Second Verse Same As The First - Birds Bomb Bucs, 11-4

Murphy Slam Not Enough Pitchers Ineffective Again

Jim Colony
February 28, 2020 - 4:50 pm
Trevor Williams Pirates

Daniel Bartel USA Today

John Ryan Murphy hit his second home run of the spring - and it was a grand slam - but that was it for the offense and (most of) the pitching was not on point for a second straight day as the Pirates were bombed by Baltimore, this time 11-4 to remain winless in the Grapefruit League.

In his second outing, Trevor Williams again had first inning trouble, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits, including a fly ball that Bryan Reynolds lost in the sun, and a wild pitch. After putting 2 on with no outs in the second, Willians gave way to minor leaguer Nick Mears who allowed a 2-run single to make it another 4-run start for Williams.

"Results-wise you don't love it," Williams said, "but where my body is at, where my brain's at, I feel like I'm in a good spot."

His manager seemed to agree. "I thought his fastball was fine," Derek Shelton said, "just had a little trouble with his breaking ball."

Steven Brault kept the 2-run train rolling in the third inning on a double and a pair of 2-out singles then was lifted with 2 on and 1 out in the fourth. After a walk to load the bases, flamethrower Blake Cederlind got 2 strikeouts to finally keep Baltimore off the board.

After Murphy's slam had closed the gap, Michael Feliz allowed one run in the fifth then was followed by 3 pitchers all coming back from injury.

Chad Kuhl, who missed all of 2019 after Tommy John surgery, faced 4 batters - single, ground out, struikeout, walk - to reach his pitch count. Van rider Sammy Reyes walked the bases full then gave up a 3-run double to complete the sixth. 

JT Brubaker, who missed most of the last season at AAA with a forearm injury, allowed a run in the seventh.  

Edgar Sanatana, like Kuhl, coming back from Tommy John, breezed through a 1-2-3 ninth on just a hadful of pitches.

The Pirates only managed 6 hits.  Besides Murphy's HR, Gregorgy Polanco and third baseman Philip Evans doubled while Bryan Reynolds, Jose Osuna and Charlie Tilson singled.

Murphy was a late addition to the line-up when Luke Maile "came in a little stiff," according to Shelton who saw no sense in sending Maile out on (by Florida standards) a cold day.  Then Shelton joked,, "It's always the guy that's not supposed to be in the line line-up that does something big."

For the second straight game at LECOM Park, Shelton sent out the line-up card with a World Series hero, with 1971 Game 7 winner Steve Blass doing the honors after 1960 Game 7 walk-off HR hitter Bill Mazeroski had done it Wednesday. Shelton wouldn't say exactly who but expect a 1979 WS winner to bring the card out Sunday when the Blue Jays come to Bradenton. 

The Bucs play their second night game of the spring Saturday against the Twins in Fort Myers.  Derek Holland is scheduled to start at 6:00 on 93.7 The Fan