Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Wilson, Gomez Implode; Bucs Lose 6-3

Charlie Morton notched the first two outs easily before losing Giancarlo Stanton on a 3-2 hook. He came back to get Casey McGehee on a bouncer. Jordy Mercer singled with an out - he seems to like the two hole - but it was an otherwise routine frame for Brad Hand.

Garrett Jones led off the second with a ground single the opposite way, and an out later Jarrad Saltalamacchia drew Charlie's second free pass, but they were left stranded. Hand tossed a 1-2-3 frame . After a pair of grounders to open the third, Stanton ripped a single to left. He didn't last long. Chris Stewart snapped a throw to first and picked him off to end the frame. Starling Marte singled with a pair away, and sped home when Jordy punched a fastball up and away into the right field corner for a two-out two bagger. Josh did his Pedro imitation by swinging through three change ups, but it's 1-0 Bucs after three.

Charlie fell behind McGehee 3-0 to start the fourth, but came back to get him swinging through a fastball. Jones continued his hot homecoming by singling to right. GI came in when Morton tossed back-to-back curves to Marcell Ozuna, who banged the second one past third for a double on a ball that died before it reached the corner. He went to third on a close throw home. The relay beat Jones, but Stew couldn't pick Jordy's short hop for the tag. Salty walked, but Adeiny Hechavarria bounced one to The Kid for a 4-6-3 DP before things could escalate. Hand threw another clean inning against the Buccos.

Three up, three grounders, three down for the Fish in the fifth. After El Coffee lined out, Stew dropped a single into left. Charlie made it a quick frame by bunting back to the box and into a twin killing.

Stanton opened the sixth with a bleeder knock to third.  The pitcher's best friend showed up again as McGehee rolled into a 6-4-3 DP. Morton walked Jones, but got Ozuna on his 95th pitch of the night. It was a good inning to get past; Stanton and Jones have four of the five Marlin hits. Marte tried to bunt his way on, but didn't get the ball past Hand and was tossed out. Jordy lined out before Josh dropped a bloop double to left. Gaby bounced out; he's been hitting just .178 since June.

With one gone in the seventh, Hechaverria dropped a bunt single along the left side. Hand whiffed trying to move him up; the pitchers haven't been helping their own cause much at the dish. Christian Yelich bounced out, and Charlie had a quick 12-pitch frame. The Bucs dented the board. The kid walked, went to second on a Jayson Nix sac and scored on El Coffee's broken bat single to left. That brought AJ Ramos out of the pen. Polanco stole second, but Stew whiffed. Travis Snider hit for Charlie and drew a four pitch walk. Marte couldn't cash them in, popping out, but the Bucs took the lead at 2-1.

Jared Hughes came in for the eighth; Clint really has been mixing up his pen lately. Josh went to third, Nix to second (uh-oh; wonder how Neil's back is?) and Travis to left. With one gone, Stanton walked on four pitches. McGehee hit one to third; Josh booted it.

That brought in Justin Wilson to face Jones, who was swapped out for Jeff Baker, and he singled to right to jam the sacks. He went 3-1 on Ozuna, got a gift call to run the count full, but lost him a couple of fouls later to tie the game. Wilson fell behind Salty 3-1 too, blew a heater past him and then missed badly with another to walk another run home.

Jeanmar Gomez took the ball and gave up a single through the left side to make it 4-2. Reed Johnson rolled a change to short; the Bucs couldn't turn two and another run came home. Yelich got a tomato down the middle and drilled a ground rule double. Jordany Valdespin walked on five pitches; why not? Stolmy Pimentel climbed the hill and struck out Stanton. Recent Buc Bryan Morris came on in the eighth and worked a 1-2-3 inning.

Stolmy worked a quiet ninth. Chris Hatcher came on and walked Michael Martinez. he was forced out, but El Coffee scored on a two-out knock by Stew to make the final 6-3.

Apparently Clint though Tony Watson needed a couple of days off after going three games in a row and throwing 22 pitches in the last outing, and you can question him yanking Jared because of an error on a ground ball. But he can't be blamed for an inning that four pitchers walked four guys, with a miscue thrown in. They're all drawing paychecks, too.

But it does emphasize the Pirates mystifying stand pat stance during the deadline. Maybe there wasn't a deal to be had for an ace, but there was a crying need for a guy that could work the seventh and eighth innings. Shame on them for not finding one.

There are other questions beside Tony's apparent R&R day (Clint only said he "wasn't available" post-game). Did The Kid aggravate his back further - he was removed because of more tightness. Why wasn't Russ in the lineup? And how long are they going to play a bench player short - and it's certainly not a deep bench now - before deciding if Cutch should be DL'ed?

Jeff Locke takes on Tom Koehler tomorrow night.
  • Josh Harrison has a nine game hitting streak.
  • The Pirates drew 26,734 very deflated fans tonight.
  • Colin Dunlap tweeted that Pedro Alvarez is on the bereavement list due to death of his wife Keli's grandmother.
  • Gerrit Cole hasn't had much luck during his rehab. His outing tonight went 4-1/3 IP with five runs on 10 hits, a walk and three whiffs. His velo is there, hitting 94-96, but his command isn't.

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