Saturday, August 2, 2014

Snakes Drill Cutch, Get Drilled By Bucs 8-3

Josh opened the game with a double, banging a 2-2 fastball that was tight and just under the knees into left off Chase Anderson. Cutch didn't get bopped in retaliation for the Goldschmidt incident, but did the next best thing and drew a five pitch walk. But an Ike whiff and Russ grounder ended the frame quietly. With one gone, Aaron Hill rolled a knock up the middle off Vance Worley. An out later, Mark Trumbo walked as Vanimal is having some issue with his control early on, but he had enough to get Miguel Montero on a roller to Jordy to end the inning.

The Bucs went down in order in the second. Jordan Pacheco started the D-Backs off with a single off Pedro's mitt. Vanimal caught a break when Didi Gregorius poked ball four into left, where Travis Snider gloved it nicely. Andy Marte lined out to Cutch in right center on another great grab, and it was challenged. Hard to tell, and because of that, the call stood. Anderson K'ed, but Vance better get those balls down in the zone before his outfield runs outta gas. Oh, you can say goodnight to Kirk Gibson; he got bounced for arguing the replay decision that was made 2,400 miles away.

Josh is on a tear; he ripped a 2-1 fastball over the left field wall with one away in the third to give the Bucs a 1-0 lead. A couple of grounders followed, with 2B Hill shaded to the middle to take a base hit away from Cutch in a mini-shift. After a couple of hard-hit outs (one a skipped throw by Pedro that Ike snatched), David Peralta doubled high off the center field wall; like Cutch's drive last night, the umps reviewed it and confirmed the original call. Trumbo bounced out routinely to Jordy to close the frame.

Pittsburgh went down quietly in the fourth. Worley got three garden variety grounders; Pedro double clutched his chance and threw the third one away. Marte lined the next pitch to right to put Snakes on the corners, but Vanimal stemmed the tide by getting Anderson on a 6-3.

With an out in the fifth, Jordy dropped a bunt for a hit and was moved up by Worley. But Josh couldn't convert the chance, going down swinging. Ender Inciarte opened with a single and went to second on another roller to Pedro; Ike had to pick the toss. Peralta's single to right tied the game, and he went to second when Polanco's throw in missed everyone. Vanimal closed the door after that.

Cutch collected a knock with one gone in the sixth, and an out later, Russ singled him to second. They stayed there as Pedro swung through three pitches. To add insult to injury, Brent Morel took El Toro's place at third after three poor throws in five frames. Gregorius singled when he spanked a shot off Vanimal's backside with one away, barely beating Martin's throw on a tremendous reflex play by the catcher. After a fly out, Roger Kieschnick grabbed a bat for Anderson. and went down looking.

Ollie Perez took the ball in the seventh and whiffed Travis. After Jordy flew out, Gaby picked out some lumber and he went down swinging. Jared Hughes came on and walked Inciarte. Hill singled on a 3-2 high heater with Inciarte on the move, putting runners on the corners. A roller moved put the runners at second and third. Hughes put down Trumbo looking, changing levels very nicely. Montero was walked intentionally. Jared fell behind Pacheco 2-0, but came back to get him swinging and keep the score knotted.

Brad Ziegler got the call for the eighth. Josh got aboard, legging out an infield knock to the SS hole. Polanco got first the easy way; he hit a soft comebacker, but his bat ticked Montero's mitt, and he was awarded first on catcher's interference. It hurt the Snakes when Cutch singled Josh home on a hopper that went off Marte's glove as he tried to cut off the ball aimed at the SS hole.

Ike moved the runners to second and third by grounding out to first. Russ beat a 3-2 slider into the ground; Ziegler threw to first and Pacheco dropped the ball to plate a pair for the Bucs; Polanco was in easily on the Baltimore chop and Cutch never slowed down after rounding third. And holy moly - Morel got a fat fastball after falling behind 0-2 and doubled high off the CF wall above the 413' mark to chase Russ home. That brought in Matt Stites, who closed the door after it was 5-1. Three balls that never left the infield and a catcher's interference look like a volley of liners sometimes. Just ask Charlie Morton.

Tony Watson took the hill; Clint's serious tonight. Michael Martinez went to left; that just about clears out the bench. Tony did his thing, shutting down Arizona on nine pitches. Randall Delgado came in for the ninth.

Josh walked with an out - he saw more pitches (10) than the whole Arizona team saw last inning. El Coffee doubled to put Pirates at second and third. With first open, Delgado decided this was as good a time as any to even the score and plunked Cutch with a 95 MPH heater, right in the middle of the back. Andrew was in some pain, and slammed his bat, a show he rarely puts on. Delgado didn't even wait to be ejected, though he was almost immediately; he hit Cutch and walked straight into the dugout.

Eury De La Rosa replaced him and whiffed Ike, who doesn't fare very well in the lefty match ups. Russ singled in a two-out tally, and Morel, who's having himself a day, singled in two more before Tony Watson K'ed (Clint is out of bench players save Chris Stewart.)

Hurdle has a sense of humor, and showed it by sending Ernesto Frieri out for the ninth. He lost Hill on a 3-2 pitch with an out. He strolled to second on defensive interference and then right on to home two pitches later when Peralta drilled a fastball over the wall. A couple of flies finished up the game with no further bruised feelings (or bodies).

Francisco Liriano finishes out the year's series with the Snakes against Trevor Cahill tomorrow afternoon as the Bucs look to take 3-of-4 from the Diamondbacks and come home with a winning road trip.
  • Josh Harrison's had a streak of seven straight hits for extra bases before he K'ed in the fifth. He got back in the groove quickly with a single and walk.
  • The Bucs have again reached their season high of eight games over .500.
  • Root Sports announcer Bob Walk was as steamed as Cutch (who was plenty hot) about the plunking. He said "Snakes - a good name for that team." Too bad he couldn't work the ninth.
  • Neil Walker was a late scratch from the lineup due to tightness in his back; hopefully, that's a not a harbinger. Josh moved from left to second and Travis Snider joined the lineup in his place.
  • Gerrit Cole tossed his side session today; the team says that the next step is one more side or maybe another rehab start. Apparently they're tinkering with a mechanical issue. 

No comments: