Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bucs Salvage Game Three By A 3-2 Count

Homer Bailey had a typical start against the Bucs - 1,2,3 and done. Jeff Locke was targeted, Shin-Soo Choo singled off his leg. Not that Locke bore a grudge; but he picked him off. Probably a good thing, as he issued Joey Votto a two out walk, but closed down the frame.

With an out in the second, Garrett Jones yanked a first pitch hook into the right center seats to make it 1-0. Mike McKenry followed with a single, but Homer whiffed the next pair. The Reds went down in order. Locke opened the third with an infield knock and eventually made it to third, where he was stranded. Choo drew a two out walk for Cincy and went no further.  The fourth went quietly for both sides.

Clint Barmes drew a walk and made to second before the fifth frame ended, and the Reds tied the match. One out, back-to-back walks of the 7-8 hitters, a bunt and a very wild pitch put them on the board. The sixth went down without a peep from either side; the only news was that Bailey had set his career high in K with 11; he'd finish with a dozen.

The Bucs took the lead in the seventh. With an out, McKenry doubled to left, and a sharply hit grounder up the middle by Jordy Mercer plated him. Barmes had in infield knock, and JT came up to hit. He lined one up the middle, just past Brandon Phillips' mitt, and the Pirates were up 3-1 after JJ Hoover got the last pair of outs.

Locke went six, giving up a run on a hit with four walks and six K after 87 pitches. Tony Watson opened the seventh by walking Votto. He was given a quick hook for Bryan Morris, who got a couple of quick outs. Dusty sent up Xavier Paul; Clint countered with Justin Wilson, and Baker doubled down with Neftali Soto, who K'ed after all that.

In the eighth, Gaby walked with two down for all the Buc noise. Mark Melancon came on, and was in quick trouble. He walked Derrick Robinson on five pitches, and then Choo singled through the right side. Another walk jammed the sacks. But he settled down, getting a 3-6-1 DP ball from Votto on a play that was executed nicely by all three parties, and another grounder to keep the Bucs up, though now just by one at 3-2.

Curtis Patch climbed the mound in the ninth. Mercer was plunked and bunted to second. PH Brandon Inge K'ed, and so did Marte. Jason Grilli took the bump. He struck out Jay Bruce, but Todd Frazier followed by punching a slider into right for a knock. Zack Cozart golfed a soft liner to left on a borderline 3-2 pitch that Marte tucked away. Devin Mesoraco fell behind 0-2 and popped a high heater to Barmes to get a seat of the pants, and well timed, win.

For Grilli, it was save #30 while Locke picked up his ninth win. The Bucs were 2-for-11 with RISP, not great but certainly an improvement over the opening pair of games. Now it's off to DC for a four-gamer, with Charlie Morton going against Dan Haren.

  • The Pirates struck out 16 times today, one short of their season high. All nine Pirate starters struck out at least once. The high was 17, also in a win against the Reds by a 4-0 count on June 18th at GABP.
  • Jordy Mercer extended his hitting streak to seven games.
  • The Matt Garza saga continues after the Texas deal fell through. There are supposed to be ten teams in on him, in varying degrees, and the Bucs are one. So we'll see how it plays out.

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