3/21/23 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter
This year on Inside the Bucs Basement @ITdoubleB we’re listening to you. Craig Toth and I thought we could slide by not doing game stories last year and resoundingly, you all didn’t agree.
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This is just a Spring training game, but I wanted to get one put together and tell you all to expect them when the season gets rolling, plus, I just straight up felt like covering a game.
Now, onto the game.
When you get to this point in a Spring Training, you start to feel a lot more normal about games. Starters are trying to go 5 innings or so, the player mix at least at home tend to be more regulars and you turn your attention to how those regulars look more than hoping that prospect shows something.
Brubaker had a solid line and I’ve detailed it in the notes below, but seeing him today was more eye opening. He absolutely wants to throw strikes this season, and while he got hit hard early, he was fortuitous to have many of them right at his defenders.
The only pitch in his arsenal that really concerns me is also one of his most promising. His sinker generated 11 called strikes today, but most of his hard contact also came from the pitch bleeding into the middle of the plate after starting on the inside corner. Typical for someone throwing a lot of sinkers, but something he’ll have to work on.
Stephenson knocked the rust off today and surrendered a run to make it 3-0 until Andrew McCutchen stepped up to the plate…
The Pirates started subbing and so did the Phils with nothing really of note happening before the bottom of the 9th, where mic’d up left fielder Canaan Smith-Njigba led off with a walk followed by Owings getting on board. CSN was driven in by Drew Maggi.
Rodolfo Castro bunted to sacrifice but wound up reaching on a single and a wild pitch to Bae sealed the deal for the Buccos.
They’ve now won 5 of their last 6 ST games and are off tomorrow before facing the Red Sox at 1:05 on Thursday.
News & Notes
- Robert Stephenson was listed as “available” for today’s game. He’s been on the shelf with a sore elbow. Entered in the 6th of this contest and didn’t look sharp, understandably. After the game, Derek Shelton said he expects Robert to start the season on the IL. 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 ER. Rusty.
- In the first inning, JT Brubaker threw 8 pitches, 1 of which was a ball. This produced 3 line drives right at fielders. Great Box score results, in real life though, 3 probable hits.
JT Brubaker’s line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB 6 K’s, 1 HR, 63 pitches (47 strikes)
- Andrew McCutchen returned to action in this contest. Cutch was dealing with a sore elbow. In his first at bat he drilled a single to center, and drilled an opposite field homerun in the 6th with Reynolds on first.
- Might mean nothing, but Rodolfo Castro was a late inning replacement in this one for Tucupita Marcano at 2B.
- Dauri Moreta pitched another scoreless inning today. That’s now 8 appearances with 1 ER, and he is very much so on the bubble for making this team. You can look at this as a negative, or be encouraged by the kind of depth the Pirates are stockpiling.
- There should be another round of cuts today or tomorrow with the off day. Expect this one to be more extensive than most have been.