The Pirates faced an old friend in Jameson Taillon at Not-McKechnie Field. That part lasted two innings and went well for Taillon. The Pirates won the seven-inning game, though, 3-2. They’re now 3-3-1, matching their win total of last spring.
Taillon looked like his old self, throwing two scoreless innings and fanning four. He did give up singles to Todd Frazier and Gregory Polanco to start the second inning, but the Pirates ultimately left the bases loaded. In fact, they stranded eight over the first four innings.
The bigger news for Pirate fans was a little more evidence of another potential return. Polanco went 3-for-3 and drove in all of the Pirates’ runs with a two-run single and his second dinger of the spring. He’s 5-for-11 so far. Bryan Reynolds also woke up a bit, going 2-for-3.
A couple other notes about the position players. Anthony Alford played his first game in center and his elbow remains attached. And Dustin Fowler made his first appearance with the Bucs, serving as DH and going 1-for-3.
On the pitching end, Cody Ponce had a shaky start, throwing fewer than half his pitches for strikes. After getting two ground-outs, he gave up a dinger to Jay Bruce. Ponce walked the next two, but got a grounder to end the inning.
The bullpen was excellent, combining for three hits, no walks and eight Ks over the last six innings. Everybody threw lots of strikes. The only damage was a bomb by Clint Frazier off Braeden Ogle, who still fanned two in his inning.
Carson Fulmer is obviously getting a long look, as he went two innings and fanned three. Geoff Hartlieb, Nick Mears and Shea Spitzbarth each threw an inning, with Mears fanning two. The Pirates are going to have a tough time sorting through these guys.