Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bucs Battered Late 10-3

Started off quietly enough; Kevin Correia gave up a lead-off single to Jamey Carroll and two pitches later got a DP ball to Neil Walker. Ted Lilly got five Bucs in a row, walked Dewey, and that was the action over the first two innings.

It was more of the same in the third; the Dodgers went down in order, thanks to a diving grab by Walker; the Bucs got a two-out knock from McCutch.

LA tried to jump start the attack in the fourth. Carroll lined a single to center to open the frame, and after bunting foul twice, Aaron Miles hopped one into left to put runners on first and second with nobody away and the heart of the order due.

But as quick as you can say 3-6-3, Andre Ethier banged into a DP to Steve Pearce, and after shaking off Dewey a couple of times, Correia whiffed Matt Kemp with high heat.

Pearce become the third Pirate to get on with two away when he legged out a single, but Doumit followed with a well-hit one hopper to short to end the frame. Lotta pitching going on over the first four frames.

The Pirates flashed some leather in the fifth. Correia showed the way when he fielded a chop by James Loney and with his back to the plate, spun and threw him out. Rod Barajas dropped a quail into right, but went a base too far when his effort to stretch the bloop into a double was thwarted after a strong throw by Matt Diaz nailed him.

No special effort was needed by the Blue gloves; Lilly put the Bucs down in order without a ball leaving the infield.

Correia had the roof fall in on him in the sixth with two outs when three dinks and a blast put LA up 4-0. Carroll poked a two-strike slider barely into center, Miles bunted for a single, and Ethier dropped a ball barely into center, a step away from a diving Walker to bring home the first run. Then Matt Kemp clobbered one into the second bullpen to put the Blue up by four.

McCutch led off with a dinger of his own to left. Tabata followed with a double that rolled to the Notch. The Bucs small-balled him in with a roller to first by Matt Diaz and a sac fly by Pearce; it was 4-2 after six.

Correia came back out for the seventh. He got the first out, then Barajas roped a double to left center. Jerry Sands hit a shot that deflected off KC to Pearce, who tried an ill-advised blind flip to first, missing Correia badly and allowing Barajas to steam home.

Danny Moskos came on, and got a pop up and grounder sandwiched around a walk. The Bucs got a one-out knock from Dewey off reliever Blake Hawksworth. Hawk pulled a groin covering first on a Pedro grounder, and Matt Guerrier took his spot with two away, striking out Xavier Paul.

Mike Crotta continued working on a ticket back to Indy. He faced the middle of the Dodger order, and gave up three lasered singles, threw a wild pitch, and walked a guy. Hurdle waved in the struggling Chris Resop and dropped him into an ugly, bases-jammed, no outs situation.

It got uglier. He struck out the first batter, and then walked the eight hitter, AAA call-up jerry Sands, and the pitcher, Guerrier, who spent most of his career in the AL. Another K was followed by a two-run single, and what had begun as a pitchers' duel was now a 10-2 laugher.

McCutch led off the eighth with another blast, this one into the Dodger bullpen. Diaz added a double, but died at third. Resop worked the ninth. He threw away a come-backer to start the frame, and gave up a single, but got through the inning without any more Dodgers touching home.

And while it wasn't a strong outing by any stretch, he did strike out four in two frames; maybe the small head movement correction that Ray Searage is working on is starting to bear fruit. The Bucs went down in the ninth; the final was 10-3.

-- It was McCutch's third multi-homer game.

-- The top four in the Dodger order went 10-for-18 with 6 RBI and 6 runs scored. LA collected ten runs, a dozen hits and four walks along with two Pirate errors in the final four frames.

-- The Bucs had a moment of silence and a vid tribute for Kenny Geidel, the 64 year old "Lemonade Here" vendor who died today.

-- And if you're wondering why vendors become part of the ballyard fabric, Rick the hawker who wears the various old school unis - the Crawfords, the sixty and seventy Pirates, etc. - while selling his wares, caught a foul ball and gave it to a white-haired lady sitting by him. A little scene that like happens dozens of time every game. The Parrot, pierogies, vendors, ushers, and ball girls are as much a part of the PNC experience as the team.

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