I bet that Pittsburg is not real happy about that potential football work stoppage. There is a very tangible reason as to why the city is primarily a football town. The baseball team from the steel city has traded every single decent player they have developed over the last two decades. With this trend in place, I think that Andrew McCutchen should avoid buying real estate in Pittsburg. This is a baseball team with a proud history that has been sullied by an incompetent/unmotivated ownership. Willie Stargell and Roberto Clemente are rolling over in their graves watching the Pirates rudderless attempts to avoid a losing season (the number is up to 18 straight below .500 seasons).
The Pirates have rebuilt their roster with some mid-level free agents (Lyle Overbay and Matt Diaz for example) and a shit load of high draft picks. This perpetually rebuilding franchise had the opportunity to face their cross state rivals in a game at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Florida.
The Pirates are such a young team that it never really seems like there is a huge difference between the regular season and spring training. Today, they sent one their “veterans” to the mound today in the person of 30 year old former Padre Keven Correia. The Phils countered with Joe Blanton who threw three hitless innings in his previous spring training outing.
The Phils jumped on Correia in the first with RBI singles from Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard. In all, the Phils touched Correia for four hits and two runs in the top of the first.
Last season, Blanton had a difficult time in the first inning as evidenced by his 6.43 ERA in the opening frame. Once the trouble started, it was hard for Joe to escape the jam he worked into. Today, Blanton worked into a bit of trouble, but managed to mitigate the problem, by only allowing 1 run. Hopefully, this is a good omen for Joe and he can eliminate the first inning struggles in the regular season.
Domonic Brown got another day off and was spelled by Wilson Valdez. Wilson Valdez now has the ability to play the outfield. Valdez played all nine innings in right and went 3-4 with two stolen bases.
The Phils took this one 7-4.
Positives from today’s game were a Ryan Howard going two for three with an opposite field home run with two RBIs, Valdez’s aforementioned versatility and Joe Blanton’s outing.
Danys Baez is pretty bad. Pretty bad may be one of the largest understatements that I have ever been a part of. This guy can not even get Pirates out in spring training. Makes you wonder how the hell this guy ever saved forty-one games.
Next up for the Phils, these very same Pirates come to Bright House Field tomorrow at 1:05.