Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bucs Blast Cubs 8-1; Cutch Gets #1,000, Notes

It like like a little more of the same ol' in the early going; the Cubs drew first blood in the second frame. Kris Bryant walked and then went to second when he was picked off (Gerrit Cole actually got an assist) but Pedro whiffed on the throw (actually, the ball tore through the web of his glove), and that put him in position to score when Miguel Montero bounced a single off El Toro's mitt. But that just seemed to light a fight under Cole.

He struck out the side after that and retired the next 15 Cubbies in a row. Cole lasted six, tossing 95 pitches, and gave up just three hits while whiffing eight with the one walk in a truly dominating performance. The bullpen charged into the breach after that, with Arquimedes Caminero, Tony Watson and Mark the Shark putting up zeroes. They were nicked for four hits ensemble, but each had a pair of K as Bucco hurlers put on a swing-and-miss clinic. Ump Dale Scott's strike zone helped the pitcher's cause; in all, 25 K's were registered last night in the Pirates 8-1 victory..

The AWOL offense reported for duty last night, banging out 14 hits, including Cutch's #1,000, a shot to third that was knocked down but beat out, gimpy knee and all. After Kyle Hendricks labored through five frames but down only 2-1, the Bucs teed off on relievers Gonzalez Germen in the sixth and Phil Coke in the ninth.

Cutch legs out #1,000 (image from
The Pirates tucked it away when they scored four runs in the sixth, all with two outs, which seems to be the theme of this series. Cutch had a big triple, but the key at-bat may have been Jordy's 0-2 single, plating a run and keeping the inning alive.

Jung Ho Kang had his first three-hit day in the show while Cutch, Jordy and Chris Stewart added a pair of knocks each. The Bucs spread the wealth; every starter, including Cole, had a hit; their eight runs were scored by seven different guys, while Cutch, Starling Marte and Kang drove in two each. Heck, it was such a good day at the plate that the Pirates even drew five walks (just one was intentional), and were a very sweet 6-for-18 with RISP.

The Bucs have the day off, then AJ opens a three game set against the Cards in St. Louis.

  • Cutch's first hit in the show was a leadoff single off the Mets Mike Pelfrey. It was during his first  major league at-bat on June 4th, 2009 at PNC Park after being called up to replace Nate McLouth.
  • Cole has been on a roll since September 7th of last season. In that span, he's gone 8-0 with a 2.40 ERA over 10 starts; he's 4-0/1.76 so far this season.
  • Hard to believe with a team that's got so many burners, but Cutch's triple in the sixth was Pittsburgh's first of the campaign.
  • Starling Marte matched his season total of walks by drawing two free passes, one during a very impressive at-bat when he fell behind 0-2 but eventually laid off four wide chasers with the bases full in the fifth to give Pittsburgh the lead.
  • Scrub Jaff Decker for awhile. He was taken off the DL and assigned to Indy on the 18th, but couldn't play through the injury to his calf and is back on the DL again.

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