Friday, August 1, 2014

Snake Long Balls & Some Sloppy Play Lead To 7-4 Loss

Josh Collmenter opened by whiffing Josh, getting Gregory Polanco on a fly to deep, straightaway center and Cutch on another fly, with the last two balls hit pretty squarely. Jeff Locke was strong at the start, too, pitching a clean frame with a pair of whiffs.

The Kid greeted Collmenter with a leadoff single in the second, followed by an Ike walk. Russ battled for a half dozen pitches before getting a cutter that was a little flat, and drilled it into left center to chase home a pair. A Pedro bouncer moved Russ to the hot corner. Jordy drew a hard-fought walk and was bunted to second. It went for naught as Josh whiffed again. Locke tossed another 1-2-3 inning.

El Coffee rolled a single up the middle to begin the third. An out later, he was picked off by the catcher. Oooops, maybe not...the Bucs challenged and won; Polanco's foot slipped getting back, but it stayed on the base. Given that reprieve, he stole second.  It didn't help; a grounder moved him to third and Ike's flyball to left stranded Polanco there.

With two gone, Collmenter notched the first Snake hit, a bleeder up the middle for an infield single and Ender Inciarte, who can fly, followed with another infield knock. Aaron Hill walked, and that brought up Paul Goldschmidt. Locke fell behind 3-1, got an iffy strike call, and after a foul blew a heater past him to escape.

Pittsburgh went down quietly in the fourth. Mike Trumbo singled to open for the D-Backs with another infield single that went off Pedro's mitt. An out later, Jordan Pacheco turned on a changeup and dropped it into left for a two-bagger. David Peralta was plunked to juice the sacks. Nick Ahmed  flew out to short right, freezing the runners. Collmenter dribbled one to Pedro; Ike missed a low but catchable throw for an E3 (the toss was marginal enough to originally be ruled an E5), and it was a tie game.

Collmenter picked up another pair of strikeouts in an easy fifth, sitting down Josh for the third straight time. With an out, Goldschmidt inside-outed a curve for an opposite field knock and Trumbo walked. With two gone, Pacheco, who's hit the ball hard all three times up, lined a single to left to give Arizona the lead.

After an out in the sixth, The Kid tied the game with a solo shot to right center, drilling a first pitch hung curve into the seats. Collmenter was yanked after that blast for Ollie Perez. Gaby came in for Ike and drew a walk, followed by a Russ force out. Pedro singled to left, and Jordy sent one to the track, but in straightaway center to end the frame.

Ahmed singled to open for the Snakes, and Andy Marte, who was just called up from AAA (he was at Indy in 2011, if the name rings a bell), drilled a high change over the wall to untie the game. Two batters later, Aaron Hill homered, and Clint Hurdle has fallen victim to the "one inning too many" syndrome again. Jeanmar Gomez came in, and almost gave up another to Goldschmidt, whose drive to center was pulled in at the track on a nice grab by Cutch. Trumbo hit a fly to short center to end the frame with Arizona up 6-3.

Evan Marshall took over in the seventh. After two outs (including another Josh K, good for a golden sombrero), El Coffee went the other way for a double. Cutch came through, singling up the middle to plate Polanco before The Kid K'ed. Stolmy Pimentel stepped on the rubber and tossed a clean frame.

Brad Ziegler claimed the mound in the eighth and walked Gaby. Russ squelched that would-be rally quickly, banging into a 4-6-3 DP and Pedro went down looking. Ahmed yanked a 1-2 slider over the LF wall for his first MLB long ball; Buc pitching is making Arizona look like the '27 Yankees. Stolmy finished without any further ado, and it's 7-4 Diamondbacks as the Pirates take their last swings.

Addison Reed came on to close and got two quick outs before Josh finally caught up to a baseball and doubled. Polanco went down swinging, and the Bucs went down 7-4.

Well, commit a two-run, two out error on a pretty simple catch-and-throw play and giveSnake Long Balls & Sloppy Play  up the season's first homer to not one, but two players, and the odds are you're gonna have a bad night. And the Bucs did. Of more concern is Jeff Locke, whose command has disappeared; we certainly hope he's not falling back into his nibbling ways of old but gets back to being an aggressive strike-thrower.

Edinson Volquez takes on lefty Vidal Nuno tomorrow night.
  • Neil Walker tied his single-season career high with his 16th homer.
  • LF Starling Marte will begin a four game rehab stint Saturday at Indy to see if he's fully recovered from his concussion. It'll be a reunion as Gerrit Cole will be on the hill for his second rehab start.

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