Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bucs A Hit Away, Go Down 5-3 In 11 Innings

Well, ol' Brandon Cumpton couldn't start off much better; he struck out the side. The Bucs had better luck against Clayton Kershaw. Alex Presley started off with a double, and was bunted to third by Jordy Mercer. Cutch and Gaby walked; Sanchez on a 3-2 pitch that he got a call on. Russell Martin banged a tailor made DP ball to Hanley Ramirez; he took the force unassisted and airmailed the throw to first, and it was 1-0.

The second went 1-2-3 for both sides. LA got its first baserunner in the third with two outs in the third when Kershaw walked, but he was left at first. The Bucs got a one out walk to Mercer and a two out knock by Gaby to put Pirates on the corners, but Martin flew out to end the fun.

Yasiel Puig opened the fourth with a knock; an out later he was forced at second on a great play by Pedro. It helped; Andre Ethier followed with a single, but Mercer gloved a hard bouncer to end the frame. The Bucs went down in order.

LA lit the board in the fifth. AJ Ellis singled with an out and was bunted to second, and Skip Schumaker lined a single to right with two down. There was a play at the plate, but Brandon Inge's throw was weak and it was a tied game; the game's two runs have been thanks to fielders more than pitchers so far. The Bucs again went down without a peep.

Adrian Gonzalez opened the sixth by smacking a ground rule double to left center. That was followed by a Ramirez roller up the middle to put Blue on the corners with no outs. Andre Ethier banged one through the left side to give LA the lead, and Presley booted the ball, putting runners at second and third. That was it for Cumpton; the second time through the order took its toll. He went five, giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk with five K after 76 pitches, and Bryan Morris took the ball. Mark Ellis lifted a sac fly to make it 3-1, and Juan Uribe drew a five pitch walk. With two outs, Morris lost Kershaw on four pitches, but got Schumaker on a soft roller to Walker.

The Bucs tried to answer. Cutch singled and Gaby reached when he swung and missed at a 3-2 pitch, but was awarded first when his bat ticked Ellis' mitt. Martin then almost gave the Bucs the lead, but Schumaker's leap at the wall in left brought back what would have been a three-run dinger, taking it away from
fans who didn't put up much of a fight. Given that reprieve, Kershaw tucked The Kid and Pedro away.

Pedro robbed Puig to open the seventh with his second nice stop at the hot corner. and Morris retired Gonzalez and Ramirez routinely on a grounder and whiff. Kershaw finished the inning at 113 pitches, but doesn't look too gassed - he struck out the side. Justin Wilson retired LA in order in the eighth, and the Bucs made a game of it.

Chris Withrow climbed the hill; a Mercer single and Cutch walk put him in a quick hole. But he got Gaby and Martin looking, both on hooks. Sanchez's was particularly frustrating, as it was hung curve up around the letters, but froze him. Don Mattingly brought in LHP Paco Rodriguez. He turned around Walker, but The Kid lined a single to left to make it 3-2. Paco got Pedro on a roller, but at least the Bucs cashed in for a run.

Tony Watson came on for the ninth and put the Dodgers down without a sweat. The Bucs stayed alive, though, when Travis Snider banged a heater into the tenth row in right center off of Kenley Jansen to knot the score. Mark Melancon put the Dodgers down in the tenth on a half dozen pitches.

The Pirates came this close to taking it in their half. Peter Moylan was on the hill, and is tough on righties. After getting a pair of outs, he walked Martin and Walker, batting lefty, drilled a ball into the corner. Martin would have scored easily with a crystal ball; but was held, correctly, by Nick Leyva when the ball was run down quickly by Puig, who has a rifle, and on its way in before before Martin was at the sack. The throw, however, missed the cutoff and went halfway up the line. Pedro was walked intentionally, and Mike McKenry, pinch hitting, popped out on the first pitch. The key play of the inning may have been early on, when Uribe sprawled to take away a hit from Sanchez for the second out.

Vin Mazzaro took the ball and gave up a lead off double to Ethier in the eleventh. He was bunted to second, and with the infield in, Uribe chopped one over Pedro to score the run. He went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out double by pinch hitter Nick Punto, taking a ball the opposite way into The Notch.

The Pirates gave it a run against Brandon League. Snider started with an infield single, diving headfirst into the sack and maybe getting a call. After a Presley force out, Mercer singled off Uribe's glove, and the Bucs were in business with Cutch up. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, but Cutch bounced out to third. That left it up to Gaby, who got good wood on a liner to left, but it hung up for Schumaker and the Pirates went down 5-3.

The Bucs were 1-for-13 with RISP and left five runners on in the two extra frames; the Dodgers were 5-for-11 and stranded one guy in overtime; that pretty well determined the results. The lineup against lefties is kinda shy, though, with Starling Marte and JT both on ice.

Zach Greinke takes on Gerrit Cole tomorrow.

  • Today's attendance was 36,941.
  • Clint Hurdle told the media guys before the game that if Starling Marte's oblique remains achy through the weekend, he's looking at a trip to the DL. When it rains... 
  • JP Howell dropped his appeal and will start serving his two game suspension for his part in a brawl a few days ago. The LA lefty worked two innings yesterday, so he'd probably be off today anyhow.
  • Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror tweets that RHP Stolmy Pimentel was promoted to AAA Indy and RHP Nick Kingham was called up to the Curve from Bradenton.
  • Jim Callis of Baseball America reports that fifth round SS Trae Arbet signed for a $425K bonus. The prep player was expected to require an overslot deal; his draft spot has a $321,400 value.

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