Friday, July 11, 2014

Bucs Lose Another Last At-Bat Game To Central Rival 6-5

Well, the first didn't go exactly the way the Bucs wanted it. Mat Latos retired the Pirates 1-2-3, and the Reds put up a point on Jeff Locke. Billy Hamilton, who was questionable with a tight hammy, started out with a bunt single pushed up the right side; guess that hammy is loose now. Zack Cozart was looking for a first pitch heater and got it, drilling a double to left and scoring Hamilton on a close play at the plate; Cozart went to third on the throw. The Bucs got a break when Todd Frazier banged a change up to third, and Pedro gunned down Cozart at home. Locke whiffed the next two to escape down just 1-0.

Pittsburgh went down 1-2-3 in the second, and the Reds threatened some more. Ryan Ludwick led off with a double the opposite way. An out later, Ramon Santiago beat out an infield knock. With Redlegs on the corners, Latos bunted. Russ made a tremendous bare handed play to get the out at second, and Jordy hung in against a hard slide to complete the 2-6-3 DP. Latos was checked out in the dugout but he stayed in the game; he may have tweaked something during the bunt play.

Locke got the first hit for the Pirates in the third, but that was all the action. Hamilton led off with a knock, but before he could wreak havoc, Jeff pick him off as he broke to second. Big play, because an out later Frazier singled, but Locke got the last out on a bouncer as he dodged another bullet.

With one gone in the fourth, Cutch tied the game on one swing, losing a ball in the right center seats. Jay Bruce, pressed into duty at first with Joey Votto on the DL, muffed The Kid's ball, allowing Walker to reach, and a passed ball moved him to second. Russ, in a long at-bat, drew a walk off Latos. He fell behind Pedro 2-0, came in with a fastball, and El Toro crushed a towering drive 419' over the RF wall to make it 4-1 Buccos. Locke tossed his first clean inning of the game.

Latos walked Jeff to open the fifth. Mat whiffed a somewhat lost looking Polanco, and Locke was picked off trying to get into second. The trainer came out to check Latos again, but he waved him off and proved his point by getting Josh to K chasing, too. But it would be his last batter (he had back spasms). Hamilton drilled a knock into center with two gone but Cozart lined out to end the frame. Jeff hasn't had great command and the Reds have been making good contact, but with the help of his D and a couple at 'em balls, he's been getting the outs he needs.

Carlos Contreras came on in the sixth and Cutch greeted him with a double. A bouncer moved him to third, and he scored on Russ' soft liner into center to make it 5-1 with the Reds coming to bat. Locke tossed another quiet frame; he's claimed seven Reds in a row and has five K.

Contreras struck out the side in the seventh. Ludwick got to second to open when Pedro double-clutched and airmailed a throw to first. A swinging bunt moved him to third. Locke tried to sneak an 0-2 fastball past Santiago on the inside corner; he turned on it and doubled. Donald Lutz grabbed a stick and singled Santiago to third; the bottom of the order hasn't been very kind to Jeff, and that was it for him. Jared Hughes came on to get a pair of grounders, with Santiago scoring on the first one by Hamilton to make it 5-3.

Curtis Partch climbed the hill for Cincy. Josh lined out, then Cutch battled him for an 11 pitch walk, and The Kid joined him on the base paths five pitches later. Russ went down looking - he got away with a borderline ball call in the same spot the pitch before - followed by Pedro walking on four pitches. Ike batted for Gaby. we're surprised the Reds didn't have a lefty warm, but no diff. Davis couldn't touch Partch's heat and went down swinging.

Tony Watson took the ball. He gave up a pair of line drive outs and ran out of luck when his 1-2 sinker down the middle was sent yard by Devin Mesoraco. Ludwick followed with a bloop to right and Heisey with a liner to left to put the tying run at second. Santiago singled up the middle to make it 5-5; that third out is hard to come by for Tony. Brayan Pena hit for the pitcher, and he singled to give the Reds the lead. Watson's sinker is in the mid-nineties as usual, but his four seamer is topping out at 90. Ernesto Frieri was waved in, and got Hamilton to tap out.

The Reds brought in Aroldis Chapman who used 14 pitches to strike out the side.

Watson was due to have one of those days mama warned us about, and all with two outs. The part that hurts the most is that the 7-8-9 spots are what did him and the Pirates in tonight. Still, it's the third time in five games that a NL Central club ahead of Pittsburgh has won the game in their last at-bat without ever seeing Mark Melancon. Clint, as much as it rubs his fur the wrong way, might want to consider a four-out save every so often (tho not tonight; the pitcher was due up in the ninth), or at least one more dependable back-end arm in the pen. And Pedro was a double edged sword tonight, putting the Bucs up comfortably with his homer and then letting the Reds back in it with his error.

Charlie Morton goes against Mike Leake tomorrow night.
  • Andrew McCutchen's 118th career home run put him ahead of Andy Van Slyke and Dick Stuart for 13th most in Pirates franchise history. He also tied AVS for the more arcane lead of most games that a CF'er homered in for Pittsburgh at 109.
  • Tony Watson gave up his first homer since April 19th.
  • Pedro has committed 19 errors; 18 have been throwing errors.
  • Second base got a little iffier this series for Cincinnati. with Brandon Phillips already on the DL, the Reds today put Skip Schumaker on seven-day concussion DL.


Anonymous said...

Pedro to 1B - the sooner the better for our Buccos - been saying this for years BUT i guess the BMTIB knows better :)

19 errors by the all-star break is not MLB

Feeling really good after the Phillies series. we needed to hold our own against the Cards and Reds and we are sadly not.

Cincy Buc

Ron Ieraci said...

One fielding error means his glove is solid enough, Dave. I have to think it's mental now, like a golfer with the yips. But first is turning into a black hole; the June promise of Ike/Gaby has turned sour in July. And I'm not sure how much longer they can carry Freiri. He's like a Rule 5 pick that you have to keep on your roster but are afraid to use.