Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bucs Can't Hit Nor Catch A Call & Fall 3-2 In 10 Innings

After Trevor Cahill retired the first two Bucs routinely, Cutch ripped a 2-2 sinker to right center, banging it on the hop over the wall at the 414' mark for a book-rule double. Travis Snider got ahead of a hung change up and bounced out to second to end the frame. Even without getting a first pitch strike, Frankie worked a 1-2-3 opener.

Russ opened the second by rolling a single to center. Cahill tried to drop consecutive hooks in against Ike; he took the first and knocked the second into left for a two-bagger to put Buccos at second and third. Jordy had a bad at-bat, K'ing on a curve after chasing a change, neither one in the same zip code as home plate. Michael Martinez did chase home Russ with a ground out before Frankie popped out to left, making it 1-0. Liriano struck out the side, with two whiffs coming on foul tips snagged by Russ.

In the third, Gregory Polanco singled and almost stole second with an out; he overslid the bag and upon review was rung up. Cutch then walked, but Travis Snider's hot shot was gloved to end the frame. The Snakes put up a pair, with the runs built around a walk. A leadoff single was followed by a free pass; a bunt, grounder and two-out single brought them in to make it 2-1. After that, it was a Buc fiasco at the dish and Frankie dealing against the Snakes; we'll fast frame to the seventh.

Ike led off with a single and the hit-and-run was put on; Jordy missed the pitch, Ike was caught and Mercer ended up going down swinging to deflate the frame. Hughes threw a clean frame.

In the eighth, the Bucs tied it off Brad Ziegler, but had a golden shot to take the lead. Josh singled and went to third on an El Coffee double. In a good news, terrible news scenario, Cutch hit a sac fly to chase home a run, but came up clutching his left side and was helped to the dressing room. If it's an oblique, the Bucs are going into a rough part of their schedule without their leader.

Snider was walked intentionally, and Russ grounded out softly to second. Polanco raced home - Nick Leyve didn't give him a sign either way - and though the throw beat him, he appeared to get under the slide. He popped up and into plate ump Ed Wilcox, who rang him up, much to Polanco's disbelief. Clint challenged and the call was upheld; our guess it was one of those that replay didn't have a definitive shot to offer, so NY let the field decision stand. With Cutch out, the Bucs shuffled Michael Martinez to center and Jayson Nix took over second.  Tony Watson wasn't sharp, but got out of a first-and-third jam to keep the score tied.

Addison Reed and Justin Wilson tossed a scoreless ninth.

With one gone in the tenth, Josh's single, an intentional walk to Polanco and a passed ball set the table for the lead with a simple fly ball. Instead, Gaby looked at strike three and Snider was rung up on a check swing that could have fallen either way.

Mark the Shark, who's been off since Tuesday, came on and some rust showed. A single, wild pitch and walk put Snakes on the corners with an out. Then he got Andy Marte to hit a tailor-made DP ball to short; Jordy fed Nix perfectly, but the relay to first was batted away by 6'3" Nick Ahmed as he slid into second. Though he came in high and stuck his left arm in the air (he probably just got lucky that it was in the ball's path), the play was not ruled interference because the umps said it wasn't intentional.

Click this link and decide yourself:

The play was non-reviewable, but even the D-Backs held their breaths, expecting it to be overturned. Clint Hurdle certainly argued for it, but it wasn't to be and the Bucs went down 3-2.

A couple of rough calls didn't help the Pirates. But before you build up too much outrage, also factor in that the Pirates struck out 12 times and were 0-for-10 with RISP. Cahill is a good pitcher, but the batters left him and the Snake bullpen off the hook too many times. So ends a very disappointing 5-5 road trip that could have been so much more.

The Pirates are off tomorrow, and on Tuesday open an eight game home stand against Miami, San Diego and Detroit.
  • After the game, Cutch said he thought he was just cramping. He'll know more tomorrow, but if it's just cramps and not an oblique, the Bucs have dodged a big bullet.
  • Arizona didn't dodge the bullet. It looks like Paul Goldschmidt's break will take eight weeks to heal, and that's the season. 
  • The Pirates were all roses yesterday; today they're back in third in the NL Central, 1-1/2 games behind Milwaukee and are on the outside looking in for a wildcard spot 
  • Jordy Mercer wore the Golden Sombrero today, whiffing all four times he was up.
  • By batting clean-up today, Travis Snider has now hit as a starter in all nine spots in the lineup.

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