It didn't start off much differently than yesterday's game, except maybe a little uglier, if that's possible. Jameson Taillon put together a couple of decent frames, but gave up a run when SS Josh Harrison threw away a DP ball that would have ended the second inning. Small thing at the time; Jared Goedert smacked a three run bomb into the wind off John Lackey to give the Bucs a 3-1 lead after two.
Then Jonathan Sanchez and Zach Foster put together a not-how-to-do-it clinic in the third and fourth frames. Sanchez had the bases juiced with an out when Harrison speared a liner, but tossed the ball away trying to finish a DP, allowing a pair to score. Sanchez then walked the next three batters and gave up a single to end with a line of 2/3 IP, 4 ER (can't anticipate the DP), 3 H, 4 W. Aye carumba! To add insult to injury, every ex-Buc reached base that frame: Brock Holt singled, and Drew Sutton, Lyle Overbay and David Ross walked. Foster K'ed Jose Iglesias to put a merciful end the inning.
The Bucs went down without making any noise in their half, and it was time for Foster's wheels to fall off. A non-roster reserve, the Bradford-born sidewinder was the Bucs 49th draft pick in 2008. He got two Bosox out, but the others got a hit and four more walks, two with the bases loaded, before Roman Colon, a veteran minor-league reserve, came in and gave up a two-run bloop to right that allowed another pair of Red Sox to score, making it 10-3. The Bucs were shut down again, with Harrison adding to his day with a DP ball.
Colon cooled down Boston in the fifth. Felix Pie kept his nice spring going; he drilled a two-run shot that cleared McKechie Field toward right center. Andy Oliver skipped out of a two-on, two out spot in the sixth by whiffing Iglesias, a player the Bucs were thought to be hot after during the Hanny talks. The Bucs went down with just a Jordy Mercer single.
Oliver ran into trouble again in the seventh, giving up back-to-back leadoff knocks and then walking two guys with one down. That brought in Justin Wilson, who gave up a sac fly and bounce out as Boston added two more runs to the tote board. The Bucs went quietly in their half. Wilson had an interesting eighth; he struck out the side, stranding a runner at third who got there via a walk (of course), wild pitch and passed ball.
Tony Watson caught whatever the other Bucco Hurlers had. After an out, he gave up singles sandwiched around a bopped batter to give Boston a baker's dozen in runs. A K was followed by another RBI knock, and then another...and yep, yet another. Clint Hurdle brought in Bryan Morris for that elusive third out. He got a whiff and became the only Bucco twirler to not allow a runner aboard via walk/hit batter. Mercer homered in the ninth to make the final 16-6.
- The Pirates used eight pitchers today; six walked at least a batter and one hit another. Zach Foster gave up 5 runs in 1-1/3 IP; Jonathan Sanchez & Tony Watson 4 in 2/3, Andy Oliver 2 in 2/3 and Jameson Taillon 1 in 2.
- Gaby Sanchez got a shot at third base today, the first time he's hit the hot corner since he was in the minors.
- Travis Snider had a tough afternoon; he whiffed in all three of his at-bats.
- Clint Hurdle was on The Morning Show of The Fan 93.7 today, and said “When people ask me a number (of wins), 95 is the number I throw out there, and people go, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of-’ and I go, ‘Yeah, you’re right it’s a lot of games!’ I get it, but you know what? If we win 95, we’re going to be in a good place." Hey, aim for the stars and maybe you'll reach the sky, as they say.
- Will MLB ban home plate collisions at home as it does on the bases? Not right away, it seems, but there is some momentum building toward it, writes John Terbush of The Week.