April 3, 2007
80 to go!
Well, the road to respectability started with an opening day 4-2 win at Houston in 10 innings. Zach Duke pitched 7 effective innings allowing 2 earned runs while the bullpen kept the Astros scoreless the rest of the way.
The defense looked solid capped by three double plays and two outfield assists by Chris Duffy.
All the Pirates runs were produced by the long ball, Nate McLouth started the round trip barrage with a pinch hit longball in the 8th to start the scoring for the Pirates.
With two outs in the 9th, Xavier Nady took Brad Lidge deep to tie the game at 2 and set up the extra frames.
Jason Bay capped the scoring with a two run shot to take the lead in the 10th.
Salomon Torres pitched a perfect 10th to close out the game earning the win for Matt Capps.
The Astro's broadcasters were totally enamored with Jason Bay, warning with every at bat how he could change the game. They nearly called the shot as the pitch came in, saying he could go deep anytime immediately followed by a brief comment the Pirates now led by two.
The announcers also pointed out repeatedly that Nady had nothing but singles in the Grapefruit League. The last time they brought it up, the next pitch went over the wall.
Overall, they were impressed with Dukes outing, keeping the team in the game after giving up the two runs.
They mentioned Jack Wilson not being the prototypical number two hitter, giving Jack his due for the amazing at bat in the first where he fouled off pitch after pitch from Oswalt. They felt that at bat makes it hard to say he isn't a good top of the order bat.
As much as I hated the Yankee broadcasters in the spring training games, I enjoyed hearing the Astros announcers. They made the game enjoyable to listen to even for the opposing teams fans.