Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bucs Lose In Thirteen, 2-1

The Bucs touched Bronson Arroyo for a one out double by Russell Martin in the opening frame, but left him.  Jeff Locke had a little dicier time of it, with a walk and error to start the Cincy half. A force left Reds at the corners, but Locke got Brandon Phillips to bang one to third, and a nice feed by Pedro and turn by The Kid turned into an inning ending around the horn DP.

The Bucs went down in order in the second, with Pedro just missing a yard shot that was hauled in by Jay Bruce; the Pirates can't figure out how to lose a ball in homer friendly GABP this series. Zack Cozart drew a 3-2 walk with two down for the Reds, and was sent home on a Ryan Hanigan double to left. But he didn't make it; the Marte to Walker to Martin combo cut him down. Marte played the carom cleanly in the corner, though his relay overshot Jordy Mercer but Walker - hard to tell which guy Starling was aiming for - was backing the play, and his feed to the dish easily beat Cozart.

With two away in the third, Marte drove a slider to center for a triple, and he scored when Arroyo mishandled Martin's comebacker that went off his mitt; the catcher's slide into first beat the rap to put the Pirates up a run. Derrick Robinson drew a one out walk on a full count; Locke is having another outing where he's just missing instead of painting the black. No diff; Locke picked him off as he broke to second 1-3-6 and Shin-Soo Choo bounced out to keep it 1-0 after three frames.

Garrett Jones opened the fourth with a single off Joey Votto's glove. Walker spanked a slider to the track in left for the first out. Pedro showed a good eye in drawing a walk, then Travis Snider grounded into a force . Arroyo worked Mercer carefully, losing him on a 3-2 offering to bring up Locke with the bases loaded, whom he retired on a comebacker. Votto led off by sending a ball up the middle. Phillips went down looking at a 3-2 fastball and Jay Bruce flew out to fairly deep center. Todd Frazier roped a heater up and on the outside half to right to put Cincy runners on the corners. Locke caught Cozart looking, and both sides left a boatload of runners aboard this frame.

With an out in the fifth, Martin got clunked high in the back. Cutch lined out softly to left, and Jones followed with a single to right. Nothing came of it; Martin took a quick nap and was picked off second by Arroyo on a pretty nicely executed play. The Reds went down quietly, though Robinson put a charge into a liner to deep center that Cutch ran down.

Pedro got an infield knock that Cozart didn't handle very well with one down in the sixth. Snider turned on a change up away and rifled it into right for a double to put Bucs at second and third. Mercer was intentionally walked.  Hurdle let Locke, who is at 81 pitches, bat, and he grounded into a force at the plate. It was a tough call for Hurdle, weighing with a day game tomorrow against the Bucs' batting ineptitude of late. Marte bounced to short, and the Pirates have put eight runners aboard in the past three innings without scoring, although Locke has a lot to do with that. Bronson's at 101 pitches, so it may his swan song. Locke may not hit, but he did his job on the hill. He put the Reds away in order, helped by a diving stop by Pedro. At 88 pitches, he should have another inning left in him before calling on the Bucco back end.

Dusty Baker sent Arroyo back out. With an out, Cutch drove one the opposite way, but Bruce was at the wall to make the snag, leaping to the top of the fence to take away at least extra bases; it may even have cleared by a hair. Jones K'ed to end the frame. Locke stayed in, but Jones didn't; Gaby took over at first. Frazier drilled a curve into right for a one out double. He hung in to retire Cozart, whose liner to Snider in right moved the runner to third, and Hanigan on a rope to Marte, and it's still 1-0 after seven.

Southpaw Tony Cingrani took the ball in the eighth. Walker went down swinging, Pedro looking - he never swung the bat - and Snider also went down looking; at least he took one hack. It's getting easy to take away an inning for the Pirates now with the The Kid and the lefties piled together in the order. Hurdle needs some RH options, and just doesn't have any.

Locke went seven shutout innings, giving up four hits and three walks with three whiffs after 95 pitches. Mark Melancon climbed the hill. Xavier Paul greeted him with long drive to left, but Marte was there for the grab. After a grounder to short, Choo rolled a two out single through the right side. Votto blooped one into center, where Cutch tucked it away. With the last mile to go, it's still 1-0.

Alfredo Simon worked the ninth, and started by plunking Mercer, and again high in the back. Alex presley hit, and fouled a couple of bunt tries. Too bad; Mercer took the same nap that Martin did and was picked off first. No wonder they can't score; they can't even take a lead. And on cue, Presley singled. Marte flew out to deep center and Martin popped out.

