Thursday, July 4, 2013

Big Inning Carries Phils To 6-4 Win

In the first, Gerrit Cole looked human enough, giving up a pair of singles. Fortunately for him, Russell Martin had his Superman outfit on, and tossed out both Ben Revere (who was picked off after a fake start) and Jimmy Rollins trying to steal, so it ended up a 1-2-3 start. The Bucs wasted a one-out double by JT off Cole Hamels to keep it scoreless.

The Phils got a leadoff knock by Ryan Howard in the second; he remained anchored at first. The Bucs went down in order. In the third, the Phils made some two out noise when Ben Revere singled and Chase Utley followed with a two bagger, but Cole K'ed Jimmy Rollins to leave the pair stranded.

The Bucs caught some lightning, though. After a pair of whiffs - Hamel has struck out four of the last five Buccos - Starling Marte knocked one through the right side. JT banged one to short; on a tuff play, Rollins tried for the force at second instead of just eating the ball, and Utley missed the throw, allowing the Bucs to get to second and third. Cutch came through, rolling one up the middle to bring them both home and make it 2-0.

Both sides went down in order in the fourth, with Martin and Neil Walker lining out around a Pedro K. The Phils cashed in during the fifth. Carlos Ruiz singled with an out and was bunted to second, and came home on Revere's third hit. There wasn't a play at home, but Cutch tried anyway, and his throw went into the stands and Revere went to third, but Cole closed it out by getting Utley to bounce out. Pittsburgh went down quietly.

With an out in the sixth, Howard walked after falling behind 0-2 on a 3-2 changeup that looked like strike three (Cole was squeezed pretty hard that at bat by ump Chris Conroy) and Brown singled through the right side to put runners at first and second. There was action in the pen, as Gerrit's velocity was dropping a couple of ticks on a muggy day, and Hurdle hooked him after the single. Cole went 5-1/3 IP, giving up three runs on eight hits with a walk and five K, tossing 78 pitches. Vin Mazzaro got the ball.

He was perfect for five last outing, but far from it today. A single to Delmon Young loaded the bases, and a pop to right by Kevin Frandsen right dropped for a run. Carlos Ruiz fell behind 0-2, worked the count full and lined a meatball into left center for a two run knock. He plunked Hamels to load the bases again.

Tony Watson came on, and Revere hit one to the 3B hole; the only play for Clint Barmes was the force at third as another run scored. Utley popped up, but it was 5-2 Phils after the dust settled. The Pirates went down 1-2-3, again with a pair of at 'em balls in the frame.

Rollins started the seventh by looping a soft liner barely over Barmes' mitt, but was quickly erased when against the shift, Howard rolled one up the middle to Pedro, who stepped on second and went to Gaby for the DP. Brown K'ed looking at a heater at the knees as Watson looked sharp. Martin lined a single to left to open for the Bucs, but Pedro's third K, Walker's liner to right and a Barmes fly ended the frame peacefully.

Ryan Reid came on for the eighth and the Phils tacked on another run. Delmon Young singled, and with two strikes on Fransden, Reid came inside and the infielder stuck out his elbow and took one for the team. A bunt and sac fly fly made it 6-2.

Justin De Fratus took the ball for Philly, and the opening trio - Jordy Mercer, Starling Marte and Garrett Jones - all stroked liners up the middle, scoring a run and putting Bucs on the corners with no outs for Cutch. De Fratus ran the count full, catching a break when McCutch swung through on a 2-1 fastball right down the middle at the belt. Cutch got another heater, but banged it to third for an around the horn DP, and Pittsburgh went into the ninth down 6-4 with Jonathan Papelbon heating up.

Utley led off the ninth with a triple, but Reid pitched out of it nicely, getting a pop and K before walking lefty Brown intentionally. John Mayberry tapped the next pitch softly up the line, Pedro gobbled it up, fired to first, and the Bucs stayed a pair behind. But that was plenty for Papelbon, who gave up a single to Pedro but otherwise got a pair of soft pops to short left and a three pitch K of Travis Snider to end the game.

The Phils put together a big inning around a walk that wasn't, a ground single, the pitcher getting HBP and a pop single in no-mans land. Sometimes it's not how you hit it, but where.

It's off to Chicago, where the Bucs will send Francisco Liriano against long-time nemesis Jeff Samardzija.

  • Marte and JT went 4-for-7 at the top of the order ans scored three runs.
  • Russell Martin nabbing a pair of runners in the opening frame was the first time a Pirate catcher threw out two larcenists in one inning since Mark Parent on 8/10/95 at SF.
  • Today's attendance was 35,328; there were sure a lot of warm fannies in the park for the home stand.
  • Via Elias Sports Bureau: The last time the Red Sox and Pirates franchises had the best records in their respective leagues on July 4th was in 1903.
  • The Pirate starters have gone 18 straight games giving up three runs or fewer.
  • First round pick C Reese McGuire was 3-for-4 with a double in his pro debut with the GCL Pirates. He DH'ed today.

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