Friday, June 6, 2014

Buc Bats Boom In 15-5 Romp Over the Brew Crew

A five pitch walk isn't how you want to start out after coming back from an old-fashioned whipping, but that's what Brandon Cumpton did. He regained his focus quickly, got a fly out from Ryan Braun, a little help from his buddy Russ Martin who tossed out Jean Segura trying to steal and a whiff of Brandon Phillips.

The Pirates gave their guy a little boost in their half. Josh reached on an infield knock off Segura's mitt. The Kid lined out, then a wild pitch by Kyle Lohse moved Harrison to second. Cutch's double plated Josh, and a two-out flare by Martin made it 2-0.

With an out in the second, A-Ram singled, and Cumpton got another bit of assistance when Khris Davis rolled into a 4-3 DP. The Bucs went quietly. Scooter Gennett led off the third with an infield single, but was left at second after two grounders and a bunt. Pittsburgh added another run when Cutch clocked a two-out, first pitch curve over the wall in left.

In the fourth, Milwaukee got a one out single by Jonathan Lucroy, followed by a double by Carlos Gomez, both hit pretty well, to put Brewers at second and third. Cumpton tied up Aramis Ramirez with a pitch tight, but his pop into short right fell off Walker's glove for a soft single to make 3-1. A sac fly brought in another tally, and Gennett's second hit put Brewers on the corners with two down. Mark Reynolds walked to load the sacks for Lohse, who is a decent hitting pitcher. He was retired on a bouncer to short to keep the Bucs up 3-2. Russ opened the Pirate half by getting plunked with a 1-2 pitch, but a force and 1-6-3 DP cleaned that up pretty quickly.

The fifth was a big inning for Cumpton, as the top of the order was facing him for the third time, his usual melt-down point, but he got through the test 1-2-3. Jordy gave the Bucs some breathing room when he drilled a hung slider into the left field stands to make it 4-2. That must of shook up Lohse, at least briefly, as he walked Cumpton on four pitches. A tapper moved him to second. The Kid fell behind 0-2, spoiled a couple, then dumped a soft fly into center to score Cumpton, going to second on the throw home. That would be it for the Bucs, but 5-2 is a nice cushion.

Gomez opened the sixth with a single to left, and a grounder moved him up a station. Davis punched a soft liner the opposite way into left to score Gomez. Cumpton has been leaving too many pitches up, and Clint swapped him for Justin Wilson. After a pop out, Davis swiped second, but Reynolds went down swinging.

Martin opened the Buc half with a knock, and a Pedro single put gold at the corners. JT swung at a couple of bad pitches, but had just enough to drop a slider well away into right for the third straight hit, scoring Martin. That brought on a call for Tyler Thornburg. After a seven pitch tussle, Jordy banged one up the middle, and the Pirates had another tally.

Thornburg lost pinch hitter Travis Snider on four pitches. Josh picked up an easy RBI when he walked on four pitches, too. As quickly as he lost it, it came back. Walker whiffed on three pitches, and Cutch K'ed swinging through a curve. It went again, as Ike walked on four pitches upstairs. Russ then unclogged the bases with a first pitch, three run double off the top of the center field wall. Pedro walked and JT smacked one up the middle for yet another run. Whoa, boys - save some! Mercer finally bounced out, and we have to wonder what TT did to Ron Roenicke to be hung out to dry like he was this frame.

It's 13-3 going into the seventh, and the situation begged for Casey Sadler to get some work. But it was Jeanmar Gomez instead. He gave up a two-out single to Braun in an otherwise quiet frame. Wei-Chung Wang took over in the Buc half. Snider and Walker singled around a Harrison line out. Cutch wanted to swing; he was thrown five straight balls, but still ran the count full fishing before flying out to center. Gaby hit for Ike and missed a two strike change to end the frame.

There was finally a Sadler sighting in the eighth as the youngster took the bump. He lost Davis after two outs, but came back to get Martin Maldonado swinging. Wang walked Russ on four pitches followed by a Pedro knock. Starling Marte stepped in for JT. A wild pitch moved the runners up 90', and Marte's bouncer to second plated a run. Jordy rolled a fastball away along the right side and Pedro scored. Snider singled off the pitcher before Josh flew out.

Sadler paid some dues in the ninth, giving up a leadoff single to Reynolds followed by a Ricky Weeks double. A sac fly and grounder brought them both home. He put away Lyle Overbay, and the Bucs won big in their showdown lidlifter against Milwaukee.

Well, this is how it used to be, except with Milwaukee on the giving rather than receiving end. And as the Bucs showed against the Dodgers, a team can shower off a bad day and come back ready to play ball. But it was an impressive showing. Cumpton still remains borderline in the rotation; he left entirely too many balls elevated, especially as the game wore on, so we'll see what direction he goes. But at least he joined the line of struggling starters that claimed a W.

Matt Garza and Edinson Volquez hook up tomorrow afternoon.
  • Seven Bucs had multi-hit games, led by Russ Martin's three. The Kid, Cutch, Pedro, JT, Jordy and Travis Snider each added a pair. Ike was the only starter held hitless tonight. Martin scored three runs and drove in four, Jordy had three RBI and plated twice and Cutch knocked in two and scored two.
  • The club put on a great show in front of a packed house of 35,544.
  • The last time the Pirates scored eight runs in an inning came on 8/12/12 vs. SD in the fourth frame.
  • Seems appropriate - Pittsburgh hadn't scored 15 runs in an outing since July 21st, 2010 vs. the Brewers.
  • Tyler Thornburg faced 12 batters in the sixth; nine reached base on hits or walks.
  • Another team moved their top hitter to the two hole: Ryan Braun batted second tonight.

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