Anthony Rendon Live: Game One

The first game of the Rice/ECU series just ended, with Rice winning 2-1, thanks to some strong pitching from Austin Kubitza.  The Rice offense managed 11 hits today, and scored the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh, on an RBI single by center fielder Michael Furda, who is now hitting .271 on the season.

The two players I was focused on were Anthony Rendon, who was the designated hitter again today, and Austin Kubitza, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ seventh round pick in the 2010 draft.

Kubitza had 11 strikeouts in 5.2 innings tonight.

-Kubitza made the start for Rice, pitching 5.2 innings, allowing an unearned run on two hits, with three walks and eleven strikeouts.  The lone run came in the bottom of the sixth.  Kubitza started off the inning with two groundouts.  He followed that up with a single and two walks to load the bases.  Kubitza got a grounder up the middle against ECU shortstop Jack Reinheimer.  Rice second baseman Michael Ratterree made a nice ranging play, and a great throw, which would have been in time to get the runner.  However, first baseman J.T. Chargois dropped the ball, allowing the inning to continue, with East Carolina’s lone run scoring.  That was all for Kubitza, as Tony Cingrani came on to close out the inning and pitch the rest of the game.

Kubitza’s stuff wasn’t dominant.  He worked mostly in the 88-90 MPH range, sitting mostly 88-89 MPH.  He also threw a low 80s slider, which was effective.  He did manage to strike out eleven batters, which is mostly due to his command.  Kubitza displayed great command of his fastball, and mostly worked in the strike zone, outside of the walks in the sixth inning.  He’s got strong numbers, with a 1.32 ERA this year, although I wouldn’t put him ahead of guys like Zack Von Rosenberg, despite the great results in his freshman year.  They’re both pretty much at the same talent level, after seeing both pitch in the last few weeks.  That speaks well for Kubitza, but is just a disclaimer in case you’re looking at his numbers, looking at the numbers of someone like Von Rosenberg, and trying to make an apples to apples comparison.  It’s apples to oranges.

-The main focus was on Rendon, although there wasn’t much to focus on.  He had an infield single in the first, which I missed, as I was late arriving to the game.  He was intentionally walked in his third and fourth plate appearances.  In both cases, first base was open, with a runner in scoring position.  Rice had one out when Rendon was walked in the fifth, and two outs when he was walked in the seventh.

East Carolina finally pitched to him in the ninth inning, when Rendon led off the frame.  He had a few pitches to hit, and was pitched inside a bit.  On a full count he hit a hard liner to center field, although the ball went right to the center fielder.  Rendon has now walked in 30% of his plate appearances on the season, including 41% of his plate appearances since Jeremy Rathjen has gone down with an injury.

I got video of the last at-bat, and a few innings from Kubitza, although I won’t be able to upload anything until Monday.  I will be interviewing Rendon and Kubitza at some point this weekend, likely tomorrow.  I’ll be back here tomorrow to cover game two of the three game series, and with no Kubitza this time around, my focus will be entirely on Rendon.

Share This Article

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Game 8 Live Blog: Pirates vs Rockies

Next Story »

Game 8 Recap: Tabata’s 14th Inning Double Wins it

  • Anonymous

    I wonder what level Kubitza would have started 2011 at if he signed with the Pirates last year. Seems developed enough that Low A would have been in the cards.

    Taillon-ZVR-Cain-Kubitza-Allie —- sigh….what could have been, I guess.

Latest Analysis

  • Jose Tabata

    The Details of Jose Tabata’s New Swing

    8 hours ago

    On Friday I wrote about how Jose Tabata talked to Marlon Byrd over the off-season, aimed at changing his swing to add some leverage, lift the ball, ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    What Led to Keon Broxton’s Breakout Year in Altoona?

    1 day ago

    Keon Broxton used to be one of the top prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system. Baseball America ranked him as high as tenth in the system ...

    Read More
  • Adrian Sampson

    Don’t Forget About This Pitcher When Creating Your Pirates Dream Rotation

    2 days ago

    If you’re setting up a dream rotation for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the not-too-distant future, then you’re going to be throwing out names like Tyler Glasnow, Gerrit ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Jose Tabata Changed His Swing After Talking With Marlon Byrd

    3 days ago

    Yesterday, Jose Tabata put one on the roof of the batting cages over the left-field fence at Pirate City. Today, he added two more. By that pattern, ...

    Read More
  • Antonio Bastardo

    How Ray Searage is Trying to Fix Antonio Bastardo’s Control Issues

    3 days ago

    Tony Watson has established himself as one of the best left-handed relievers in the game. Out of 142 qualified relievers last year, he ranked 21st in WAR, ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Q&A: Will PNC Park Burn Down When Neil Walker Eventually Leaves?

    3 days ago

    Last week we started a Q&A article that will run every Friday. Right after the first article went up, we got a lot more questions. Normally I’ll ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles