Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bucs Beat Bravo B Team 5-1

KC opened with a clean first, collecting a whiff and a pair of grounders. Starling Marte has been on fire and greeted Tommy Hanson with a double to the opposite field. Alex Presley pulled a slider to first, moving Marte up a station. Cutch bounced a heater to short, and the Bucs had manufactured the first run of the night. Garrett Jones flew out, and it was 1-0 after an inning.

Correia lost Lyle Overbay on a 3-2 pitch to begin the second. After a fly and bounce out, Overbay was on second. Jeff Francis went fishing with two strikes, and KC had his second K and goose egg. With two down in the Pirate half, J-Hay was clipped by a pitch, and stole second two pitches later. Clint Barmes softly lobbed a two strike slider down and away into center, and the Bucs had their second point of the night. KC K'ed but was up 2-0 after a pair of frames.

Jose Constanza singled to get the third going, and Hanson bunted him up ninety feet. Michael Bourn got ahead 3-0, but two heaters and a slider later took a seat. Tyler Pastornicky bounced out, and it was Pittsburgh's turn. Marte tried to bunt his way on, with no luck. Hanson worked The King away, and he knocked a slider into center for a knock. Cutch drove a fastball deep to center, but there was enough room for Bourne to squeeze it. GI lined out, so Hanson danced through the third thanks to a couple loud outs.

With one down in the fourth, Overbay ripped a double to left center. After a ground out, Correia hung a change to Juan Francisco, who banged it for a two-bagger to left to cut the lead in half. KC got out of the frame by catching Francis looking. With an out, Pedro clobbered a fastball to right center for a double. After a Harrison grounder, Barmes was intentionally walked; Hanson learned his lesson a couple of innings ago. KC K'ed again, and it was a 2-1 game after four.

Constanza led off the fifth with an infield knock, and was sacrificed to second by Hanson.  There he stayed; KC has played with fire and left a runner on second four straight frames so far. Marte opened with a soft knock to right off a full count change up and swiped second.  Presley blooped a fastball away into left for a leg double, plating Marte. Cutch went down looking. Jones made up for it by bombing a 2-0 fastball, up and away in the strike zone, over the Clemente Wall to put the Pirates up 5-1. The Fort whiffed while hacking away, and Pedro followed with a poke into center. J-Hay flew out to end the frame, but it was a good one; crooked numbers on the scoreboard have become a Bucco rarity.

Surviving an Overbay belt to deep center that Cutch corralled, KC gave up a two out knock to David Ross. No prob; he whiffed Francisco for his fifth K. After two outs, Marte lashed his third hit of the night, a single to center, and stole second, his second swipe of the game. it didn't help this time as Presley rolled out on a 3-2 pitch.

Clean innings have been tough for KC to come by. With two outs in the seventh, Reed Johnson smacked an 0-2 hook to center. That was it for Correia, who went 6-2/3 innings, giving up a run on six hits and a walk with five punch outs, tossing 97 pitches. Justin Wilson came on to face Eric Hinske to set up a lefty mano-a-mano. Hinske won the battle, drilling a 2-2 pitch just off Cutch's mitt to right center for extra bases, but lost the war when Presley-Harrison-McKenry teamed up to nail Johnson at home on a nice tag by the Fort on the hurdling Brave.

Cristhian Martinez climbed the hill for Atlanta. He K'ed Cutch looking, got Jones on another long fly, but allowed a runner on Francisco's throwing error on The Fort's grounder. He survived it nicely, getting Pedro to fly out to left.

Chris Resop took the ball in the eighth. Pastornicky led off with a knock and made it to second with two down, one a strikeout of Freddy Freeman that got him bounced from the game after he disputed the check swing call a bit too enthusiastically. JC Boscan flew out, and the Fat Lady was stirring. Chad Durbin took the bump for Atlanta. He got the first pair of outs handily, then Resop's pinch hitter, Travis Snider, banged a single. Chase d'Arnaud came on to run and stole second; seems like a bit of overkill at this point. Marte whiffed to leave him there.

Bryan Morris was in to tie up the bow, with Jordy Mercer taking second and Gaby Sanchez first.Did a nice job, too, with a pair of fan jobs and a comebacker to ice the Bucs 5-1 win, their 79th victory of the year and the most since 1997's "Freak Show."

It was a good night for KC. He tied his season high in wins with 12, and picked up some bonus bucks, too. He got $125K for making his 28th start and another $100K for passing 170 innings (it was exactly his 28th start, and he finished the year with 171 IP). No wonder he was upset when he was sent to the pen. To make it a little sweeter, he almost reversed last year's home record. The road warrior of 2011 was 2-8 at PNC last season, but finished 7-3 in 2012.

  • Jones' homer was the Bucs 170th of the year, one off the team record.
  • The Pirates broke a streak of five consecutive one-run games with the win. They were 2-3 in those contests, with an overall 28-29 record in squeakers.
  • Tonight's crowd was 15,727.
  • Cutch, Detroit's Miggy Cabrera and LA Angel rook Mike Trout were named the finalists for MLBPA's Player of Year Award. The honor is voted on by the players.
  • West Virginia prospects SS Alen Hanson (.309) was nominated for Breakout Prospect of the Year and RHP Nathan Kilcrease (1-3, 15-for-15 in saves, 1.28 ERA) was nominated for the Relief Pitcher of the Year. It's based on fan vote, and you can make your selections here.
  • Atlanta RHP Ben Sheets will start tomorrow in place of RHP Tim Hudson. The start will be the 250th of Sheets' career, and last - the often injured Sheets will retire after the game. 
  • Once a Bucco...Jack Wilson said he'd be back in town for Pirate Fest and accepted an invite to be a coach/instructor at Bradenton this spring.

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