Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bucs Roast Friars 11-5

Yep, let's get out to a fast start. Guess Erik Bedard didn't get the memo; Chris Denorfia, the game's leadoff batter, went yard into the left center bullpen on a second pitch fastball. It went downhill quickly, not particularly through any fault of Bedard except for not finishing off hitters. Logan Forsythe fell behind 0-2, but after nine pitches drew a walk. Chase Headley went down swinging, but Carlos Quentin got bopped by a first pitch heater.

Jesus Guzman also got in an 0-2 hole, took a couple of pitches and then rolled a curve into left to plate Forsythe. Cameron Maybin joined the crowd who went 0-2, worked the count full, and then banged a fastball to short. Clint Barmes went to second to start a DP, but pitched the ball into right, allowing two runs to score and sending Maybin to third. Bedard stopped the bleeding there, but 4-0 is not the hole the struggling Bucs were looking to climb out of before they reached the dugout.

The Friars added another in the second when Forsythe doubled off a 2-2 hook. Headley hit a little dribbler, and still got a RBI when Maybin plated after no one bothered to cover home while The Fort was making the play. It was 5-0 and getting ugly. But the Padres' fortunes were about to make a sudden U-turn.

In the third, Bedard jumpstarted the Bucs against Ross Ohlendorf, doubling the opposite way with an out and coming home on Neil Walker's two-out knock. The fourth would be the game breaker. The Padres loaded the bases with two down on a walk, an infield single and error (Pedro and Barmes bumped into each other fielding a ball), but Bedard wiggled out by getting Carlos Quentin on a grounder to short.

Having dodged that bullet, the Buccos went to work. Garrett Jones walked, Gaby Sanchez got aboard via an error and Pedro got an infield knock to jam the sacks. The Fort walked on a 3-2 fastball to bring home a run, and Barmes turned on a 2-2 meatball (OK, it was a change up), banging it high off the left field pole for a grand salami and a 6-5 Bucco lead.

Bedard walked and with an out, Walker singled him to second. Cutch doubled them home, with Bedard almost run down at home by a flying Walker. Garrett Jones got a thank-you triple to the Notch when Maybin reached up for the ball and whiffed as McCutch scooted across the plate. The Fort singled GI in, and it was 10-5. The Fat Lady was already in full voice after 14 Buccos swung the bat that frame.

San Diego mustered a walk and single in the final five frames. Bedard got his five innings in for the win while Chris Resop, Chad Qualls, Juan Cruz and Hanny (he hadn't pitched since Wednesday) tidied up.

The Bucs only plated one more run on The Kid's 14th HR, but they sure had chances. The fifth was especially frustrating, when Walker's double just hopped across the yellow in-play line for a ground rule double to right with Marte already across the dish before the ball got back to the infield. But the Bucs ended up with stranded runners at second and third.

With the bases loaded and two down in the sixth, Marte hit a sinking liner to left center that Maybin grabbed on a tumbling catch. In the seventh, Pittsburgh left two ducks on the pond, and stranded two more in the eighth when Jones drive was gloved by Maybin, who banged into the bullpen fence after the grab. The Buccos scored eleven times and still stranded 13 runners.

But it was an impressive comeback, not only to secure a much needed win but for the team's psyche. They didn't hang their heads and mail it in, as they've done so often in past seasons, but kept bustin'.

Jeff Karstens takes on Aaron Harang tomorrow night as the Dodgers come to town.

  • Neil Walker went 5-for-5 with a walk, missing the cycle by a triple, and with four of his five knocks on the first pitch. It's the third time The Kid's had a five-fer. He was 0-for-11 before this afternoon.
  • Erik Bedard's seventh win gives him the most victories he's had since he went 13-5 for Baltimore in 2007.
  • Clint Barmes is in his tenth season and has over 3,000 MLB at-bats, and today was his first grand slam.
  • Juan Cruz hit 94 in his inning, so his velocity is back to normal after his rehab. The rest did Hanny some good, too - he hit 98.
  • There were 35,352 fans in the house today. The series total of 113,539 is the second highest for a three game series ever at PNC Park, behind last year's Red Sox set.
  • The nine run fourth was the biggest inning Pittsburgh has had since July 20, 2010, against Milwaukee (also nine runs). 
  • Eleven players batted for the Bucs today and ten reached base at least once. Pinch hitter Jordy Mercer's pop-out made him the black sheep.
  • The loss ends a six game winning streak for the Padres and an eleven game Friar PNC winning streak.

No comments: