Lucas Giolito probably couldn’t believe his luck. The Pirates fielded a lineup loaded with sub-Mendoza-Line hitters, many of whom would be playing at a training facility if they were with any other team. And he breezed through them with little effort, allowing no hits in a 4-0 White Sox win.
Giolito needed no time at all to evaluate Ben & Derry’s lineup. He fanned 13, including Cole Tucker and the seemingly resurgent Gregory Polanco three times each. The Pirates’ only runner was Erik Gonzalez on a leadoff walk in the fourth, ironically his first walk of the season. There were only a couple of hard hit balls, including a line out by Gonzalez to end the game.
On the defensive side, the Pirates got Wild Brault today. He survived a two-walk first due to a couple lineouts. The second didn’t go as well. A hit, a hit batsman and a walk loaded the bases, and a ground out and two singles brought in three runs.
Things continued downhill in the third, although they still didn’t get as bad as they could have. Brault got help from Jarrod Dyson, who threw a runner out at the plate, so the Sox got only one run, making it 4-0. And that was it for Brault. Three innings, five hits, four walks, four runs, no strikeouts, 71 pitches, 40 strikes.
Nick Tropeano followed with his Pirates debut. It went well. Four scoreless innings, no walks. (He hasn’t been with the team long.) Tropeano got through his first three innings in fewer pitches than Brault needed to get through one inning. Dovydas Neverauskas finished with a scoreless inning.
So the Pirates can continue evaluating 28- and 36-year olds, because there’s nobody younger sitting around in Altoona they could try. Because what other purpose do major league games serve?