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Recapping the First four games

With a tie today against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Pirates find themselves with a record of 1 - 2 -1 after their first four games. They started the spring with an exhibition game against Manatee Community College, winning 6 - 1. The following day, Paul Maholm pitched a strong inning against the Yankees, but the Pirates eventually lost in the bottom of the ninth, giving up a three-run homer. The Yankees put three runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth, and the Pirates matched them with tree of their own in the top of the seventh inning. It remained 3 -3 until the bottom of the ninth, and the Yankees won the game 6 - 3.
Thursday, the Pirates travelled up to Champion Stadium at Disney World, to face the Atlanta Braves. This game saw Nate McLouth playing against his former teammates from a year ago. The Pirates pitchers struggled all game to find the strike zone, allowing seven walks and two hit batters, just in the first 20 batters faced. This would lead to the Braves defeating the Pirates 4 - 2.
Friday, the Pirates took the afternoon off, and played their first night game of the spring against the Baltimore Orioles. Last night, we got to see a glimpse of the future behind the plate. Tony Sanchez, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, took over behind the plate in the sixth inning. With two outs in the inning, Baltimore's Jonathan Tucker reached on a single. The next pitch, Sanchez threw Tucker out attempting to steal second. If that wasn't enough, in the eighth inning, when Sanchez made his first plate appearance, he hit the ball over the centerfield wall to tie the game. The Pirates eventually won the game 5 - 3, and get their first victory of the early spring.
So far through the first four games, the pitching has looked very solid for the most part, with the exception of a couple guys; Kevin Hart, Steven Jackson, Charlie Morton, and Brian Burres. As for the offense, they are producing as I expected them to. McCutchen has shown he still has his form from last years great rookie campaign. Lastings Milledge has stepped-up his game defensively, making more plays out in left field, and the new guys are finding their spots scattering some hits here and there. This is a team that if they can start believing in themselves, they really will have a bright future starting this season.
With the Pirates first scheduled off day not coming until next Tuesday, the 16th, it will be exciting to see how this young team responds to playing the Yankees three times in eight games, along with games against the Twins tomorrow, Baltimore on Wednesday, Tampa Bay on Thursday, followed by Atlanta, Boston, and ending with the Phillies again. After this nice little stretch of games, we will be in a much better position to determine what type of season we are looking at here in Pittsburgh.