March 11: Cranks & Clunks

Today’s game finally, after 16 earlier exhibitions, had a “real” feel to it. Buccos pitchers batted, as Clint Hurdle discontinued the use of a DH, and mainliners were still in the game at the end. Alex Presley and Josh Harrison were both featured in the winning two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth.

And “only” 15 more exhibitions to go!

Cranks

  • Phil Irwin: Supposed to have a devastating curve, but the heater ain’t bad, either; seven punchouts in 3 2/3; could be the 2013 model Brad Lincoln.
  • Roman Colon: Guy’s 33, but starting his 17th pro season; has appeared in only eight Major League games the last three years, but seems healthy. Just what the Bucs need, another bullpen candidate.
  • Brad Hawpe: That beautiful swing showed up in the eighth inning, launching a homer a-way over the right-field boardwalk. 

Clunks

  • DHs: No, not a philosophical statement. Hurdle has stopped using them, but who’ll be able to tell? Pirates DHs were 5-for-37 (.135) in March. 
  • Pedro Alvarez: He must be getting ready for another 30-homer season because he’s having the same spring he had in ’12.  Two-for-22 (.091) thus far although, looking at the half of the cup that is full, the only-five strikeouts indicate he’s getting close.

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