Thursday, May 22, 2014

Too Much Pitching, Josh & Cutch: Bucs Take Opener 3-1

First inning went by as calm as could be; Edinson Volquez and Blake Treinen 1-2-3'ed their opponents. In the second, Volquez dodged a couple of raindrops after giving up a single and a Pedro error while the Bucs went down in order. In the third, there was more squirming as Edison survived a pair of walks, one to the pitcher, to open the frame. Trienen wasn't quite as lucky on the bump. With two outs, Volquez walked, Josh Harrison singled and The Kid walked. Cutch got plunked, and it was 1-0.

But not for long; Ian Desmond led off  the fourth with a homer to center on a 2-0 heater to tie it up. Two outs later, Nate McLouth doubled; Cutch nearly made the grab, but the ball popped out his mitt when he hit the ground. Edinson got the pitcher this time to end the frame. Volquez is at 80 pitches, so the pen is going to have to pick up some more slack tonight. Ike singled with an out and a grounder moved him up, so Chris Stewart was walked intentionally. Volquez whiffed and it's on to the fifth.

Ed didn't carry that at-bat with him to the hill; he got through the frame on nine pitches, seven to the first batter, Bernard Span. Josh drew a four-pitch walk to open the Pirate half, his third in 13 innings. Walker smacked one deep to center that was run down, but Harrison moved to second after the catch. Smart tag; Cutch singled him home to make it 2-1. 

Wilson Ramos was robbed by J-Hay to start the sixth. Edinson punched out the next pair of Nats, and again used just nine pitches to get through the frame. And Harrison got his just deserts, too, when the fans behind the dugout rose and roared as he came in from the field. Stewart walked with two outs again, and Travis Snider grabbed some wood to hit for Volquez. Edinson went six innings, giving up a run on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Snider reached on an error on the SS (it was later ruled a single and error), and that brought Aaron Barrett on with Bucs on the corners. Josh proved he was human, chasing a low 2-0 heater and bouncing out to short

Jeanmar Gomez took the ball for the Bucs in the seventh.  With an out, Nate the Great bunted his way on. Kevin Frandsen, who came aboard in a two-fer last inning, banged one to short for a DP to clean up the frame.  The Kid opened the Bucco half with a knock into center followed by a Cutch walk. Pedro was fooled on a changeup and popped out. Marte looked bad fishing for sliders and whiffed without seeing a strike. Ike smoked a first pitch heater, but right at 1B Frandsen, and that ended another scoreless frame.

Tony Watson took the ball. With two down, he lost pinch hitter Jayson Werth on five pitches, and the strike call was iffy. Wilson Ramos followed with a ground ball single to right, with Werth stopping at second. Desmond walked on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases for pinch hitter Scott Hairston. Tony couldn't get his pitches down, but he did get a pop up from Hairston to end the threat.

Ross Detwiler took over for Washington. After an out, Stewart doubled off a 1-2 slider on a well placed flare. An out later, Superman came through again; Josh took a sinker knee high and on the outside corner into right for a knock to chase Stewart home to make it 3-1.

Mark the Shark entered with an insurance run to play with in the ninth. He walked Danny Espinosa on four pitches, getting squeezed in the strike zone. That brought out a couple of boo birds in the antsy crowd. Two outs later, he walked Span on a 3-2 pitch; it's always exciting (or nerve-wracking; both work). But he got Anthony Rendon on a fly to center to end it, with Cutch making a sweet diving grab. Edinson Volquez got his second Pirate win as Mark melancon picked up his eighth save.

Jordan Zimmermann takes on Charlie Morton tomorrow night.

Well, that's how the Bucs used to win - solid pitching and some nice glove work. Volquez was strong; maybe he was due or had a little extra focus after Wandy's release, or maybe some of both.  Josh Harrison remained hot, and perhaps when Greg Polanco's clock runs down, we'll see some of J-Hay at short. Anyway, nice start to the series.

  • Harrison has five walks so far this season; he only drew four all of last year.
  • Even with the bullpen eating a lot of innings last night and Justin Wilson getting banged by a liner, Vin Mazzaro was the only arm absolutely ruled out of tonight's game. The Pirates are just three games into a 16 game streak without a day off, so Clint will be judicious in using his pen.
  • Tony Watson has now gone 13 straight innings without allowing a run.
  • Jeff Locke pitched tonight at Indy, so it looks like Brandon Cumpton will get the call to replace Wandy in the rotation.

No comments: