Other than that frame, Charlie Morton and Tim Hudson were stone walls. Morton went eight innings, giving up a run on three hits, with three whiffs, two walks and two HBP. It was an outing the Bucs beleaguered bullpen sorely needed. Outside the second inning, no Giant reached third, and Ground Chuck left just one more runner touch second through his eight innings.
The final inning would provide as much drama as the previous eight frames.
Tony Watson came on for the ninth of the 1-1 game. With an out, he gave up a single to Belt, and an out later, another one to Brandon Crawford that chased Belt to third. Watson flirted with danger, leaving his pitches up to Adrianza while Crawford stole second. Adrianza fouled off one after another, but Tony finally nailed him on a pop.
Hudson worked the ninth, and Cutch led off with a bleeder infield single. Pedro bounced one up the middle, and against the shift it was a custom made 6-3 DP. Starling Marte tripled to right high off the Clemente Wall, and the throw got past Kung Fu Panda, but he was cut down in a bang-bang play at the plate 5-2 to end the inning. Or did it?
The Bucs challenged the call at home, as Marte appeared to have pulled another Houdini in avoiding the tag (Buster Posey missed the first stab) - and hey, they won! Marte's triple became his second walk-off homer (OK, a triple and an error) of the season, and the Bucs pulled off a 2-1 win against a very tough Tim Hudson to stop some serious bleeding.
Pitching is the name of the game, and the Bucs finally got some. We'll see if they can get some more tomorrow afternoon when Tim Lincecum (2-1, 5.12 ERA) and Gerrit Cole (2-2, 3.69 ERA) meet in the getaway day rubber match.
- The shape of the bullpen: Vin Mazzaro, Phil Irwin, Bryan Morris and Justin Wilson were available tonight, Tony Watson only in an emergency and sitting out were Jared Hughes, Mark Melancon and Jeanmar Gomez.
- Russ Martin and Travis Snider's suspension appeals were heard today, with no action as of gametime.
- PNC Park attendance tonight: 18,881.
- Wandy's outing in Altoona tonight wasn't so hot - 5 1/3 IP, seven runs on seven hits (two homers), with 3 walks & 4 whiffs after 93 pitches. And that was after retiring the first nine hitters.
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that the "Pirates offered prospect Gregory Polanco a contract for up to 10 years. He rejected it and remains at AAA." We'll have more on that later tonight or tomorrow.
- The Andrew Lambo rumors proved unfounded - he sat out last night (and tonight) with a bruised thumb, not a ticket to Pittsburgh.