Facing another Bowie lineup stacked with major league players, Altoona fell behind early on Sunday afternoon and couldn’t recover, losing 4-2. The Curve got a run in the 1st on doubles by Robbie Grossman and Tony Sanchez. Matt McSwain, making a spot start necessitated by a recent doubleheader, got hit hard in the first two innings, allowing four runs. He pitched one-hit, shutout ball over the remainder of his seven innings, but the Curve could get only one more run. McSwain finished with four runs allowed, three earned, on four hits and three walks in seven innings, with five strikeouts. The first three hitters in the Bowie order–major leaguers Brian Roberts, Endy Chavez and Mark Reynolds–managed only a 1-for-9 showing against McSwain. Logan Kensing, just moved up from Bradenton, pitched a scoreless 8th.
— Grossman finished 1-3 with a walk, Sanchez 2-3 with a walk.
–Altoona had its best chance to even things up in the third, when Kelson Brown got hit with a pitch and Grossman walked. Unfortunately, Clint Hurdle’s mania for foolish sacrifice bunts seems to extend to the farm system. Despite a three-run deficit and Brock Holt’s .300+ average, manager PJ Forbes had Holt sacrifice. Sanchez followed with a walk, but Matt Curry hit into a double play to end the threat.
–Altoona’s starting 4-6 hitters–Curry, Jeremy Farrell and Anthony Norman–went 0-11 with six strikeouts, three of those Farrell. Ramon Cabrera pinch hit for Norman in the 9th and singled.
–Farrell has had one error at third in each of the three games in the series so far, all of them fumbled grounders.
Having followed the Pirates fanatically since 1965, Wilbur Miller is one of the fast-dwindling number of fans who’ve actually seen good Pirate teams. He’s even seen Hall-of-Fame Pirates who didn’t get traded mid-career, if you can imagine such a thing. His first in-person game was a 5-4, 11-inning win at Forbes Field over Milwaukee (no, not that one). He’s been writing about the Pirates at various locations online for over 20 years. It has its frustrations, but it’s certainly more cathartic than writing legal stuff. Wilbur is retired and now lives in Bradenton with his wife and three temperamental cats.
Farrell is definitely org material.
I, too, hate all that frikkin bunting….esp with one of your best hitters.