The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 14-7 in Grapefruit League play
Saturday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates traveled to Clearwater to play the Philadelphia Phillies. The Pirates walked away 13-8 victors. With the win, the Pirates are now 14-7 in Grapefruit League play.
Tyler Glasnow made the start for the Pirates and pitched better than he had his previous three outings. If Glasnow still has a chance of making the Pirate rotation out of Spring Training, he made his case on Saturday. This also came one day after Drew Hutchison struggled in his most recent outing.
In four innings pitched Glasnow allowed just one run on four hits, two walks, and five strikeouts. Glasnow only allowed one solidly struck base hit all game, a second inning single by Daniel Nava, and the run he allowed came on a weakly hit pop up that fell in fair down the third base line. It was a ball third baseman Gift Ngoepe missed and left fielder Jose Osuna could not get to.
The biggest reason for Glasnow’s success on Saturday was improved control. He threw a first pitch strike to 13 of the 18 batters he faced. Additionally, when he got ahead in the count he did a better job of throwing pitcher’s pitches.
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Furthermore, Glasnow’s curve ball was fantastic on Saturday. His curve had a lot of late drop, and it gave Phillies’ hitters fits all day. His fastball sat in the 94-96 miles per hour range and hit as high as 98 miles per hour. Saturday was a game that showcased the good Tyler Glasnow and showed why he is arguably the top pitching prospect in all of baseball.
Steven Brault, who is competing with Glasnow and Hutchison for the final rotation spot, took over in the fifth inning. Brault lasted just 2 2/3 innings for the Pirates. He allowed four runs on four hits, two walks, and a strikeout.
This spring has been a struggle for Brault. In 11 2/3 innings pitched he has allowed 12 hits, four walks, a home run, and he just five strikeouts. This gives him a FIP of 4.49 in Grapefruit League play.
Jared Lakind took over with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh inning. He allowed a grand slam to Maikel Franco before recording the final out of the inning. Lakind then pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
Minor League pitcher Jason Creasy pitched the bottom of the ninth inning. Creasy would allow two runs on three hits and he recorded a pair of strikeouts.
Lead off man Adam Frazier started at second base and went 2-for-4 with a walk and a double. Phil Gosselin, who started at shortstop, finished the day 1-for-4 with a two-run triple and a strikeout. In the bottom of the sixth inning Frazier and Gosselin switched positions.
Josh Bell went 1-for-4 with a walk at the plate and had a good day in the field. In the bottom of the fourth inning he did an excellent job at making a pick on a two-hop throw from Phil Gosselin. It is good to see Bell making strides defensively at first base.
In his third start in right field this spring John Jaso went 2-for-3 with a walk, a three-run home run, he drove in four runs, and he stole a base. Jose Osuna started in left field and was 1-for-4 with a RBI.
Elias Diaz started behind the dish and went 1-for-5 with a solo home run at the plate. Eury Perez started in center field for the Pirates and hit his first home run of Grapefruit League play. Utility infielder Gift Ngoepe took over at third base in the top of the fourth inning. Ngoepe continued his hot spring going 2-for-3 at the plate.
Next up for the Pittsburgh Pirates is a home game at LECOM Park against the Toronto Blue Jays. Gerrit Cole will start for the Pirates. Jared Hughes, Antonio Bastardo, Tony Watson, and Daniel Hudson are also scheduled to pitch for the Pirates.