Pirates Blank Punchless Yankees On Just Four Hits

Right-hander James McDonald and five other pitchers held New York to only four hits as Pittsburgh shutout the Yankees at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, FL.
The Pirates scored solo runs in the sixth and seventh innings on an RBI double by Pedro Ciriaco and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Josh Fields. 
Daniel McCutchen (1-1) pitched two hitless innings for the Pirates to earn the victory. Daniel Moskos pitched a perfect ninth to earn a save. Former outfielder Brian Anderson (0-1), who has been converted into pitcher, took the loss for the Yankees.
The Yankees are now 1-3 on the spring and the Pirates improved their record to 3-2.
  • 18 players and seven pitchers got to enjoy a beautiful day of 75 degrees and cloudy skies to get their work done in front of 5,729 fans in Bradenton. When you do not score against the Pirates there is not much to characterize as positive.
  • Curtis Granderson tripled, Nick Swisher singled and Eric Chavez had a pair of singles for the Yankees and that was the day’s offense.
  • Jesus Montero served notice he will need to be reckoned with behind the plate. He threw out Ciriaco trying to steal in the third inning as part of a double play. In the next inning he gunned down Alex Presley. So much for Montero being weak on defense.
  • Swisher and Brett Gardner made great diving catches to rob a pair of Pirates bids for hits. Gardner also threw out John Bowker trying to stretch a single into a double in the fourth inning.
  • Phil Hughes pitched a solid and scoreless two innings in his spring debut. Hughes, 25, did not allow a hit, walked one and did not strike out a batter. 
  • Hughes, right-hander David Robertson and lefty Steve Garrison kept the Pirates scoreless on just three hits over the first six innings.
  • Hitting with runners in scoring position has been a problem in the Yankees two previous spring losses. On Tuesday, they did not get a hit in that situation but the real problem is that they only had two chances. The Yankees had six innings in which the Pirate pitchers faced the minimum.
  • Jorge Vazquez’s impossible bid to bat 1.000 for the spring came to an end in the eighth inning. To be fair, the out did involve a bit of bad luck because Pirates reserve first baseman Steve Pearce made a diving attempt to flag down his foul pop over the railing.
  • The strikeout was the day’s bugaboo for the Yankees. They fanned eight times and no one struck out twice in the game.
  • The game was played in two hours and 16 minutes. So to say the Yankees were not really into this game would be obvious. 
The Yankees took their starting outfield and DH Jorge Posada on the trip while the starting infield stayed in Tampa, FL.  . . .  In their three spring losses the Yankees are 5-for-31 (.161) with runners in scoring position. Of course, it is to be expected that pitchers are ahead of the hitters early in the spring.  . . .  Though the Yankees brought four starters the Pirates did not reciprocate. Only catcher Chris Snyder is listed on the Pirates’ depth chart as a starter. Outfielder Garrett Jones is listed as a starter in right field but he was the DH on Tuesday. The rest of the Pirate starters were reserves and non-roster invitees.
The Yankees return Geirge M. Steinbrenner Field to host their second game of the spring against the Houston Astros. Fans who plan on attending the game may want to bring their rabbit’s feet, four-leaf clovers and St. Christopher medals because the enigmatic A.J. Burnett will make his spring debut for the Yankees.
The Astros will start right-hander Bud Norris.
Game-time is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. EST and the game will be telecast nationally by the MLB Network and in the tri-state area by the YES Network.

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