Thursday, August 27, 2009

Philly Falls to Buc Blasts

Man, Pittsburgh may not have a contender, but if they keep playing sets like this one, they should have no trouble keepin' PNC Park rockin'.

The place was hoppin' the whole series, thanks to some dramatic baseball and a few thousand cheering and jeering Phillie Phanatics sporting their red in the stands. The Bucs took the rubber match 3-2, keyed by Garrett Jones' two-run, two-out bomb into the center field greenway in the eighth inning.

Charlie Morton struggled during his six innings, giving up five hits and four walks while pitching behind in the count all night. With absolutely no fastball command, he still hung tough when he had to, and only two Phillies crossed the plate.

Denny Bautista came on to pitch the seventh and eighth, and pumping 96 MPH heaters with a big ol' curve, retired all six Philadelphia hitters he faced, striking out the last pair. He got the win, and deservedly so; it was a great outing by the Dominican Ichabod Crane clone.

Matt Capps came on in the ninth, and everyone held their breath. But no drama tonight; he got a pair of ground outs, sawed off a bat or two, and got a K while giving up a bouncing single up the middle that just sneaked past Luis Cruz.

JA (call me Jay) Happ was as advertised, going the distance. His fastball rarely broke 90 MPH, but he kept it low and on the corners or up and out of the zone. Happ was helped by a pair of DP balls and a run-saving gem by SS Jimmy Rollins, who dove to glove a ball ticketed up the middle with a runner on second.

It was a great showcase for a trio of potential Rookie of the Year candidates. Happ went the distance, giving up seven hits. Jones mashed his 15th long ball to go with 30 RBI, and Andrew McCutchen had a pair of hits, including a first-inning homer, his ninth.

It was an exclamation point to a fine home stand. The Bucs were 7-2 - what a turnaround from the miserable couple of weeks before they returned to the friendly waters of the Allegheny - and now they're off to Milwaukee and Cincinnati, the two teams that started their hot spell.

Here's the probable starters for the Brew Crew reunion, from

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