In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.

 

The Young Bucs Shine

The Pittsburgh Pirates continued their hot start to Spring Training with a 13-1 win over the New York Yankees. Ivan Nova made his second spring appearance and allowed one run in three innings. He continued the trend of very good starting pitching for the Pirates. Josh Lindblom also had a very good outing for the Pirates as he pitched two shutout innings.

Josh Bell also made his first start of the spring and went 0-2 with a walk. He also made several putouts on defense. Bell had late offseason knee surgery, so it’s great to see him back in action. This should mean he will be ready for Opening Day. Good news for Pirates’ fans everywhere.

The other offensive star of the game was catching prospect, Elias Diaz. He went 2-3 with two doubles, one RBI and one run scored. Francisco Cervelli playing in the World Baseball Classic should provide Diaz with a ton of playing time this spring. This will be his longest look for the potential catcher of the future for the Pirates.

Moses’ favorite team

The World Baseball Classic got underway Monday at 4 AM and already Team Israel has two victories. They opened the tournament with a stunning 2-1 win, 10 inning win over South Korea. Then followed that up with a dominant 15-7 win over Chinese Taipei. Team Israel has put itself in a great position to advance out of round-robin play.

I will admit I am biased since I am both Jewish and a friend of mine, Corey Baker is pitching for Team Israel. He was economical and dominant. He pitched 4.2 innings, allowed zero runs on three hits and struck out three. Not many gave Team Israel much of a chance to even be here but they won their qualifier back in September and it appears they haven’t slowed down.

There’s also a Pirates’ connection as ex-Buc, Ike Davis is playing 1B/DH for the Hebrews and he had himself a fantastic game. He went 3-5 with a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored. I know most of us will be rooting for Team USA but it’s hard not to cheer on this group of underdogs.

If you’re really interested in Team Israel’s fascinating story, there’s a documentary following their trip to Israel called Heading Home. The film features Jonathan Mayo and several of Team Israel’s key contributors such as Ike Davis, Corey Baker, Sam Fuld, and Cody Decker. Most of team Israel is made up of American-Jews and for most, this was their first trip to their homeland. This is surely going to be a fascinating documentary about an amazing moment in these players’ lives.

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Steve Kubitz

Steve Kubitz was born and raised in the Stanton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. He is a long time and annoyingly positive baseball fan. He bought into the Pirates’ 5-year-plan before it was cool. He is best known for staying calm about losing streaks on twitter and trying his best to make sure other fans don’t overreact to when the Pirates lose a tough ballgame to a division rival. The only thing he isn’t positive about is the wave during close ballgames.