Pirates 3, Red Sox 2. Pirates.com recap here. If you’re reading the transcript after the conclusion of the game, you’ll want to start from the bottom and work your way to the top.
3:08: Live box.
BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH
3:07: Andrew strikes out on yet another full count. I’m due for a seventh inning stretch, I think, but I’ll be back for the recap later.
3:04: Neil Walker works the count, then pokes one out to left. Just barely cleared the fence, but a homer nonetheless. Castillo grounded out, and Superjoe McEwing made a nice play in left on Matos. Maybe McCutchen can make it 2 for 2 for our top prospects?
2:59: J.C. Romero in for Boston.
TOP OF THE SEVENTH
2:58: Lowell flies to Cutch in center. Three up, three down, still tied at two.
2:55: Varitek up. Edwards stays in the game to play first. Varitek down. Another strikeout for Snell. What an animal.
2:52: Drew leading off for Boston. Snell’s in after all. My apologies to Paul Meyer. He gets Drew swinging.
BOTTOM OF THE SIXTH
2:48: “Both staffs have thrown the ball well today.” Moreso the Sox than the Bucs, in my opinion. Another full count, this time on Doumit. Another swinging strikeout.
2:46: Big Country takes a ferocious swing at the first pitch and comes up empty. Mike Edwards runs for Adam. Brad looks at two consecutive balls. “The Pirates have had more batting champions than any other franchise. Doesn’t that surprise you?” Sure. Eldred with another big swing and a miss, full count. Strikes out swinging. “He seems to be one of those all or nothing swingers.”
2:43: Joel Pineiro gets Jason Bay on one pitch to start the inning. LaRoche works the count full before singling up the middle.
TOP OF THE SIXTH
2:38: Hammered he did, but right to Bautista at third to end the inning.
2:37: Ortiz flies out to Matos in right. “This is the type of lefty you’d think [Manny] would hammer.”
2:35: Nope. Juan Perez gets the tough draw as Papi steps in.
2:33: Ball four. “That’s gonna do it for Gryboski.” Tracy’s out to the mound, I’m guessing to bring in Grabow for a little pre-season test.
2:30: Lugo grounds out, 5-3. The crowd isn’t booing, they’re Youking.
2:28: Gryboski in. Whoever said Snell was going to throw was lying, I guess.
2:25: McCutchen in as the new center fielder. Duke started the fifth, allowing a chopper up the middle to Pedroia. Tracy’s out now to make the pitching change. Must’ve hit his pitch count.
BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH
2:21: If you were counting, Duke induced eight ground outs, four fly outs, and three strikeouts. He threw a lot of balls, but only made one mistake to Mike Lowell. Run of the mill outing, I’d say. Wilson grounds into a fielder’s choice to end the inning. Score tied at two heading to the last of the fifth.
2:19: Duffy beats out a double play, ties the game at two. The Lugo/Pedroia DP combination looked sharp, apparently. The announcers are talking excitedly about Duffy’s speed and the quick turn.
2:17: “Matos gets an RBI the hard way,” as Julian drills him in the back. Duffy up with the sacks still full o’ Bucs.
2:15: Castillo singles, but Cox holds up Doumit at third. Bases juiced for Luis Matos, he of warning-track power.
2:13: Bautista with a “soft single” in front of Crisp in center. Two on for Castillo.
2:12: “It’s all about economics for the Pirates.” Obligatory Sid Bream reference. Seems like this pops up every time the Bucs play an AL team in Spring Training.
2:11: Doumit works the count full and fouls off a couple pitches. Solid at bat. Finally draws a walk. That’s what we like to see. Take note, Brad.
2:07: “He is a monument,” say Boston’s announcers about Eldred. Brad looks at strike three, and shakes his head at home plate umpire Randy Marsh. Have fun in Indy. We’ll see you in September.
TOP OF THE FIFTH
2:03: Oops. “It appeared to be a letter-high fastball, right in his wheel house.” “Mike Lowell, instantaneously.” “And I mean a no-doubter.” I think they’re trying to say it was hit hard. Duke gets Crisp to ground out on the first pitch to end the inning. Boston 2, Pittsburgh 0.
2:03: Gets strike one on Lowell, too.
2:01: Zach’s throwing a lot of pitches (tons of foul balls), so I’d guess this would be his last inning. “Terrific play by the second baseman Castillo” to get Tek. Apparently he worked a somersault into his fielding routine.
2:00: Hey, look at this, two first-pitch strikes in a row. It’s different facing a declining Varitek than it is Papi and Manny. Without seeing the broadcast I can’t say for sure, but I bet Zach was just practicing avoidance.
1:59: Duke curve ball fools J.D. for a rare first-pitch swinging strike. Second pitch is popped to Duffy in short center.
1:58: Another full count, Manny pokes one through the right side for a single.
1:57: Ball one on another batter, this time it’s Manny. Is he trying to avoid the sluggers, or is Zach having control problems?
BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH
1:54: Adam pops to Manny to end the inning. The Bucs offense isn’t exactly humming. Let’s see if Zach can set ‘em down again in the bottom half.
