Alderson Struggles, But Altoona Tops Bowie

Altoona took an early 4-0 lead on Friday in the first of four games at Bowie, then held off the Baysox for a 5-3 win.  The Curve scored two in the first on RBI singles by Brock Holt and Matt Curry.  They added two in the second when Quincy Latimore and Robbie Grossman hit back-to-back doubles, and Jarek Cunningham later singled in Grossman.  Jeremy Farrell completed the Altoona scoring with his second HR in the sixth.

Alderson Battles Control Problems

Tim Alderson made his third start since moving to the Altoona rotation and struggled throughout to locate his pitches.  He had  several spells where his mechanics appeared to go south and he missed badly with numerous pitches.  He ended up being lifted with two outs in the fifth, so he didn’t qualify for the win.  By that time, he’d thrown 93 pitches, only 52 of them for strikes.  He allowed five hits and had numerous hard-hit outs.  He also walked four while fanning two.  His fastball velocity was anywhere from 86-92.  It sat at 88-89 and was generally more effective at that velocity than in the 90s.  At times, when he was struggling to throw strikes, he’d drop down to 86-87.  Alderson consistently bounced his curve up to the plate, which largely negated the pitch because nobody was swinging at it.  Tony Sanchez did an outstanding job of blocking pitches or Alderson might have had several wild pitches instead of just one.  Even with the control issues, Alderson could have lasted through the end of the fifth, but Jeremy Farrell let a two-out grounder go through his legs, prolonging the inning and costing Alderson an unearned run.  He also allowed two earned runs.

Mike Colla, who was removed from the rotation to make room for Alderson, got the last out in the fifth and added two more scoreless innings to pick up the win.  He allowed one hit and one walk, and fanned two.  His fastball sat at 90-91 and he threw a lot of curves, which were generally effective.  Kris Harvey pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to pick up the save.  His fastball sat at 91-92 and he showed a good slider.

Other Player Notes

— Grossman doubled in his first two at-bats, breaking an 0-for-26 streak.  He lined out his third time up and fanned his fourth.

— Every Altoona starter had one hit except Miles Durham, who had none, and Grossman.

— Sanchez was 1-for-4 with a double and fanned twice.

— Altoona hitters fanned ten times and drew no walks.

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Wilbur Miller joined the site in July 2010. He has long been known for his excellent Player Profiles, which he brought to the site in February 2011, combining them with the existing Pirates Prospects Player Pages. Wilbur maintains the player pages section of the site, and provides regular articles to the main portion of the site, including a weekly Prospects Trend piece, featuring the best and worst prospects from the previous week.

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