Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dodgers Broom Bucs

Starling Marte started off with a single, but hey, he did that yesterday. Of course, Hyun-Jin Ryu isn't Clayton Kershaw and Cutch loves lefties, so it was probably a copacetic time for him launch a 1-1 fastball into the left center field seats, ending an 18 inning string of zeroes and a home run drought for the Bucs.

Jeff Locke didn't get the memo about the pitching, though, and gave the lead back pretty quickly. With an out, Nick Punto singled into center, and Matt Kemp jumped an elevated heater and doubled to right. They both came in when Adrian Gonzalez knocked a knee-high curve through the Bucco shift into center for a two-run single. A Ray Searage visit calmed him down, and he got a pair of fly-outs to close the first.

The second was frustrating. JT and John McDonald both got ahead 3-0, took a pair of strikes and were retired routinely on the 3-2 pitch. Locke went down looking; the three Bucco batters took seven of Ryu's nine strikes. Locke handled the bottom of the order, notching a pair of K's. Marte dropped a bunt for a base hit to open the third, but the guys behind couldn't help the cause. Carl Crawford opened the LA half with a double and moved to third on a bunt. Locke left another heater up to Kemp; this time he turned it into a sac fly and 3-2 Blue lead.

The Bucs went down in order in the fourth. Jerry Hairston started the Dodgers off with an infield knock, and Juan Uribe forced him at second 3-4. Tim Federowicz worked a five pitch walk, but the 8-9 guys for LA closed the frame. McDonald took a leadoff walk in the fifth, but never left first. 

Crawford opened with a knock to left; the last three leadoff guys have reached for LA. Punto followed with another single. But Locke learned his lesson and didn't give Kemp a heater; he got him to bang into an around the horn DP on a changeup in and on the knees. But it went for nought as he tossed Gonzalez a fastball down the middle that he smacked into left center to bring home LA's fourth run before he was nailed by Marte trying to get turn it into a double.

The middle of the Buc order went down quietly in the sixth; Ryu picked up his fourth and fifth whiffs. The Pirates have had one hit, Marte's bunt single, since Cutch's homer in the first. Locke threw his first clean inning, with Marte snagging a Hairston liner and then running down an Uribe home run bid by climbing the wall in the left field corner.

Ryu stayed in to face Pedro lefty-to-lefty, and K'ed him for the second time. Ronald Belisario took the ball. Clint let JT face the righty rather than call on Travis snider and it worked. Tabata was credited with an infield single and moved on to second when Punto's toss to first went astray. Garrett Jones pinch hit and flew out; Snider grabbed a stick and grounded out; both guys went after the first pitch.

The line on Locke is six innings, yielding four runs on eight hits and a walk with two K. He tried to work inside today, but still left too many pitches up and too many over the plate, and sometimes both. Ryu went 6-1/3, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk with six whiffs, working the edges of the dish. Chris Leroux took the mound, the final guy on the active roster to make an appearance.

Justin Seller greeting him with a homer to left center. With two down, Punto walked and stole second. After being ahead of Kemp 1-2, Leroux lost him, too. Searage visited his righty, but it didn't help. Gonzalez singled on a heater tossed down the pipe, and at 6-2, the game had gotten out of hand. Hurdle had two lefties available to face Gonzo; he likely decided to let Leroux get the work and keep the pen fesh.

Belisario mowed down the top of the order in the eighth. Leroux struck out Ramon Hernandez, and Hurlde waved Jason Grilli on. Guess he needs some work, too, after having the last three games off.  After getting a lineout, he gave up a walk and single to the 8-9 hitters, but bore down to get Skip Schumaker on a fly to left.

Matt Guerrier was given the ninth inning honors. The Fort worked a one-out walk off him, and lefty JP Howell came on to face Pedro. Seems a bit like overkill with that lead; he struck him out swinging. Pedro now has 10 K and no BB in 22 at-bats, and is 0-for-8 with 4 K against LHP. Howell whiffed Clint Barmes, too, and the Bucs dropped the series to LA, the finale by a 6-2 tally.

The Bucs take on the D-Backs tomorrow night as Wandy Rodriguez and Trevor Cahill square off.

  • The top four batters for LA went 8-for-12 with two doubles, two walks, sac bunt & fly, five RBI and five runs.
  • The Dodgers drew 52,053 for today's game, their third sellout of the season
  • There were a couple of good outings in the upper levels today. Kris Johnson dodged some raindrops and went five frames for Indy, giving up no runs on six hits and two walks with five K. Johnson got credit for the 3-0 win; Brandon Inge went 2-for-3 with a homer. At Altoona, Stolmy Pimentel went six innings for the Curve, surrendering no runs on two hits with a walk and four punch outs.  He got a no decision as the Altoona gloves and bullpen took an inning off in the seventh, giving up five two-out runs and dropping a 5-2 decision. Finally, converted pitcher Stetson Allie hit a walkoff 11th-inning HR for the WV Power for a 6-5 win against Asheville.


WilliamJPellas said...

Two straight seasons of historically, unbelievably bad "hitting" coupled with two seasons of historically, unbelievably bad collapses would spell certain doom for most big league skippers. It's not like this is Hurdle's first season, ya know?

WilliamJPellas said...

I meant, historically unbelievably bad hitting to start the season. Two years in a row for that phenomenon when we're coming off 20 consecutive AND two straight season-ending all time collapses. Not good. Not good at all.

Ron Ieraci said...

I'm guessing, Will, that Clint's on the hot seat - as is Huntington - if this season blows up on them like the last two have.