Saturday, July 5, 2014

Eddie, Cutch Lead Bucs To 3-2 Win Over Philly

Edinson Volquez and the strike zone aren't on speaking terms in the early going. With one out, he walked Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley back-to-back, but manged to get Ryan Howard on a force and Marlon Byrd on a fly to escape unscathed. David Buchanon wasn't quite so fortunate. El Coffee blooped a leadoff single the opposite way, and an out later Cutch got a first pitch fastball down the middle and put it in the bullpen 423' away to give the Bucs a quick 2-0 edge.

Eddie tossed a clean second with a couple of K. Buchanon gave up a single to Pedro, who was held at first by a nice job in right by Byrd, and Jordy doubled him to third. Chris Stewart got bopped by a pitch to juice the sacks, and Eddie bounced into a force to plate Pedro. But Polanco fouled out and Marte flew out as the Pirates failed to add to the 3-0 lead.

With two outs in the third and Ben Revere at first via a walk, a single and another walk jammed the bases for the Phils. Taking a page out of the Pirate book, Byrd whiffed to strand the trio. The Bucs went down in order. Cody Asche dropped a 1-2 change up over the Clemente Wall and into the first row to start the fourth; an ump review upheld it (it clanked off a fan's hands, but clearly above the railing). Volquez then gave up a single, but a 6-4-3 DP and strikeout restored order. Jordy hit his second double with one gone, but died at second.

After one was gone in the fifth, Rollins grounded out 3-1; the Phils challenged whether Volquez got to the bag in time. He did, and a fly ended the frame cleanly. Buchanon made Polanco look bad, swinging through a cutter and change to whiff. He caught the inside corner on another cutter to catch Marte looking. Cutch flew out to center after a couple of very iffy calls put him in the hole.

Eddie worked a quick nine-pitch sixth. After an out, Josh legged out a roller to short and stole second. Pedro popped out and Mercer was intentionally walked. Good call; Stew grounded out to end the frame.

Volquez struggled some in the seventh, missing badly on some tosses and leaving pitches in the middle, but got the first two Phils out to run his streak to 10 straight before John Mayberry singled up the middle. Revere hit one hard the other way, but Marte was there for the grab. At 106 pitches, Volquez is done, and one run on four hits is a good day's work. Ken Giles took the ball for Philly and retired the Bucs 1-2-3.

Tony Watson climbed the hill in the eighth to face Philly's 2-3-4 hitters and put them down cleanly. After Giles whiffed Cutch, the Phils brought lefty Antonio Bastardo on to face Ike; of course, that brought in Gaby. He whiffed and Josh flew out to take us to the ninth and The Shark.

Melancon's second pitch to Byrd was a cutter that marlon went with and knocked over the RF wall. he was probably due, having already stranded five runners. But no sweat - a tapper and two K's chasing a curve in the dirt took care of business.

Can't beat good pitching, and that's what the Bucs have been getting. Now to see if the ninth time is the charm (they're 0-for-8 closing out series so far this year).

Jeff Locke and AJ Burnett will match up tomorrow afternoon to close out the series.
  • Eddie Volquez's scoreless streak ended at 15 innings, the second longest stretch of goose eggs in his career. 
  • Good news from the injury front: Gerrit Cole threw some today and is still scheduled to make his start against the Cards on Wednesday.
  • The Pirates have won their last five series and 8-of-10.
  • Today's attendance of 37,821 is the 10th sellout of the season.
  • Dean Anna, 27, a middle infielder DFA'ed by the Yankees, has been claimed by the Bucs and will be sent to Indy. He hit .136 in 25 PA for the Yankees this year, his first time in the majors. Anna made the Opening Day roster, but was sent down to AAA, where his woes continued with a .196 BA. In parts of seven minor league seasons with the Padres and Yankees, he is a lifetime .280 hitter with 41 HR and 262 RBI while making only 82 errors.

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