Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Keep On Believin' - Bucs Rally For 3-2 Walk Off Win

Jeff Locke danced through the raindrops in the first, giving back-to-back one out knocks to Martin Prado and Paul Goldschmidt but got away unharmed. Wade Miley put away the Bucs in order. It was more of the same in the second. Dave Peralta singled and Cody reached on a bloop to short right to open, but Locke again wiggled out of the jam. The Pirates went down 1-2-3 again.

Things were calm in the third; Locke only gave up a walk, and Pittsburgh again failed to reach against Miley. Peralta began the fourth with a knock, but never reached second. For the Bucs, it was 12 up, 12 down.

The D-Backs finally cashed in. With two gone in the fifth, Goldschmidt singled and stole second. Miguel Montero sent a single to right; Josh's throw was strong, but just a tad up the line, allowing Goldschmidt to barely duck the tag. Montero took second on the throw, and that was big. Aaron Hill hit a soft lob into right just inside the line to make it 2-0. The Bucs got their first knock with two outs when Jordy bled a ball down the left side to Miley; he tossed it astray, allowing Mercer to second on the automatic hit-and-error-call. It didn't help; the other three Bucs whiffed.

It was a clean sixth for both Locke and Miley. Locke sat down the bottom of the order in the seventh, and Miley again struck out the side. He's been getting pitcher's pitches called tonight, and the Bucs are frustrated with both Miley and Doug Edding, the plate ump. Of course, by the seventh inning, a batter should probably make a adjustment to the zone, too, especially with two strikes.

Jeff worked a perfecto eighth, and has only spun 105 pitches so far. Russ started the Bucco half with a knock up the middle. Jordy flared out to right, with defensive sub Gerardo Parra making a nice run for the grab. Pedro was rung up on a gift call by Edding, and Martin was caught stealing. Kinda hard to imagine what else could go wrong in an inning.

Ernesto Frieri came on for the ninth, and Parra greeted him with a knock. Nick Ahmed followed with another knock; both hits have been off two strike fastballs on the inside corner and both on a line. Miley came up; oddly, he was swinging and whiffed. Ender Inciarte got a two strike heater in and grounded it to right; this time Josh got his man, charging and throwing out Parra at the dish. Deciding to not bunt the pitcher bit the D-Backs, as did the third base coach's brief indecision about sending Parra home. Prado popped out, but the Bucs still need a bloop and a blast.

The Kid opened with a single to center. El Coffee grabbed some lumber and dumped a single to left, with Walker stopping at second. Addison Reed got the ball to finish up for Miley. Josh lined a fastball to center, where Inciarte pulled it in short of the track, with Neil tagging. Starling chased a pair of sliders away, then Reed left one over the plate, and Marte bombed it for a two run double off the center field wall. He scooted to third when SS Ahmed's throw to the plate got away. Cutch was walked, of course. Ike hit for Gaby, and dropped a broken bat jam shot into right to plate Starling as the Bucs rallied to take an improbable 3-2 win.

The Bucs stole another one tonight. They were outhit 11-6 with the Diamondbacks stranding nine. Frieri got the win, though he still needs a lot of work on location and a second pitch; he needs to get his change up to a place where he's comfortable throwing it with two strikes. And give Josh the save for his ninth inning laser to the plate. Locke deserves more props, too; he did everything but get a W on the hill again. To go into the ninth being two-hit (and one of those was iffy) and bang out three runs for a win is impressive, and they did it tonight.

Chase Anderson and Charlie Morton get it on tomorrow night.

  • Locke has gone into the eighth inning for the third time in his last four starts.
  • Gregory Polanco broke an 0-for-12 run with his pinch hit knock.
  • All Star update: Cutch has taken over the top spot among NL outfielders, leading Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez by just over 4,000 total votes, while Neil Walker remains in second place among NL-2B.

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