1:53: Bay grounds to Lowell, Youk digs out the throw for the second out. LaRoche up, gets to face a righty. I would’ve liked to have him see more than one pitch against Gabbard. Oh well.
1:50: Wilson works the count full, but “the soft hands of Mike Lowell at work” rob him on a grounder down the line.
1:49: New pitcher for the Sox is Julian Tavarez. Pirates fans are familiar with his work.
TOP OF THE FOURTH
1:46: Duke gets the first one over on Papi, and he fouls it off. Ortiz grounds to Wilson to end the inning. Three solid IP from Zach so far. Scoreless headed to the fourth.
1:46: Youk grounds to Jose, too. Must have a magnet in his mitt.
1:44: Lugo grounds to Castillo, one away. Sounds like Zach’s keeping the ball down. When he’s missing, it’s usually low and away (at least according to the announcers).
BOTTOM OF THE THIRD
1:42: Gabbard gets Duffy to ground to Pedroia. Bucs waste a lead-off double. Still 0-0.
1:40: Matos grounds softly to the pitcher, and Bautista gets caught off third. Luis reaches on the fielder’s choice, two outs.
1:38: “Could they be a contender?” “I think they can, they have one of the filthiest young pitchers…” Nope, not the Bucs. Sox announcers are crushing on the Brewers and Ben Sheets. Castillo makes the first out.
1:36: Bautista doubles on what sounded like an awkward play by Manny. Ball got over his head and bounced on the warning track. First hit of the day off Gabbard. Castillo and Matos with RBI opportunities.
TOP OF THE THIRD
1:33: Coco falls behind in the count, 1-2, and pops out to LaRoche in foul territory. Dustin Pedroia to the dish with a chance for a two-out RBI. Doesn’t get it done—Bay catches a weak fly in left. Duke made it through a powerful order once without damage, let’s see if he can’t do it again.
1:32: Duke gets the first pitch over for a strike against Coco Crisp.
1:31: Lowell flies out to Duffy in center, Drew tags up and takes third. Runners on the corner with one out.
1:29: The radar gun in Fort Myers is saying Zach’s topping out at 86 mph. Who does he think he is, Masumi Kuwata? Ball four to Varitek, “two on and nobody out” for Mike Lowell.
1:27: Drew slaps one into the gap, official scorer calls it a single and an error as Duffy had a hard time getting a handle on the ball. If I heard correctly, Drew’s entrance music was “Sour Girl.” Interesting choice.
BOTTOM OF THE SECOND
1:24: Tony Ferrante just got a quasi-shout out. “Pittsburgh is located at The Confluence of the Three Rivers.” Gabbard strikes out Doumit swinging, too. Headed to the last of the second, we’re scoreless.
1:22: Eldred takes the first pitch for a strike. Takes the second for a ball. Goes fishing on the third and pops it foul. Outside, 2-2. Gets lucky with the wind, a pop-up drops in foul territory. Outside and high, full count. Swings and misses, strike three and he’s out.
1:21: We’ll see if Adam can get a hit off a southpaw. First pitch is flyout to Drew. Not much to go off of.
TOP OF THE SECOND
1:18: Zach gets Manny to ground to LaRoche. One inning, three groundouts, good start.
1:17: Ortiz walks on a 3-1 pitch. Manny to the plate.
1:16: Youk takes strike one. Bautista cuts off a ball down the line (“a great play”) and fires across the diamond for out number two.
1:15: Strike one, ball two, and then a fouled-off bunt attempt. Lugo grounds the 2-2 pitch to LaRoche at first, who makes the play on his backhand and records the unassisted putout.
1:14: Duke throws ball one to Lugo.
BOTTOM OF THE FIRST
1:12: Bay whiffs on an 0-2 pitch. Slow start for the good guys. (Did anyone know that Rich Harden—like Bay and Morneau—is from British Columbia? I didn’t.)
1:10: Here’s the live box. The Boston guys love Wilson’s glove. J.D. Drew catches a “slicing” liner to right for the second out. Gabbard’s been ahead of both batters.
1:08: Weak fly to left, Manny gloves it for the first out. Took a couple pitches—what’s with the patience?
1:07: Duffy’s in the box and we’re ready to get underway. He’s 4 for 20 this spring.
TOP OF THE FIRST
1:05: Boston’s starters are all playing, should be a great test:
1:03: Hazy, 78 degrees, wind blowing from left to right.
1:01: Up and running, but in a commercial break. I like the Red Sox’ guys on NESN, and I’m hoping the radio side is of a similarly high quality.
12:57: Waiting for the Gameday Audio feed to go live. I’ll post the starting lineups when I have them.
I’ll be live blogging (at least the first half of) today’s game against Boston, with the first pitch set for 1:05 from Fort Myers. According to Paul Meyer in the P-G:
Zach Duke is scheduled to start for the Pirates. Ian Snell, John Grabow and Kevin Gryboski also are scheduled to pitch.
FM NewsTalk 104.7 says that Matt Capps and Juan Perez will throw as well, and that the Red Sox will start LHP Kasan Gabbard, a 24-year-old junker who “won’t ever be an ace.” (Sounds like a fit for our rotation.)
According to MLB.com, there’s a Gameday Audio feed of Boston’s coverage, but nothing on our end.