March 7: 3-Cranks and 3-Clunks

Introducing a new regular feature of my Spring Training coverage, takeaways from the day’s happenings between the Grapefruit League lines and elsewhere in the Pirates’ den as they prepare for the season.

Yeah, I could have called this 3-Up, 3-Down. But isn’t that what everybody else does? This is Pirates booty; we do things differently.

The Bucs lost to Tampa Bay, 4-2, today in McKechnie Field.


  • 1. James McDonald: Four shutout innings of one-hit ball, AND a pickoff of Desmond Jennings.
  • 2. Charlie Morton: Less than eight months removed from Tommy John surgery, he has a batting-practice date on Sunday.
  • 3. Jose Contreras: Another Tommy John patient, for keeping himself in great condition, for when he’s ready to resume pitching. Anyone who snickers about him really being 50 years old should see him in the locker room without his shirt on.


  • Gaby Sanchez: He looked good at third base on Tuesday against Spain, when no one could pull a ball to him. A little different in this one, as he couldn’t reach first base on the fly for the error that led to all four Rays runs.
  • Jeanmar Gomez: Yeah, the four off him were all unearned. But he gave up the hits that followed Gaby’s throwing error. And he still has an ERA of 12.00
  • Pirates lineup: Everyone took the day off. Came within four outs of being blanked on one hit for the second consecutive home game (Philadelphia one-timed them on Monday).

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