PITTSBURGH -- Lefty reliever Tony Watson was in a numbers battle to make the club out of Spring Training, but he has made five consecutive scoreless appearances, including three perfect innings in the final two games against Arizona and a crucial strikeout of Matt Carpenter with the tying runs on base in Saturday's 2-0 win over the Cardinals.
"I have been impressed by Tony's demeanor," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Tony has just taken [care of] business one day at a time. He prepares extremely well and is very conscientious in his preparation. He has self confidence and demands a lot of himself. He's another great guy as far as using eyes and ears. His stuff has been good and clean, and his confidence is in a very good place right now."
Watson is pleased that Hurdle has shown the willingness to use him in some tough situations.
"I'm just ready whenever he calls down there," Watson said. "No matter what the situation, you just always got to be ready. You might come in with some stuff going on, some traffic on the bases or you might come in for a clean inning, but you've always got to be in the zone down there and ready to go."
Watson's confidence has grown with his success out of the bullpen.
"You always want to have confidence in what you are doing out there on the mound," Watson said. "I know it's still early in the season -- we're just getting kicked off here and it's a long season here. Hopefully, I can have continued success."