Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bucs Open Twinbill With 2-1 Win In 11

It appeared to be another one of those starts for AJ. After an out, a walk to Jon Jay and a single by Matt Holliday looked ominous when Carlos Beltran cracked a ball to right center. Both runners were off, but they forgot the Cutch factor; he ran the ball down beautifully and made a strong toss to first to double off Holliday.  With two gone, Cutch and Pedro banged back-to-back doubles of Lance Lynn, and the Bucs were up 1-0.

The second went by quietly. Things looked dicey again in the third. Pete Kozma doubled and Lynn bunted, legging it out. A walk jammed the bases. AJ got Jay swinging, but Holliday's tapper brought home a run. Beltran squared up again, but his liner ended up snuggled in Garrett Jone's mitt to keep it tied. The Bucs went down in order. In the fourth, Burnett worked a calm nine-pitch frame, while Lynn alternated K's and walks, stranding a pair. St. Louis went down routinely. Starling Marte singled with two down in the Buc half of the fifth and got to second on a bobble, but Walker couldn't bring him, flying out to left center.

Jay K'ed to open the sixth at a ball in the dirt; it got away from Martin, who didn't make a particularly inspired effort to retrieve it, arguing with the ump and allowing Jay to reach second. AJ reared back and threw strike...er, make that a ball, to Holliday. He shrugged at the ump over the call, and man in blue Eric Cooper headed briskly to the mound; the third base ump came over, too. Burnett, oddly enough, was the big boy and walked away from the situation. But he was feeling it; as thwe crowd got into it, he K'ed Holliday, got Beltran to fly out to left, and retired Matt Adams on a tapper to the hill. The Pirates went down without a peep.

AJ got the first two outs routinely in the seventh, but started to labor. He walked Kozma on five pitches, and Allen Craig came up to hit. Burnett fell behind 2-0, then got him swinging, to the crwod's delight and a little fist pump by AJ. He went seven , giving up a run on three hits with three walks and nine whiffs after 113 pitches. Seth Maness took the bump for the Cards and tucked Pittsburgh away.

Justin Wilson took the ball and got a couple of routine outs. Holliday spoiled a pretty good 0-2 pitch, on the inside corner at the knees, and dropped it into right. Beltran slammed one into left center, but Marte ran it down and made it look easy.

Josh Harrison opened with a single past third and was bunted to second by Marte, who was a hair away from beating the throw. Walker lined a shot toward The Notch; Jay took a bad route to the ball that was carrying, but managed to make a leaping catch to recover. Cutch was walked intentionally, and lefty Randy Choate got the call to face Pedro. Choate did his job, getting him to roll over and bounce out to first.

Mark the Shark took the hill. Adams hit a hard one hopper over the bag, but Jones was on the line in a no doubles D and made the play. Cruz slapped a single to right. Daniel Descalso hit a roller to first; Jones took the out and made an ill advised throw to second that rolled through the SS hole, moving Cruz to third. But Melancon had the answer; Kozma popped up the first pitch to carry it tied into the bottom of the ninth. Trevor Rosenthal came on. with two down, Presley hit one hopper over the third base bag; Descalso made the grab but had no play. He tried anyhow, and threw it to the railing, allowing Presley to reach second. Barmes hit one on the nose, but right at Jay; the Cards play him shallow and it had no chance of falling.

Byran Morris came on for the 10th, and walked Shane Robinson on five pitches. He got a break when Carpenter's liner hung up long enough for Cutch to slide under, but Jay followed with a sharp single to right to put Redbirds on the corners. Holliday came up and hit one hard, but on the ground and right at Barmes, who turned it into an easy 6-4-3 inning ender.

Michael Blazek toed the rubber, and was helped with some pretty poor at bats. Jose Tabata pinch hit and K'ed without seeing a strike. Marte followed suit; he saw one strike, which he took. Walker didn't take the bat off his shoulders and walked on five pitches. That brought up Cutch, who ran the count full before waving at a ball four hook, looking heater all the way.

Vin Mazzaro took his turn in the 11th. he didn't throw many strikes, but got through the frame. After an out, he walked Adams. He fell behind Cruz 2-0 and got a break; the catcher swung at ball three and hit a sweak chopper to third; between a slow runner and a strong arm, Pedro got the force at second. Vin fell behind Descalso, worked the count full, and got him to lift a fly to Marte. Lefty Kevin Siegrist got the call for the Redbirds.

After getting Pedro to pop out, he lost Martin and pinch hitter Gaby back-to-back. With the count full, Presley banged a ball right at the shortstop for what appeared to be an easy DP, but Siegrist stuck out his mitt and deflected the ball through the SS hole. Thank you, sir. The King had his first walk off hit on a deflection, finishing the day with a TV interview and an AJ pie to the puss.

Lotta drama; the game had everything but clutch hitting. TAnd they'll do it again in a half hour - except this game will feature the first place Pirates, with Brandon Cumpton facing Tyler Lyons.

  • St. Louis' five game losing streak is its longest of the season. 
  • Card CF Jon Jay's bobble on Starling Marte's single in the fifth ended Jay's 245-game errorless streak, dating back to to August 24th, 2011.
  • Tony Sanchez will make his MLB catching debut in the nitecap.

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