Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pirates Embarrrassed 6-0

Well, Jeremy Hefner looked like a young man on a mission in the first; he whiffed Starling Marte and Alex Presley, then retired Cutch on a fly to center. In the Met half, Jeff Locke got ahead of Ruben Tejada 0-2, came inside with a heater, and he fought it off to single to right. Locke came back to fan Daniel Murphy on four pitches and got David Wright to fly out to Marte short of the track in left on a 3-2 fastball. Scott Hairston bounced out to a diving Pedro, who recovered to toss a bullet to first, and it was a scoreless opening frame.

Pedro singled after a GI Jones whiff. The Fort fought a nine pitch battle, eventually popping out. Josh Harrison flew out, and it's been a no sweat start for Hefner. Locke lost Ike Davis on five pitches to open the NY half. Kelly Shoppach whiffed, swinging through a heater, and Lucas Duda did the same, missing a slider in the dirt. Andres Torres lifted a pitch away to Marte, and Davis stayed anchored at first.

The Pirates went down without a peep in the third. After whiffing Hefner, Tejada yanked a 3-2 heater to left for a knock and he second a heartbeat later when he was picked off on an early break but Jones throw to second glanced off his helmet. It hurt a couple of pitches later when Murphy banged a 1-2 heater into center for an RBI single, helped by Cutch slipping as he fielded the ball; not much help for Locke so far this frame.

The defensive lapses continued. Wright dribbled one up the left side and Pedro airmailed the toss for a single and error; Murphy scored and Wright went to second. Hairston doubled to left, and it was 3-0. Davis flew out to center for the second out with Wright tagging to third. He came in when Shoppach slapped a 1-2 curve into center. Duda went down swinging, but two misfires by the Buc infield gifted the Mets with four runs when Locke couldn't pick up his scatter-armed defenders.

Pittsburgh went down in order in the fourth. Hefner, who was yanked from his last start when he allowed the first seven batters to reach without getting an out, is tossing a one-hitter with five K. Torres opened the fourth with an infield knock to short, the third straight lead off hitter to reach. He was bunted to second and stole third. Tejada brought him in with a single off Pedro's mitt with the infield playing in. He wanted second, too, but Locke picked him off as he broke and this time Jones' throw got through for the out. Good thing; Murphy banged a single to center.

That hit stuck the fork in Locke; Chris Leroux was waved in. Locke went 3-2/3, giving up five runs on nine hits with a walk and five whiffs after 70 pitches. Nine of the twelve balls the Mets put in play against him ended up hits. David Wright kept it going, greeting Leroux with a single. Hairston banged another knock to left, but Marte's arm stopped the merry-go-round as Murphy was chopped down at home.

Pedro at least has Hefner figured out as he led off the fifth with his second knock, a single to center. Two outs later, Clint Barmes walked on five pitches. Jeff Clement hit for Leroux, though the result would have been the same as he whiffed, missing a curve in the dirt. Jeff Karstens got the call and tossed a clean frame.

Marte opened the sixth with a knock, and was erased stealing a pitch later. He may have been in, but still...behind 5-0 and stealing? No diff; he wasn't going anywhere anyhow after a pop and fly out. Torres opened with a knock against JK. Hefner bunted him to second and he came in on Tejada's fourth hit, a single to center. That knock made it 6-0 after six.

The Pirates went down without a fight again in the seventh. Bryan Morris marched up the hill and tucked away NY, fanning a pair. Jeurys Familia took over in the eighth for Hefner, who tossed 102 pitches, and threw a 1-2-3 frame. Chad Qualls faced the Mets. After an out, Torres ripped a fastball to center for a double. Chad got a pair of grounders to end the frame, the last one ending Tejada's bid for a five hit evening.

Marte led of the ninth with a walk; Presley rolled one to second for a 4-6-3 DP. Cutch ended an 0-for-4 night with a fly out, and the Bucs were dropped by a 6-0 tally. One batter reached second; no one touched third. Lotta wounds to lick after tonight's performance.

Kevin Correia closes out the series against RA Dickey, who is going for his twentieth win, tomorrow afternoon.

  • polled a panel of experts to create an All-Time Latino Team, and Roberto Clemente got more #1 votes than any other player named to the squad.
  • Jeff Locke now has the Pirates second longest streak for a starter looking for his first win at nine outings.
  • The Bucs were eliminated from wild card contention tonight.

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