Pittsburgh Pirates: Hits on D.R. Game and Primer on Today’s WBC

Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

Pittsburgh Pirates News: Here are some quick hits on the Pittsburgh Pirates game yesterday against the Dominican Republic, as well as today’s World Baseball Classic.

Yesterday the Pittsburgh Pirates played the Dominican Republic.  The small island from the Caribbean sent out a lineup that would be comparable to a mid-summer classic all-star lineup.  Here was the lineup in order: Carlos Santana, Robinson Cano (replaced by Jonathan Villar), Manny Machado, Jose Bautista, Nelson Cruz, Starling Marte (replaced by Miguel Rojas Jr.), Jean Segura, Gregory Polanco, and Wellington Castillo (replaced by Alberto Rosario). Gerrit Cole showed no hesitation at attacking this stud lineup.  Cole pitched 3 shutout innings, with no walks, and limited the Dominican to two hits.  While Cole did not strike out any hitters, the right hander was reportedly sitting at 96-98 miles per hour with a high 80s sharp slider.

If Cole heads into the regular season with that kind of velocity and action on his slider, the Bucs could be getting that all-important bounce back season from him.  Tyler Glasnow pitched the complete opposite of Cole.  He was not ready for the task against this big-time lineup, and he reverted back to his unconfident pitching, which led to command issues. For more on Glasnow’s performance, check out this article here.

Also, the Pittsburgh Pirates had two of their best players have strong hitting performances. However, it was for the Dominican Republic, not the Bucs.  Starling Marte went two for three against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He also knocked in two runs while scoring one. Gregory Polanco had the best day out of all the Dominican hitters reaching base five times.  Polanco went three for three with a double and two runs scored.  He also added a stolen base, as he took advantage of Tyler Glasnow’s poor ability at holding runners. It is very ironic that those two reached based a combined seven times, and made up for five of the runs against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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Today’s Pittsburgh Pirates World Baseball Classic Primer

The World Baseball Classic started Monday for the Eastern side of the world. Israel, The Netherlands, South Korea, and Chinese Taipei were the national teams in Pool A.  Meanwhile Pool B also got underway, being made up of Japan, Cuba, Australia, and China.

In the Western Hemisphere, the World Baseball Classic starts today. Pool C and D are the two round-robin mini tournaments that will take place over the next week or so.  Coming out of Pool C will be two teams out of Canada, Columbia, USA, or the Dominican Republic.  Meanwhile, Pool D has teams Italy, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have multiple players playing in the upcoming action for Pool C and D.  Tonight some of those players will be in action.  The games with Pittsburgh Pirates in them start at six and nine o’clock eastern time. Also, more will be playing tomorrow, as that is when team USA will hit the field for the first time.

Canada vs Dominican Republic, 6:00 E.S.T.

First up will be Team Canada facing off against the Dominican Republic national team.  In this game, there is one Pittsburgh Pirates player on Team Canada’s roster, prospect Eric Wood.  Wood will be in the starting lineup after having a solid exhibition yesterday against the Yankees, going 3 for 4 with a home run

Furthermore, Wood is likely to start the season in Triple-A for the Bucs this season, but is starting to get some recognition as a legitimate prospect after hitting 16 homers in Double-A last season, and putting up strong numbers in the Arizona Fall League.  Meanwhile, on the Dominican side, the Pittsburgh Pirates will be represented by Startling Marte in center field.  Gregory Polanco will likely be used off the bench in tonight’s game.

*Update 4:45*

Starling Marte will not play in tonight’s game, and Gregory Polanco will patrol centerfield.

Italy vs Mexico, 9:00, E.S.T

In the second game, Team Italy will hit the field against Team Mexico.  These two teams are considered the underdogs in Pool D.  Team Italy will have Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli calling the game tonight. Team Mexico does not have any current Pittsburg Pirates on their team.

Next: Pirates Top 30 Prospects: 30-25

Pittsburgh Connection

Lastly, on a non related Pittsburgh Pirates note, Team Italy has a reliever that has Pittsburgh ties.  On their roster is a right-handed pitcher by the name of Mike DeMark.  DeMark actually graduated from my high school alma mater Penn-Trafford, which is located about 30 minutes southeast of Pittsburgh in Westmoreland County.  DeMark went on to pitch at Marrietta College (OH), and then went on to pitch seven minor league seasons, mainly for the Padres. Also, despite having a career 3.23 earned run average, DeMark never made an appearance in the big leagues.  The now 33-year-old is currently pitching in Independent League Baseball, but may get a chance to prove something to MLB scouts in the WBC.

Also, all numbers are from Baseball Reference

Lastly, Comment Predictions for the WBC below!