By the end of the third inning, I was pretty sure the Pirates would never get anything going against Yovani Gallardo, as they seemed determined not to swing at Gallardo's two-strike fastballs--batter after batter walked back to the dugout after being called out looking. To be fair, Gallardo was getting some calls on some fairly close pitches to the outside corner. Anyway, it didn't matter much: Zach Duke really had trouble getting out of the fifth, and the Brewers had a blowout on their hands by the time the inning was over.
Er... Andrew McCutchen stole two bases. And Argenis Diaz grounded out in his first major league plate appearance. And that's about it. The Pirates, in the last couple of years, have to have set some kind of major league record for getting three-hit or four-hit. Tonight's four-hit performance just feels like the latest in a string.
Significant minor league games:
Scoreboard | Altoona 9, Akron 6
Since March, no other Pirate prospect's stock has fallen as much as Tim Alderson's. Not only is his velocity reportedly way down, but he's also getting poor results. Today he allowed six runs and struck out just one batter; his ERA is now 5.52 for the year, with as many walks as strikeouts. On the bright side, Josh Harrison went 2-for-5 to raise his average to .340, Chase D'Arnaud and Jim Negrych had two doubles apiece, and Tony Watson, pitching this year as a long reliever, struck out six batters in 3.1 innings. If anyone has seen Watson so far this year, I'd love to hear a report--he was underwhelming as a starter, but he's put up excellent stats so far this year.
Scoreboard | Bradenton 7, Jupiter 3
The world's greatest minor league team rolls on. Jeff Locke was terrific tonight, posting ten strikeouts while allowing three unearned runs runs in five innings. The Marauders bullpen then shut down Jupiter from there on out. Offensively, the damage was done mostly by catcher Eric Fryer and shortstop Brock Holt.