Now it's up to Jason Grilli, who will face the 4-5-6 hitters of the Reds order (though it's nice to have Votto out of the mix). Phillips lined out deep to right; Snider has got his running in today. But no such luck with Jay Bruce, who lined a fastball where Snider couldn't reach it, in the stands. Grilli got a grounder and pop out to end it, but it's a new game now. Hey, extra innings and Jerry Meals behind the plate...what could go wrong?

Aroldis Chapman came in to work against the middle of the Buc order in the tenth. He lost Walker with two outs (he had gone 3-0 on Gaby before getting him to fly out on a 3-2 pitch). Chapman wasted no time with Pedro; he blew three fastballs past him, and El Toro didn't touch one - they were 98, 100, & 100. Justin Wilson took the mound, as Mercer went to second, Clint Barmes to short and Walker to the bench. Devin Mesoraco dropped an 0-2 curve gently into left for a leadoff knock and was bunted to second by Cesar Izturis. Robinson's grounder moved him up a station, but Wilson reached back to K Choo on three pitches.

Sam LeCure got the call for the eleventh. With two gone, Barmes battled LeCure for eight pitches, then singled up the middle. The euphoria didn't last long; Marte went down looking on three pitches. Wilson had the middle of the Red order to square off against. He lost Phillips with one gone after an eight pitch contest, but he got Bruce to roll over on a fastball and bang into a 4-6-3 DP.

Martin walked to open the 12th; we're hoping Cutch isn't bunting. Maybe he should have; his soft liner to center hung up for Choo. Gaby drew a walk on a full count, to bring up...Brandon Inge. He rolled over on a shin high curve off the plate and bounced into an around the horn DP. *sigh* Vin Mazzaro toed the rubber and tossed a clean frame.

Manny Parra came on in the 13th; Pedro and Travis may never see another righty. El Toro bounced out and Snider K'ed. Mercer kept the inning alive by legging out a dribbler on the left side. Barmes got ahead 3-0, then Parra challenged him with nothing but four seamers down the middle, eventually getting him to fly out short of the track in center. With an out in the Red half, Robinson beat out a weak roller to third, helped by Pedro playing back and on the line in a no doubles defense. Choo drilled a two seamer to right, sending Robinson to third, and Votto was walked intentionally. Phillips poked a 1-2 slider up the middle for a seeing-eye single past Vin and between Barmes and Mercer, and the Bucs suffered a hard defeat, 2-1.

Pirate losses are a broken record: 0-for-8 with RISP, 14 runners left on base (not that the Reds were much better at 1-for-8 with 10 stranded), two Pirates picked off, and no help off the bench. Brandon Inge is becoming the new John McDonald now that Clint Barmes is a sub; the Pirates desperately need a right handed stick to call on for both platoon and pinch hitting roles. The bad part is that there is no obvious internal candidate; Neal Huntington is going to have to find someone if wants Hurdle to operate with a full toolkit.

Brandon Cumpton takes the bump tomorrow afternoon against Homer Bailey, and the Bucs could use a deep outing from the righty call-up.
  • It was a long time coming, but Jason Grilli blew his first save of the season after going 25-for-25, one short of Joel Hanrahan's 2011 mark.
  • Before Phillips' single, all the Red runs in this series have been on solo homers.
  • The Reds haven't been shut out in back-to-back games since Aug. 30th-31st, 2011, against the Phillies. The Bucs came within two outs of matching that feat tonight.
  • Jeanmar Gomez tossed five no hit innings in Norfolk for Indy tonight, striking out four. He only used 52 pitches, but rather than send him out again, the staff had him throw in the pen. That's kinda surprising, both because of the pitch count and because it's a DH for Indy, with a make-up added on because of yesterday's rainout.


Anonymous said...

Inge was terrible last night in that one at bat. Hurdle should have had him bunting with 1 out.

As you said, Hurdle is playing without he full tool-kit. JayHey is a better option - not much but still better.
They let one slip away last night.

Locke was super again. Cutch looks bad at the plate right now.

BIG crowd for a Wed.


Ron Ieraci said...

Cincy - got your money's worth this series. Harrison is an option, but they really need a guy that can play at least a platoon role in RF; I think that so far Snider is working his way to a fourth OF spot, especially if Polanco doesn't hit a bump - he could be June 2014's big call up. And the pitching does keep on going. The bullpen was due to become human, but geez - getting five outta Cumpton, who I don't believe was considered one of the Bucs top ten pitching candidates, in two games was huge. Could end up an interesting summer this year. Now off to visit our old bud Sir Albert...

Anonymous said...

I was cursing Pedro after his first inning K and high throw to first. Boy did he turn things around for the club.

Another big crowd at the yard today. Coulda, woulda, shoulda taken 3 out of 4 but as I said before - happy with a split.