Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pirates Take Series With 8-4 Win Over Chicago

It sure started out as a pitching duel, and pretty deep into the game, it stayed one. After seven innings, the Bucs were up 2-1. Starling Marte and Starlin Castro had exchanged early solo homers while Cutch jogged home from third after a balk call. Otherwise, Jeff Karstens and Travis Wood were doing their very best AJ Burnett impressions for five innings. Chris Resop, Tony Watson and Jared Hughes kept the goose eggs coming, and so did James Russell and Manny Corpas for da Cubs.

Then came Shawn Camp and the eighth. It got kinda ugly for the Cubbies. The Pirates started off with seven straight hits resulting in five runs. Garrett Jones knocked in Josh Harrison and Cutch to open the scoring, and the coup de grace was a three run blast by The Fort, Mike McKenry, his tenth of the year. Jason Grilli whiffed a pair in his stint during the Chicago half.

The Bucs piled on a little in the ninth when Jones doubled home Cutch. That made it 8-1, and it was Hanny time, not because of the score, but because he hadn't tossed in anger since Friday and tomorrow was a day off. And we all know what's up with closers when the adrenalin is low.

Yep, the Cubs hit for the cycle - double (not very well played by Travis Snider; you might want to consider Alex Presley as a d-sub, Clint), triple, homer (by Welington Castillo), and single - off Hanrahan without recording an out, and it was 8-4. Hanny rediscovered his inner beast after that and struck three of the next four, hitting 99 on the radar, so it ended up pretty much a tale of two innings rolled into one -  Cubs as lions, Cubs as lambs - and that was plenty good enough to hoist the Jolly Roger one more time.

We can carp a bit about the 13 Buccos that were rung up during the day, or the 2-for-11 with RISP, but hey - they did put up an eight spot, and five different players had a pair of hits. The transition from a small ball club to power team in the past couple of months has been breathtaking. Tomorrow is an off day, so the club can bond with its new members, and then it's off to Great American to see if the Bucs can slow down the the en fuego Cincy club.

  • Garrett Jones extended his hitting streak to nine games, going 2-for-2 with 3 RBI as a late inning pinch hitter/sub. Cutch has a seven game string.
  • The Pirates assigned RHP Kyle Kaminska, who they picked up as part of the Gaby Sanchez deal, to Altoona.
  • Baseball Prospectus released their mid-season Top Fifty Prospects list, with three Bucco pitchers - Gerritt Cole, Jameson Taillon and Luis Heredia - ranked.  Close to making the cut were IF Alen Hansen and OF Gregory Polanco. It's behind a BP subscriber wall; Tim Williams has the post at Pirates Prospects.

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