then reached on an infield hit, even though it was a play that Eric Wood should have made, and Kingham then walked Aaron Judge. With the bases loaded, Kingham uncorked a wild pitch leading to the first Yankee run.
Nick Kingham’s final stat line was two innings pitched, two hits allowed, one run, one walk, and no strikeouts. Kingham threw 36 pitches in his two innings of work, this included a first pitch strike to eight of the nine batters he faced.
With Kingham, it is not a question of if he’ll make his Major League debut in 2017 but when. Do not be surprised if Kingham is in the Pirate rotation as early as June.
Clay Holmes would follow Kingham. Holmes is a very intriguing arm to keep an eye on at Triple-A Indianapolis this season. In two scoreless innings of work Holmes allowed two hits, he did not walk a batter, and he struck out four Yankee hitters. Clay Holmes also flashed a very good breaking ball today.
In the seventh inning, the Pirates handed the ball to Antonio Bastardo. Unfortunately for Bastardo and the Pirates, things did not go well for the left-handed reliever.
To lead off the seventh inning Bastardo hit Ji-Man Choi with a pitch and then Pete Kozma reached on an infield single. He would then uncork a wild pitch that catcher Christian Kelley would pick up and fire into left field off the glove of Gift Ngoepe. This led to a New York run and a 2-1 Yankee lead.
Bastardo would last just 2/3 of an inning on Sunday. He threw 26 pitches, allowing a run on one hit, one walk, a wild pitch, he hit a batter, and no strikeouts.
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In 2 2/3 innings pitched this spring Antonio Bastardo has now allowed four runs on four hits, one walk, a home run, he’s hit a batter, and three strikeouts. The Pirates, to no avail, tried to trade Bastardo this offseason. Due to this and his struggles thus far this spring, I would not be surprised to see Bastardo get designated for assignment at the end of the spring if he does not begin to pitch better.
A.J. Schugel would take over for Bastardo. He got a fly out to end the bottom of the seventh inning. Schugel also recorded the first out of the eighth inning, before allowing back-to-back singles and being pulled. Schugel allowed two hits in 2/3 of an inning pitched.
Dan Runzler would come in to record the final two outs of the eighth inning. Both Schugel and Runzler were scheduled to pitch on Sunday. So, odds are, that is the reason Schugel was pulled. Runzler allowed a run producing single, thanks in large part to a missed tag by Christian Kelley, and he recorded two strikeouts in 2/3 of an inning pitched.
When it comes to position players, there were not very many Pirate regulars in the lineup on Sunday afternoon. Francisco Cervelli served as the designated hitter and went 0-for-2, and John Jaso played first base going 1-for-3 with a double.
Alen Hanson, who is competing for the final bench spot, started at second base and went 2-for-3. He was also caught stealing. Jose Osuna started at right field and continued his on base streak going 0-for-2 with a walk.
Phil Gosselin, who is competing with Hanson for that final bench spot, took over at shortstop in the bottom of the sixth inning. He went 0-for-2 at the plate. However, he reached on an error in the eighth inning but was caught stealing.
Next: What Is The Future Of Jose Osuna?
Tomorrow, the Pirates will host the Yankees at LECOM Field in Bradenton. Ivan Nova will start for the Pirates. This will be Nova’s third start this spring.
Josh Lindblom, Felipe Rivero, Juan Nicasio, Edgar Santana, and Dovydas Neverauskas are all scheduled to pitch for the Pirates as well.