The Buccos went out and, with the help of an eighth inning rally, were able to win their game against the Rays today, 4-3. Andrew McCutchen led off the scoring with a total bomb to left on the first pitch in the bottom of the fourth; the ball cleared the left field ramparts and completely left the stadium. That run was quickly given back in the fifth, however, on a solo home run by Taylor Motter off Tony Watson. The Rays tacked on a few runs to take a 3-1 lead, but the Pirates were ready to rally in the eighth. After Adam Frazier led off the inning with a base hit, Harold Ramirez continued his torrid pace this spring with a double to right. With the help of a few errors by the Rays, the Pirates tied it up. Gift Ngoepe then drove in the winning run and the Pirates were able to hang on for the 4-3 victory.
For me, the biggest takeaway from this game was Juan Nicasio's performance in the first three innings. He gave up a few hits but was mostly able to get the outs he needed; a double play thrown in there helped to get him out of a jam in the second and he cruised through the third. His ability to provide both long relief and possibly act as a spot starter is going to be huge for the club this year, and today was a good showing from him. Another interesting (albeit more minor) point is that Cutch was able to get his first homer of the spring; hopefully this is a forecast of things to come in April, but he looks ready to go this year.
Today was also MLB Snapchat day, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Checking out the snaps from the Pirates' account was cool (I really need to get down to Spring Training next year), including one in which Polanco was dabbing. Hopefully MLB does more things like this in the future to keep the (younger) fans engaged.
Pirates take on the Tigers tomorrow at Joker Marchant stadium; hopefully this will be the second step in their amazing comeback story to win the Grapefruit League title.