Sunday, June 12, 2011

Two Out Meltdown; Bucs Lose 7-0

The Bucs get a semi-soggy Sunday for today's game; hey, sure beats the April and May showers.

Kevin Correia came out dealing, and got the Mets 1-2-3. Chris Capuano got JT on a swinging bunt, Matt Diaz on a fly to the track in right, and then gave up a two-out knock to McCutch. CC jammed Neil Walker with heat for four pitches and got him to turn over on a changeup away and bounce out to third.

KC mowed down the Mets in the second; he has 2 Ks and just 19 pitches served. Wood continued his current hot streak, lining a single into left center with one down. Ronny Cedeno and Dusty Brown both went down swinging at changeups, so it was onto the third.

The Mets sat down in order again. KC has a good fastball working early, hitting 91-92, and is riding it.  With an out, Tabata was plunked by a pitch. Diaz, like Walker, pulled an outside change and bounced it to short to end the inning 6-4-3.

Correia kept on, cutting down NY again; it's 12 up, 12 down so far. McCutch walked to open the Bucco half of the fourth after falling behind 1-2. Walker flew out deep to the track in right center. Overbay walked on a 3-2 pitch, and McCutch became the first Buc to reach second. Wood ended the frame by bouncing into an around-the-horn DP. So far it's been a battle of the heater vs the changeup, and neither pitcher has cracked.

With two outs, Jay Bay became the first Met baserunner when he bounced a single into left. He stayed at first as Josh Thole flew out short of the track in left to end the Mets' fifth. After Cedeno and Brown bounced to short, Correia showed them how to do it by doubling into the left field corner for his first Pirate hit. But like the other Bucco batters, JT turned on an outside change and grounded it to short. It's a bad day for plate discipline in Pittsburgh.

With two outs, Correia hung a change to Jose Reyes, who lined it into left for NY's second knock. Two offerings later, the inning was done. KC is sitting at 64 pitches after six innings. CC put down the Bucs in order, catching Diaz and McCutch looking at fastballs.

With an out, KC hung a two-strike curve to Daniel Murphy, who rolled it up the middle. Angel Pagan lined a knee-high 2-1 heater into center to put runners on the corners, the first threat mustered by either team today.

Bay got a 3-1 cutter on the outside part of the plate and flew out to McCutch, and then the fun started. Murphy tagged and scored, but Pagan, who was on his way to third, scooted back to first without retouching second. A couple of tosses around the infield, and he was ruled out on a force. But the umps gave NY the run, which seems like the wrong call; GW thought that a third-out force negated what the other runners did and ended the inning; maybe a different rule was in play, baseball does have a zillion of them. Regardless, it counted, and wouldn't make much difference in the long run.

Overbay ripped one to left center to start the Bucco seventh; Pagan made a web-gem catch to rob him of extra bases. Hurdle didn't think it was such a good grab and protested that it was a trap off the wall (hard to tell, even on replay); he got bounced for his efforts not by one, but by two umps simultaneously. Apparently Hurdle used the magic word to describe the call, lol. No drama after that; Wood whiffed and Cedeno whacked an outside change to short. Hey, if it works, why change? And it's working for Capuano.

KC got the first two Mets in the eighth. Willie Harris pinch hit, and fought off a 3-2 heater and lined it into right for a two-out knock. Correia was running on fumes now, and Reyes followed with a rope into center. Justin Turner doubled off the Clemente Wall to plate another run. That was it for KC, who went 7-2/3 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits with four Ks.

Chris Resop came on, looking for the final out. He didn't get it; Beltran lined his first pitch into right to score two more and put the Mets comfortably ahead 4-0. Danny Moskos took the ball from Resop. Murphy blooped a single into right, and Pagan lined a single into left to score another. Bay bounced out, but six consecutive two-out hits put the Mets up 5-0.  The Bucs, btw, only have three knocks so far.

Jason Isringhausen took the hill in the eighth.  Xavier Paul flew out, and Garrett Jones singled on a line to right. JT flew out, and Diaz never took the bat off his shoulder. He struck out looking on three pitches. He got tossed from the bench afterwards for yapping about the call, though all three pitches looked good.

D-Mac came in to mop up in the ninth. He got the first pair of outs handily, but in a three pitch span, Scott Hairston and Reyes both went yard to put the Mets a touchdown ahead. And all seven runs came with two outs.

Bobby Parnell worked the final frame.  McCutch led off with a single. Walker was called out on strikes on a pitch that looked outside, but hey.  Overbay singled.  Wood flew out to center, and Cedeno whiffed to sound the closing whistle for a bad day at the office.

The offense was guilty of real lack of a battle plan today. Capuano is a nibbler, and they fished at plenty of balls off the plate. The ones they did hit were pulled instead of going with the pitch.  McCutch looked like the only batter whose head was in the game today. The FO should consider shaking things up a bit; the lack of runs is leading to added calls to the pen in high-leverage situations, and it's bound to burn them out sooner or later.

Mike Pelfrey and Paul Maholm go after it tomorrow night.

  • Andrew McCutchen extended his hitting streak to 11 games with his first-inning single, the longest by a Bucco this season and a personal best. 
  • From Kristy Robinson of Ohio Valley Athletics: The Pirates have used five catchers (Ryan Doumit, Chris Snyder, Jason Jaramillo, Dusty Brown, Wyatt Toregas) this season, the most since 2007 (Ronny Paulino, Ryan Doumit, Carlos Maldonado, Humberto Cota, Josh Phelps). The last season in which six catchers were used was in 1988 (Mike LaValliere, Junior Ortiz, Tom Prince, Ruben Rodriguez, Mike Diaz, Dave Hostetler). And hey, it's only June. 
  • Jen Langosch of has Neal Huntington's report on some of the Bucs' promising prospects.
  • RHP DJ Carrasco, who pitched for the Bucs last season, was called up by the Mets today from AAA.
  • Brent Lillibridge, who the Bucs traded to Atlanta in 2007 as part of the Adam LaRoche deal, is starting to settle in for the White Sox after two seasons as a utility player. Considered the SS of the future for the Pirates, he's now an outfielder and has 23 starts in the pasture with a .273/7/12 line and .375 OBP in 106 plate appearances. He saved the game last night by leaping above the wall and taking away a home run. 
  • Peter Gammons of has an article called "For Small Markets, the Draft Is Free Agency" that features poster children Pittsburgh and KC.

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