Friday, June 27, 2014

Josh Puts On A Show As Bucs Walk Off the Mets 3-2

Some pretty good pitching went on early. Brandon Cumpton retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the first. Jacob deGrom walked El Coffee, then got a DP and bouncer. In the second, Lucas Duda walked, then was erased after a pop up on a 4-6-3 DP. The twin killings kept coming; The Kid flared a lead off single and was erased on a Russ Martin 6-4-3. That one hurt, as Ike followed with a walk and Pedro was plunked, but deGrom got Mercer to end the frame on a tapper.

In the third, the Mets got a single and bunt, but nothing came of it, while the Pirates went down in order. The fourth would be a bit different.

Ruben Tejada started off banging one to left, and Daniel Murphy doubled him to third. Duda bounced one hard to first and off a diving Ike's mitt to plate the pair and make it 2-0. Cumpton settled down, getting a force out from Chris Young, and then picking him off first handily. Eric Campbell grounded out to end the frame without further damage.

The Bucs had an answer. Cutch started with a soft liner to center that Juan Lagares short hopped. After an out, Ike hit into a force; it was a DP ball, but Russ' hard (and awkward) take-out slide at second broke up the relay. Pedro was worked around for a walk, and Jordy made deGrom pay with a two-run roller up the middle.

Lagares opened the fifth with an infield knock, and Travis d'Arnaud followed with the grounder that Brandon wanted, but it had eyes and got through the left side. deGrom hurt himself by bunting into a force, and two soft flies later, Cumpton worked out of the jam. The Bucs went down quietly.

Cumpton got four routine outs in the sixth; Chris Young K'ed but made it to first when the pitch got past Russ. deGrom did it the old fashioned way, three up, three down. NY went down quietly in the seventh. Pedro opened with a single and Jordy bunted him up a station. Starling Marte came in to run (don't slide, pleeze!) and Josh to hit...well, try to hit. de Grom K'ed him and then Josh Edgin took over to face Gregory Polanco. Edgin won the lefty match up, getting Polanco on a foul fly to right.

Justin Wilson took the bump in the eighth. Cutch saved his bacon with a wall-climbing catch against Curtis Granderson (It was the second bit of robbery by Cutch on Granderson; he took another ball of his off the wall in the first). That was followed by a walk, but a whiff and pop closed out the frame without any drama. Edgin K'ed Snider, then righty Jeurys Familia climbed the hill to retire Cutch and The Kid routinely.

Mark the Shark took the bump in the ninth, and it got a little tense. Eric Campbell singled with one gone, and was forced at second by Lagares. Jordy made a nice grab of Ike's off-line throw and just managed to stick his foot on the bag to beat Campbell. It was a big save after d'Arnaud grounded one of Melancon's foot, with the deflection going into short right to put Mets on the corners. But The Shark got Bobby Abreu to ground out softly to third.

Jennry Mejia took the hill, and was greeted by a single by Russ. Ike hit one on the screws, but Granderson had him played perfectly, taking a half step to catch the liner. Mejia then carved up righties Gaby Sanchez and Mercer, whiffing them both.

Jared Hughes took the ball in the 10th. The Bucs are short a man or two in the pen because of the Grilli deal, and Tony Watson has the night off. After two were down, Murphy singled, but was quickly cut down trying to steal second.

The Bucs started with promise; Josh singled and stole second, surviving a challenge (his hand slipped in ahead of the tag). Then Polanco tapped back to the mound and Josh was caught in a rundown. He stayed alive long enough for El Coffee to get to second, and dove under a couple of tags to reach third in a very athletic show. Terry Collins came out and went ballistic; Harrison was never tagged, but his baseline was, well, a little wide. But his break dance didn't help.

Snider whiffed looking at a couple of curves, and Cutch was walked. Mejia hung a couple of off speed offerings to Walker, but he was sitting dead red and swung through them for another K; that's a pair of terribly unfocused at-bats. Martin hit a ball well to right, but it was corralled short of the track, and the Bucs squandered a golden chance.

Jared worked a clean 11th. Vic Black came in and walked Clint Barmes on four pitches, almost clocking him twice, with an out. With two down, Josh - who else - doubled to right center on the next pitch. Barmes was waved home, and Mets 2B Murphy dropped the outfield relay to allow the winning run to score without so much as a throw.

Not much to say; Mets be Mets. The Pirates went 1-for-10 with RISP, but managed to get Josh Harrison in the game in the nick of time. And hey, by hook or crook, the Bucs are now a heady two games above .500.

Jonathon Niese and Gerrit Cole, out of action since June 4th, go at it tomorrow afternoon.
  • Pittsburgh traded with the Angels for Ernesto Frieri, 29, sending 37-year-old Jason Grilli to the City of Angels in what appears to be a classic change of scenery deal. We'll post it up after the game, though at first blush it looks like a Bucco win.
  • Jon Heyman of Baseball Insider says the Pirates and Polanco keep hammering away at a deal, but aren't near an agreement.
  • Tonight's attendance was 37,952, the second straight sell-out and sixth of the season.
  • Tom Singer of reports that Andrew McCutchen will sit either before or after Monday's off-day in order to get two days of rest. Marte will then move in the middle, with Josh Harrison manning left field.
  • Ex Bucs: Evan Meek was recalled by Baltimore. Xavier Nady voided his minor league contract with the Mariners and is a free agent.

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