The World Cup continued today with three Pittsburgh Pirates farmhands seeing action, as well as a solid performance by a former Pirates pitching prospect.
World Cup Recap: Friday
Team USA defeated Germany on the MLB Network. Pedro Alvarez went 1 for 4 with an RBI single, and some good looking defense. Alvarez made some nice looking plays, and displayed a strong throwing arm in making a few tough plays on slow rollers to third. I was critical of Alvarez and his defense at third early in the year, suggesting that his future was at first base. I’m not so sure any more.
The Pirates plan on putting Alvarez on a weight loss program this off-season. Alvarez showed a lot of skill today, and should see a lot of improvement at the position, especially when it comes to range, with some weight loss. Keeping Perry Hill would also help.
Former Pirates pitching prospect Todd Redmond had a nice game, carrying a perfect game in to the 7th inning, and displaying some good movement on his pitches. Redmond was traded to the Braves in 2008 for Tyler Yates.
Gift Ngoepe went 2 for 4 with a double and two runs for South Africa, although his team lost their second game in a row. Gift is 3 for 7 in the tournament, but may just have one more game, with South Africa close to elimination.
R.J. Rodriguez, who spent the year as Lynchburg’s closer, came on to close out a 5-3 victory for Puerto Rico. Rodriguez pitched a scoreless inning, allowing no hits, one walk, and striking out one.
Tomorrow is the final day of the first round of the World Cup. Six teams will be eliminated after tomorrow. Those teams are:
-The five teams ranked in 4th place in their division
-The 3rd place team with the worst record
Right now seven teams sit at 0-2, with Tom Boleska’s Great Britain and Gift Ngoepe’s South Africa being two of those teams.