Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Cisco Kid Was A Friend Of Mine...Bucs Win 5-0

Geez, we hate these 9:55 start times for West Coast games...oh, wait. OK, we hate them even more on the Allegheny. But we suppose the Athletics want to get home and the Bucs have golf dates tomorrow, so hey...the game must go on.

Coco Crisp opened the game by slapping a tailing fastball into right. After a K, the Cisco Kid got ahead of Josh Donaldson 0-2, then missed with the next four pitches to put himself in a mild pickle. Yoenis Cespedes hit a tapper up the line; Liriano fielded it by the line, made the tag, and then rifled a strike to third behind Crisp, who had made a wide turn, for the rare 1-5 DP.  

Straling Marte greeted Tom Milone with an infield knock, then was caught trying to swipe second; the tag may have missed him, but the ump thought it was good, or at least close enough. With two down, Cutch walked, but stayed put as Russell Martin fisted a soft fly to left to end the frame.

Liriano picked up a couple of whiffs in a clean second frame. The Bucs made some two out noise when Jordy Mercer lined a single to left and went to third on Clint Barme's flare into right, but Frankie went down on strikes. The Bucs solved Milone in the third. Marte (with his legs) and JT (after fouling a bunt try) banged back-to-back doubles followed by a Cutch single, and it was 2-0. Martin's DP ball got a force, but 2B Grant Green airmailed the relay, putting Martin at second. He scored on Pedro's knock, and the Bucs had three runs.  

They scored twice more in the fourth with JT and Cutch scoring on knocks by Martin and El Toro. The game went quickly and quietly after that. Liriano went seven frames, giving up four singles, a walk and whiffing six, taking a seat after retiring the last 10 Athletics he faced. Justin Wilson and Jeanmar Gomez pitched the final two frames to bring home the Pirates' league-high 13th shutout of the season.

Finally, a reprieve from the relentless grind. The Bucs have a day off, although many will be teeing it up for the Pirate Charities golf event, then the Mets arrive for  a three game set leading into the All-Star break.

  • Francisco Liriano ran his streak of scoreless innings to 14 and lowered his ERA to 2.00. The last Pirates qualified starter to have a lower ERA at the All-Star break was Bob Veale in 1968 (1.90).
  • Oakland had five hits. They went three games scoring four runs on 13 hits against the Buc staff - and won two of them. This morning's win was the first time Pittsburgh defeated Oakland. The Athletics were previously 11-0 all-time against the Pirates.
  • Pedro Alvarez has an eight game hitting streak.
  • Elias Sports Bureau: Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte are the first Bucco teammates to each get 100+ hits before the All-Star break since 1979
  • Jim Bowden of ESPN suggested five blockbuster trades for teams, including a swap between the White Sox and Pirates. Bowden's hypothetical has OF Alex Rios and SS Alexei Ramirez heading to Pittsburgh for OF Gregory Polanco, RHP Nick Kingham, and SS Jordy Mercer. 
  • Bucco trivia: Francisco Liriano, like James McDonald was drafted as an outfielder in 2001. Unlike J-Mac, though, he went straight to the hill.

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