Here we go...the first live blog of the season. I'll try this out a couple of times during Spring Training and then possibly during season road games. Home game recaps should be full of pictures...with a view from where else, but Section 138. With just a few minutes to go until opening pitch...I'll be back.
1:06pm: Tim Neverett reading the line-ups. Astros take to the field. My first time hearing Bob Walk doing some color comentating.
1:08pm: Nyjer leading off. First pitch strike. After a 1-2 count, looks at strike 3. One away. Andrew McCutchen next up. First pitch ball, second one a strike. Cutch takes strike two. Hit to SS, ball in the dirt and Cutch is safe. One on, one out. Scored as an error.
1:12pm: Ramon Vasquez up to bat. Vazquez pops up to behind the pitchers mound. Caught by Berkman. 2 gone.
1:14pm: Adam LaRoche batting clean-up. Looks at strike one. Looks at strike two. Cutch runs on 2-2 count and gets a stolen base. Low throw. 3-2 runner on second.
1:17pm: LaRoche strikes out. Moehler pitches good inning. Staff ace Paul Maholm coming to the mound.
1:20pm: Matsui leads off. First pitch is a ball high and outside. Bixler makes a play without an error! One down.
1:22pm: Hunter Pence. 2-2 count. Strike three on Pence. Lance Berkman up next.
1:24pm: Berkman has a 2-2 count. No one on. Count worked full on a close ball three. Pop up to shallow right, Moss makes the catch. 0-0 after one inning.
1:28pm: Craig Monroe batting DH leads off the second inning. Walk hates that a DH is used when National League teams play each other. I would have to agree with him on this. Why not make Spring Training as similar to the regular season as possible? Monroe grounds out to the third baseman 5-3 ground out.
1:30pm: Brandon Moss up to bat. Crushed a pitch that was over the plate just over the wall. 1-0 Buccos. LaRoche Jr, pops out to CF. Two gone.
1:31pm: Bixler to bat. some little kid yelling for his mommy. Gotta love ST ball. Bixler hits it deep into the CF gap. Two out double. Robinson Diaz up to bat.
1:32pm: Diaz grounder to third base. Thrown out. Pirates lead 1-0 off Moss' homer.
1:35pm: Carlos Lee up to bat against Maholm in his final inning of work. Bounces first pitch to Bixler for a 6-3 ground out.
1:36pm: Tejada up next. Two hopper to short. Two gone.
1:37pm: Blum up now. 0-2 count following a hard hit foul ball along third base. Swing and a miss for the final out. Maholm pitches well and sits down all 6 batters he faces. Jeff Karstens coming to the mound next for the Pirates.
1:40pm: Back to the top of the order. Morgan puts down a bunt that rolls foul. Morgan grounds out to second.
1:42pm: Cutch up to bat. Draws the walk thanks to an odd call on the pitcher.
1:43pm: Vasquez hits to second. 4-6-3 double play. Inning over. I'll be cutting down on how much I'm writing now as I try to make myself something to eat for lunch.
1:45pm: Jeff Karstens on the mound. One hit on a slight miscommunication between Bixler and LaRoche, Jr. All is forgiven as Quintero hits into a double play, to who else, but Bixler.
1:55pm: Craig Monroe hits what should have been a 2-run homer. Thanks to LaRoche barely running down the line on a hit back to the mound, it's only a solo shot. More on that coming up at the break.
2:00pm: LaRoche, Jr drills a ball up the middle for a two out base hit. Bixler flies out to right field for the final out. Buccos lead 2-0 after Monroe's homer.
A lot has been said about Doug Mientkiewicz and his attitude in the clubhouse. Check out any of the major Pirates blogs or messageboards and you can see that this guy had a huge fan following in Pittsburgh. He had passion. Part of that passion was making sure you run out every ground ball and put forth your best effort. Adam LaRoche did not do this in his last at bat. Adam is in the hotseat this year and he needs to put forth some effort to make sure he is ready to be traded to a contender come the end of July.
2:07pm: Bottom of the 4th. Matsui on. A hit past Bixler at short results in an error and two men on. Matsui tags and scores on a sac fly for Berkman. 2-1 Pirates. Lee flies out to Moss two down. Tejada is out. Karstens wraps up his pitching duties. Sounds like Evan Meek will be coming in to pitch the next inning.
2:13pm: Robinson Diaz hits a deep shot to left center off of Jose Valverde. Third homer for the Pirates. 3-1. Lots of muscle being flexed today.
2:16pm: Nyjer hits a ball to the outfield. Base hit and is on first. One on, none out and one run has already crossed the plate. Morgan gets a stolen base. Momentum is all on the Pirates side now it seems.
