Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pedro And AJ Too Much For Cubs; Coles Up, Karstens Out

Even when they square up against Jeff Samardzija, the Bucs don't have much luck; Starling Marte roped a liner to left that found Alfonso Soriano and Cutch's ball was snagged at the wall in center by David DeJesus. The wind's blowing in again this afternoon, so it's a good day to have your mistakes hit in the air. AJ got a pair of three-pitch K and a grounder to open the game.

Garrett Jones doubled to right to start the second, and a Russell Martin bouncer moved him to third. Pedro drilled a 2-2 slider that was up into center for a knock, and the Bucs were on top 1-0. Neil Walker rolled a 3-2 heater into right to put Bucs on the corners. Clint Barmes couldn't advance the cause, ending the inning with a 4-6-3 DP. Travis Snider made a nice catch on Soriano's drive to right, kissing the wall after the grab, the starta of a clean frame for AJ.

With an out Marte singled, stole second, and came around on Snider's knock in the third. Samardzija came back to K Cutch and Jones; Cutch frustratingly swung through a hung slider. Still 2-0 is a good start considering the usual output against Samardzija. Barney walked with an out for the Cubs and was bunted to second, where he remained.

Martin walked in the fourth, and Pedro hit a towering shot on a 2-2 slider over the stands onto Sheffield Avenue to give the Bucs a 4-0 bulge, about all the runs AJ Burnett gets in a month of starts. Anthony Rizzo drew a one out walk, but Soriano cleaned that up by bouncing into an around the horn DP. Marte opened the fifth with a knock and was caught stealing with Snider up. After a fly out, Cutch singled to left and stayed on first. Nate Schierholtz doubled for the first hit off AJ, his grounder getting up the line past a diving Jones, but Burnett tucked away the next trio of Cubbies.

The Bucs went down in order in the sixth. With one down, DeJesus stroked a roller into right and Luis Valbuena worked hard for a walk. An Anthony Rizzo grounder moved them up a station, but AJ got out of the jam when Pedro made a diving stop on Soriano's banger to third and got the out, saving a pair of runs. Zach Putnam took the ball from Samardzija in the seventh and struck out the side, while AJ followed with a clean frame.

Hector Rondon came in for the Cubs in the eighth and walked Cutch with an out. With two down, he left Martin a fastball a little up and a little in; he crushed it ten rows deep into left center and the Bucs were up 6-0. AJ tossed a clean eighth. Blake Parker got the call for the ninth and put the Bucs down in order. AJ came out looking for a complete game. Rizzo singled with an out, and a visit to the mound didn't help. Soriano knocked a 2-2 slurve yard, and Burnett's day was done. He went 8-1/3, giving up two runs on four hits (two in the ninth) with three walks and five K as he worked to contact, tossing 112 pitches. Tony Watson came on to get the last two outs as Burnett finally got his fourth W.

Well, it was like the old Buccos - Marte igniting it the attack and a couple of bombs to add some crooked numbers to the board with a sprinkling of nice plays by the infield to back up the pitching. Jeff Locke looks for the sweep against  Edwin Jackson tomorrow in what should be a good matchup for the Pirates.
  • Gerrit Cole will make his MLB debut Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants. An interesting matchup, too, as he's slated to go against Tim Lincecum.
  • AJ became the first Buc starter to work into the eighth inning today; he was also the first to open the ninth. The Bucs last complete game was on July 31st, 2012, when Burnett one-hit Chicago at Wrigley Field; he must like it here.
  • Russell Martin's homer was number 100 in his career.
  • Travis Snider is catching on to the NL. The Cubs fans throw back all the opponent homers, so to give them a little taste, he faked tossing a fly ball he caught to end the eight into the bleachers and ran it into the dugout, drawing the ire, or at least the boos, of Billy Goat Nation.
  • The Bucs got eight hits off of Samardzija today, the first time he's ever given up more than four against them. In 15 appearances covering 46 IP before this outing, he had allowed just 21 Bucco knocks.
  • Jeff Karstens had a "clean out" rotator cuff/ labrum debridement procedure yesterday in LA, and it's expected to take up to twelve weeks before he can begin baseball activities again. That pretty well rules out 2013 - and maybe beyond.  
  • Brad Hawpe, who was in Pirate camp, was just called up by the Angels.

No comments: