Buried in the boxscore from the Pirates' comeback walkoff win over the Orioles yesterday is this line:
Irwin: 3 2/3 IP 3 H 1 R 1 ER 0 BB 7 K
In other words, Phil Irwin came into the game in relief of Jeff Locke, faced 14 hitters, and struck out half of them. Spring training games are full of meaningles stat lines (Jared Goedert's hot spring, for example), but every once in a while something happens that catches the eye. Irwin's dominating performance yesterday makes that list, I think.
Irwin was part of Neal Huntington and Greg Smith's infamous class of 2009, though he wasn't one of the more highly regarded pitchers in the group. He was picked in the 21st round out of Mississippi; the Pirates took his teammate Nate Baker in the fifth round. It's possible that he lasted that late because of his age; he's a year older than college juniors like Baker drafted that year and was 22 at the time of the draft. I don't think he was a senior ...