This one was a pretty quiet affair. The Phillies defeated the Pirates 1-0 at McKechnie Field this afternoon. Despite recording eight hits, the Bucs couldn’t push one run across the plate.
The good news from this game were the solid pitching outings as Jeff Locke rebounding from his rocky first start to toss three scoreless innings of work. He allowed just two hits, struck out one batter and had a lot softer contact off of the bat today. Also pitching scoreless innings for the Pirates were Tony Watson (shocking), Trey Haley, Eric O’Flaherty, Jorge Rondon and Jim Fuller. A.J. Schugel gave up the only run of the game for the loss. O’Flaherty was another pitcher who rebounded from an awful first appearance last week.
As for Haley, I think his signing could be an intriguing one. Haley was the Indians second round draft pick in 2008 and never really got it going through eight seasons in the minors. He struggled with control throughout most of his career, owning a 6.5 BB/9 (yikes). He’s yet to make it to the Show, but last year he posted a 2.45 ERA in 43 games out of the bullpen between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus. If Uncle Ray can sprinkle some magic pixie dust on Haley and get his wildness under control, Haley could end up being a viable piece of the pen this season. So far this spring, he’s worked three scoreless innings and more importantly, no walks.
Despite the shutout, the bats had a couple bright spots today. Alen Hanson continued his sharp spring with another two hits, including a double, while Starling Marte recorded two hits as well and a stolen base. Marte’s OPS is 1.11 this spring. If Kang isn’t ready for Opening Day, my money is on Hanson to make the club.
Tomorrow, the Bucs and Phillies will meet again this time in Clearwater. Lefty Jon Niese will be start for the Pirates.