2:18pm: McCutchen strikes out. First guy down. Vasquez up to bat. Vasquez hits a shot up the middle. Morgan scores from second beating the throw from the outfield. 4-1 Pirates.
2:20pm: Adam LaRoche back up to bat. Meek has sat down in the bullpen, Capps up and pitching. LaRoche works the count to 3-0. Now 3-1. Strike out, throw up double play.
2:27pm: Capps in to pitch. First batter flies out to left fielder Jeff Salazar. Capps strikes out the second batter. Two gone. Seems to be pitching a much better game compared to his first outing. Bixler unable to come up with the next batter's hit. One on, two outs.
2:29pm: Hit back to Bixler. Flips to second baseman Shelby Ford. Third and final out of this inning. Pirates still lead 4-1.
2:34pm: Top of the 6th. First two Pirate batters have sat down. Frank Coonelly in the booth with John Wehner and Tim Neverett. Not too much action on the field. Coonelly, Neverett, and Wehner talking about the starting pitching and how they have gone through 4 ST games without giving up an earned run (Snell gave up two runs the other day, both were unearned thanks to a Bixler error). We go to the bottom of the 6th with the Pirates ahead 4-1. Frank Coonelly will be joining the broadcasters again.
2:41pm: Jesse Chavez strikes out Matsui. Coonelly, Neverett, and Wehner talking about renovations made to Pirate City. Neil Walker unable to get Bourn out after a bunt. One on, one out. Coonelly now marks out for Walker. Former Pirate Jason Michaels up to bat.
2:48pm: Gall RBI double. Former Pirate Matt Kata hits a RBI triple. Kata ripped the ball deep to center field. 4-3 Pirates. Two out.
2:50pm: Phillips flipps a grounder behind first to Chavez covering the bag. End of the 6th. Pirates lead 4-3.
2:54pm: Bixler up first and gets out. Wehner says Bixler seems more comfortable at the plate this year compared to last year. Diaz up now and walks. Jeff Salazar up to bat.
2:57pm: Jeff Salazr hits a two run shot. 4th homer for the Pirates today. They double their lead to 6-3. McCutchen up to bat.
2:59pm: McCutchen gets his second strike out. Shelby Ford up next to bat. Shelby grounds out to third. Heading into the stretch, it's Pittsburgh 6 Houston 3.
3:09pm: Craig Hansen comes in to pitch the 7th inning. Hits the first batter he faces. Neverett and Wehner talking about control issues from last year and Hensen having an advantage for the bullpen as he is out of options for this year. Hensen proceeded to get the next three batters out. We go to the 8th inning. Pirates doubling the Astros, 6-3.
3:14pm: Not too much going on in the top of the 8th. Wehner and Neverett talking about Pedro Alvarez being on the "fast track" to the majors. Garrett Jones gets a basehit. He'll be replacing Moss in right field. Neil Walker hits to Matt Kata for the final out of this half of the 8th.
3:22pm: Denny Bautista gives up a hit and then a RBI triple to Bourn. 6-4 Pirates. Jason Michaels back up to bat. Salazar makes a great catch. Bourn scored from third. 6-5. Game is getting interesting once again. Bautista not having such a great outing right now. Evan Meek is once again warming up in the bullpen.
3:36pm: Joe Kerrigan comes to the mound. Bautista walks the go ahead run. Garrett Jones saves Bautista as he catches a shallow pop-up. Going to the 9th, Pirates lead 6-5. Rough outing for Bautista.
3:46pm: No runs for the Pirates in the top of the 9th. 6-5 as they attempt to get their third win of the Spring Training season.
3:47pm: Evan Meek looking to pick up a save today. Reggie Abercrombie leads off. The bunt from Reggie catches Neil Walker off-guard. He reaches base to represent the tying run for the Astros. Abercrombine steals second. No one out and the tying run on second.
3:49pm: Juan Mateo warming up in the pen. Meek strikes out Towles. Smith grounds out as Ford throws it to Phillips. Abercrombine to third. Two down.
3:53pm: Meek throws a strike to Bourn, 0-1. Bourn fouls off the second pitch, 0-2. High pitch, 1-2. Bourn lines the ball foul. A ball nearly hits a kid on the concourse. Broken bat looper to Lopez. Third out. Pirates win Pirates win! 6-5.
Pirates pick up their 3rd win of the Spring Training season as they beat the Astros 6-5. 4 home runs, 3 of them solo shots, by the Pirates helped them win this game. The starters continue to post a 0.00 ERA through 4 games this season as Maholm and Karstens combine for 4 innings and 1 unearned run. Paul Maholm gets the win. Moehler gets the loss. Evan Meek picks up the save. Another radio only broadcast tomorrow at 1:05pm.
Lets Go Bucs.