Friday, August 19, 2011

Bucs Bungle Way To 11-8 Loss

The skies opened and closed in time to get the game going, be it a little late while the OF swamp drained. About 45 minutes after the announced start time, the clubs took the field to play ball.

Brandon Phillips started off against Kevin Correia by legging out a roller to third. An out later, a liner to Brandon Wood at third was turned into a 5-3 DP, thank you ma'am.

The Bucs made a little noise against Homer Bailey. Garrett Jones singled into center and stole second with an out. With two away, Dewey walked.Walker K'ed, the second whiff of the frame, and it was scoreless after one.

In the Redleg second, Drew Stubbs smacked a two out knock into left and was left at first. Bailey threw a clean inning. Both sides were retired in order in the third.

The Reds broke through first in the fourth. Fred Lewis rolled a lead-off single into right, and Joey Votto crushed his 21st homer of the year to give Cincy a 2-0 lead. McCutch led off the bottom half with a knock, and Walker banged a one out single into right. Ryan Ludwick walked on a 3-2 heater that was tight to load the sacks.

Wood lifted a fly to right deep enough to score McCutch. Ronny Cedeno fell behind 0-2, but lined a knock into left to plate Walker and send Ludwick to the hot corner. KC hit a short fly to center, but the score was knotted at two after four.

It was a stalemate that was quickly broken; Ryan Hanigan popped his sixth of the season over the left field wall. Paul Janish followed with a rope to left for two bases. Bailey laid down a bunt, and Dewey went for the lead runner. He didn't get him, and there were runners on the corners with no outs. It made a difference when Phillips knocked a curve into the left field stands for his twelfth long ball of the year. Just that quickly, it was 6-2.

JT opened the Bucco fifth with a bleeder that he beat to first. Jones was called out on a 3-2 pitch as Tabata stole second. The call was tough enough to draw the ire of Clint Hurdle, who was ejected after having a say and a half. Even shortstop Janish thought it was ball four; he never bothered tagging JT on the steal attempt.

Oh well, all that and five bucks will get you a latte, but it won't change the call. McCutch walked on another 3-2 pitch, and Dewey lined a shot into center to load the bases. Walker lifted a ball towards the line in left far enough to score JT. Ludwick K'ed and the score was 6-3 after five.

Todd Frazier pulled a slider into center for a lead-off knock. Drew Stubbs pounded one to Cedeno, who turned it into a 6-4-3 DP. Hanigan drew a two out walk, but Janish popped out to end the frame.

Sam LeCure came on for Cincy; Wood greeted him with a single. Cedeno doubled him to third, and Matt Diaz picked up the lumber for KC. LeCure tried hard to walk him, never throwing a strike, but Diaz wouldn't allow it. On a 3-2 pitch, Diaz rolled a grounder to second off a slider that was 6" outside, but it did bring in a run and moved RC to third.

JT tapped back to the box, freezing Cedeno. Lefty flamethrower Aroldis Chapman came on for the Reds to face Jones, and got him to bounce to second. It's 6-4 after six.

KC went six innings, giving up six runs on eight hits - three that left the yard - a walk and a K. He threw 90 pitches. Brad Lincoln took his spot on the hill. With an out, Phillips singled to left. Wood made a nice play to get the force, but Votto walked on a 3-2 pitch. Lincoln has fallen behind three of the four hitters this inning (the other hit the first pitch). That was enough; Joe Beimel came on.

Jay Bruce whacked his first offering into center, scoring Phillips and chasing Votto to third. Dave Sappelt (we don't know who he is, either) walked on four pitches. That brought on Jason Grilli, who probably should have got the call to start the inning. he struck Stubbs out, but the score was now 7-4.

Bill Bray came on for the Reds. With two outs, Walker was plunked and Ludwick doubled him to third. Jose Arredondo took over for Bray. Wood finally came up with the two out hit the Bucs were looking for all night; he singled them both home and went to second on the throw home. Cedeno went down looking, but it's 7-6 after seven.

It was Chris Resop's turn on the hill. With an out, Janish legged out an infield single and stole second on a close play. Miguel Cairo lined a knock into center to put runners on the corners. Phillips rolled a curve to short; the Bucs got the force but couldn't turn the DP on a custom made grounder, and a big insurance run scampered home for the Reds.

Nick Masset joined the parade of pitchers. Xavier Paul led off against him with a double, and an infield knock by JT put runners on the corners with no outs. Jones fell behind 0-2. He worked the count even and then popped a heater away the opposite way for a double, scoring Paul. McCutch singled to left; Tabata scored and Jones was tossed at home, with McCutch taking second on the play.

It was a terrible wave by Nick Leyva, especially with the scored already tied and no outs. Dewey spun a 3-2 pitch to second and Phillips had it kick away on a tough chance that was ruled an error, putting runners on the corners with one away. That brought Travis Wood in from the bullpen.

He worked Walker inside, falling behind 3-0 and walking him two pitches later. Ludwick fell behind 1-2 and lifted a fly to center. It looked deep enough to score McCutch, but a tremendous throw by Stubbs not only nailed him, but easily. It's 8-8, and the Bucs had two guys nailed at home, both on throws right on the money.

Joel Hanrahan took the hill for Pittsburgh with Votto and Bruce due up. Votto worked an eight pitch walk off Hanny. Bruce popped up for the first out. Sappelt got ahead 3-0. The count ran full, and Sappelt, late on a heater, knocked it into right to put runners on the corners. Stubbs knocked one to second; Walker came home with a somewhat offline throw and Dewey missed the ball to allow the lead run to score, with the other runners moving to second and third on the error.

Hanigan rolled a ball up the middle, and two more Reds scored. Janish popped up, followed by a Sappelt single that sent Hanigan to third. Jose Veras took the hill at that point and K'ed Cairo to end the frame at long last. After all that work, it was 11-8 Reds going into the ninth.

Francisco Cordero came on to close, and the Pirates were out of rallies. They went down in order, finishing a game they should have had but couldn't take.

The starting pitching wasn't very good - we'd work the rotation so that KC never steps on PNC's mound again this year if we could - and the bullpens were worse. The difference was in the field; the Reds had a couple of big plays to make, and they did. The Pirates had a couple, and didn't. Cincy won the catch-and-throw battle and because of that, the game.

Dontrelle Willis takes on Charlie Morton tomorrow.
  • The two teams combined to use 15 pitchers tonight.
  • LHP Paul Maholm was placed on the 15-day DL with left shoulder strain. A corresponding roster move will be made tomorrow. It's the first time we can remember him missing any time.
  • Bud Selig is honked at the Nats and Pirates for blowing up slot on draft day, writes Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.

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