Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pirates Follow Same Recipe, Get Same Results - Tigers Take 5-2 Win; John Axford Claimed

Well, first the game. Max Scherzer dominated the Bucs for all but one two-batter sequence, Pittsburgh gave up some runs they shouldn't have, and as a result Detroit walked away with a 5-2 win to split the four game home-and-home series.

Scherzer was the boss hoss today, whiffing 14 over eight innings. He surrendered a one-out double in the second to Starling Marte, a leadoff single to Chris Stewart in the third, and a leadoff double by Travis Snider in the fourth. He retired 15-of-17 after that, losing a pair to walks.

Marte was stranded after a pair of whiffs, Stewart was erased on a strike 'em out, throw 'em out DP (he was off on a 3-2 pitch, a fastball that Michael Martinez took for strike three; hurry back, Clint Barmes) and Snider came close to coming home when Josh drilled a ball to the left field wall; JD Martinez crashed into the fence for the catch, hanging on as he caromed off the padding, and that was the best sequence of batted balls the Pirates would have against Max.

Martinez had a big day against Frankie Liriano, who was brilliant over four and pretty strong overall, giving up a pair over six innings on three hits with nine K's, but four walks hurt him.

JD broke up his no-hitter to open the fifth when he sent a hung slider over the wall. he walked with the bases loaded in the sixth to chase home the second run. With the catch, he was a single man wrecking crew to Liriano and the Bucs.

The sixth was brutal. A double by Rajai Davis and a walk to Ian Kinsler was magnified when Frankie threw away a pick off toss. A ground out that froze them was followed by an intentional walk and that was followed by a big strikeout. Then he lost Martinez on five pitches to make it 2-0.

The Tigers blew it open with two outs in the eighth. With runners on first and second against Brandon Cumpton, JD Martinez - yes, him again - had his grounder to second gloved on a nice fielding play by Michael Martinez. Buy MM couldn't complete the deal, throwing the ball away. A run scored and another two came in a batter later when Nick Castellanos singled.

A walk and a Gaby homer in the ninth off Phil Coke made the final 5-2.

Charlie Morton takes on Charlie Roark tomorrow night in Washington.
  • Jordy left the game with tightness in his forearm; more on that tomorrow.
  • The Kid is expected back in the lineup as soon as tomorrow; he was available to pinch hit today. The Bucs handled that about as poorly as possible.
  • The Pirates claimed RHP John Axford from the Indians. He's 2-3-10/3.92 which is about right with his xFIP of 3.98. Axford averages 10.5 K/nine; he also gives up over six walks and a homer plus over nine. The Pirates DFA'ed Matt Hague and it's expected tomorrow that RHP Stolmy Pimentel will go on the DL with lower body soreness.
  • Rob Manfred has been elected the 10th commissioner of Major League Baseball.

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