Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bucs Lose Ugly 5-2

The Reds treid to get to Charlie Morton early, but stranded Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, who had singled. The Bucs drew first blood when Alfredo Simon gave up a single to Starling Marte, survived a rocket to center by Cutch that Billy Hamilton hauled in, then walked three straight batters with two down to make it 1-0.

But Chris Stewart;s tough day started in the second. Roger Bernadinawalkled, stole second, went to third on a throwing error by the catcher and scored on a grounder. Stewart tried to make amends by softly singling to open the Bucco half, but he only got as far as second. The Pirates regained the lead in the third. After the Reds went down 1-2-3, Cutch banged a leadoff homer to left to make it 2-1 after fouling off four consecutive 3-2 offerings by Simon. Both sides went down on order in the fourth.

The fifth was just ugly. A hit batter and walk followed by a bunt put Reds at second and third. Hamilton singled one home, and indirectly brought in another when he stole second and went to third on another error by Stewart, allowing the runner on third to plate. An intentional walk was followed by an unintentional walk to jam the bases. Bruce rolled one to first; the Bucs couldn't turn the DP and it was 4-2. All the damage Pittsburgh could muster was a Cutch walk. Each side left a runner on in the sixth.

Morton was at 108 pitches (he only gave up four hits, but the five walks hurt). Justin Wilson took over in the seventh and worked a clean frame. Simon came back out, tho he was at 102 pitches; we're guessing Bryan Price doesn't have much faith in his pen. Looked smart, too, until Cutch singled with two down. That got a call to the pen. LHP Sean Marshall took the ball to face Pedro and got him on a tapper to the mound. Bryan Morris came in for the eighth.

Jay Bruce greeted him with a double that Cutch didn't handle well, and went to third on a wild pitch. A walk put runners on the corners. Devin Mesoraco grounded into a force out, and it was 5-2. Marshall got Ike to bounce back to the mound; Clint is working with a short bench with Martin out, and it's hard under the best circumstances to match up with so many same-side outs in the lineup. Sam LeCure came on after that to finish up the inning.

Jeanmar Gomez climbed the bump in the ninth. With an out, Cutch had his second misplay of the night, allowing a Hamilton single to become a double, and that was followed by a walk. Votto was caught on the back end of a double steal, and a fly ended the frame. Jonathan Broxton came on for the save. He gave up a couple of knocks and faced Cutch as the tying run with two down, but a 6-3 ended the game.

Ugly game; there have been way too many of them in the early going.

Tony Cingrani (1-2, 3.22 ERA) takes on, we assume, Brandon Cumpton (0-0) tomorrow afternoon in the get-away game.

  • Chris Stewart replaced Russ Martin in the lineup today per "manager's decision." Purely speculation on our part, but he looked liked he banged himself up when he slid in with the winning run on Monday night and may be resting the bod. 
  • Cutch's homer was the 900th HR by a Pirates player at PNC Park.
  • In no surprise, Travis Ishikawa has elected free agency.
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