Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bucs Lose Ugly Finale 7-5

The Bucs got things started against Tim Lincecum with an out, when El Coffee dropped a soft single into right. He stole second, but Cutch went down swinging at 3-2 slider in the dirt; Polanco went down trying to get into third on a bang-bang play that was maybe challengeable, but Clint decided to keep that card in his pocket.

The Giants, who have been waiting for an offense all month, finally put together an inning, a far too typical one for Charlie Morton. With an out, a single, followed by an infield knock followed by a walk jammed the sacks. Another infield bleeder went for a hit, another walk and a flare single made it 3-0 just like that. Then Charlie got a punch out and a bouncer; hopefully, his traditional big inning is out of his system now.

The Bucs cut into it a bit when The Kid opened the second with a double and Ike drew a pesky, eight pitch walk. A wild pitch and sac fly by Travis Snider plated a run, but Jordy went down on a slider in the dirt and Chris Stewart grounded out, so the Bucs got something and left something. Charlie worked a 1-2-3 frame.

Lincecum tossed Morton nothing but fastballs to open the third; four missed the dish for a walk. Josh got his cape tugged on and drove a slider into the left center stands, and we had a tie ball game. The next three Bucs went down routinely. The G-Men had an answer. Pablo Sandovar singled and Michael Morse dropped a bloop just over Walker. An out later, Gregor Blanco got plunked, and a Joe Susak single gave the Giants the lead at 4-3. Fortunately, Lincecum wanted to add on, but instead bounced one to Josh for an inning ending 5-4-3 DP.

With an out in the fourth, Travis singled and went to second on a wild pitch. Jordy got ahead 2-0, was served a heater and dropped it into the left field stands to make it 5-4 Buccos. Stew walked, and that did in Lincecum; Juan Gutierrez climbed the hill and got out without any further damage. San Fran kept the pressure on. Hunter Pence singled and stole second (on a pitchout!), then Brandon Crawford walked. Charlie dodged the bullet, sandwiching a pop between a pair of liners.

The fifth was uneventful. The Pirates went down in order, and the Giants made just a little noise with a one-out single and wild pitch that led to nothing.

In the sixth, Gaby walked and Travis reached when Crawford misplayed the throw on a force attempt. Jean Machi came on, and Jordy bunted them over, followed by a Stew walk that became a DP. Snider wandered toward third, perhaps thinking the bases were loaded rather than second and third, Machi threw to get Travis tagged in a short rundown while Gaby broke home, and he was caught; ya had to be there. If the Bucs could have stayed put, they would have had the bases loaded with an out for Pedro. The only good news was that Jared Hughes came on and tossed a clean frame.

The Bucs went down in order in the seventh. Justin Wilson took the hill. After an out, he gave up a walk, a bloop single and a ground ball knock that tied the game. They quickly took the lead when Stew let a pitch get through him, and the short passed ball  plated another run.  There was a play at the plate, but Stewart tossed the ball past Justin and it rolled to second. Wilson got a K and grounder to finish off the frame, but between soft hits, walks and give-aways, Pittsburgh has to rally again instead of sitting on a lead.

Sergio Romo took the ball in the eighth. He lost Gaby after being up 0-2 with two away, but it didn't hurt as Snider flew out. Jeanmar Gomez grabbed the horsehide. He walked Crawford with an out, and Buster Posey reached when The Kid mishandled his grounder. Kung Fu Panda nine-ironed a shoe-top change up softly into right, and the Giants had an insurance run. Ernesto Frieri got the call after that. he got Juan Perez on a pop after a foul-fest and whiffed Panik.

Santiago Casilla came in for the close. Stew singled with an out, but Pedro flew out to left and Josh went down swinging.

Well, simple enough. Morton continues to be the poster child for inconsistency, and it was contagious today. The Giants got a dozen hits, mostly of the soft variety, but they were due to catch a couple of breaks. Add in five walks, two wild pitches, a hit batter, two unearned runs and a base running display that would drive a little league coach to the nearest tavern (can't say that we've ever seen someone walk into a DP), and you have yourself an ugly little loss. Well, 3-3 on the trip with a four-game set to go in Arizona.

Jeff Locke opens the D-Back series against Josh Collmenter tomorrow night.
  • Ken Rosenthal says the Bucs are in on Ian Kennedy, but it's not a given that he's available.
  • Josh Harrison has hit a home run out of the leadoff spot in four straight games, tying Barry Bonds (1987) for the Pirate franchise record.
  • The Pirates have yet to claim a road sweep.
  • Jose Tabata was back in Indy's lineup, so his scratch last night had nothing to do with any personnel movement.

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