Well, that’s the end of that, and it ended in pretty good fashion for the Pittsburgh Pirates and their pitching staff.
JT Brubaker showed he was ready for the season to start, and the bullpen looked ready to go too after turning in a solid performance this afternoon against the Minnesota Twins, even if the bats were mostly silent in leading to a 1-1 tie.
Brubaker went five innings, giving up just a single run in the bottom of the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Max Kepler that scored Luis Arraez after Brubaker walked the first two batters of the game. But he settled down after that, striking out four and walking no more batters, as he looked ready to assume his spot in the regular season rotation.
In addition, the Bucs also got solid performances from Sean Poppen and Edgar Santana, who finished the last two frames of this seven-inning contest giving up no runs and no hits while each striking out a batter. In fact, Pittsburgh’s three pitchers combined to one-hit the Twins, but the team just couldn’t capitalize at the plate.
The only big hit was Ke’Bryan Hayes yarding a splitter from Matt Shoemaker in the top of the first, which was the only run of the day for the Bucs. Colin Moran had both of the other two hits for Pittsburgh, but that was it for the Bucs’ hitting today.
Kevin Newman went 0-for-2 today, but that didn’t stop him from setting a new Pirates Spring Training record by batting a scorching .606, which is also the best mark seen in the majors since 2006.
Hayes was another top plate performer, hitting .431 this Spring with two homers, and Adam Frazier finished at .488 also with two homers.
The Pirates now take tomorrow off before the regular season gets underway on Thursday, when the Bucs head to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Cubs in the season opener. Make sure you check back at Bucs Dugout, as we’ll continue to preview the position groups for the Pirates and also preview the opening series with the Cubbies.
Rejoice, it’s less than 48 hours from Opening Day!