Saturday, April 25, 2015

Bucs Grind Out 2-1 Win

Well, the Bucs forgot their bats for AJ again. He went seven innings, giving up a run on five hits and two walks with four K, exiting with the game tied. So that's four starts with a 1.80 ERA and no wins; the team has backed him with all of four runs. Sheesh.

AJ surrendered a run in the second on a two out single that was bobbled by El Coffee; the Bucs tied it in the fourth when The Kid and Pedro banged back-to-back, two-out doubles off Rubby De La Rosa. And there it sat until the ninth.

The Pirates went quietly in the eighth, and Tony Watson worked a wild and wooly, but ultimately scoreless, frame. The D-backs got the first two guys aboard, and a soft roller by Paul Goldschmidt moved them up a station. Tony got Mark Trumbo on a foul pop and whiffed Aaron Hill to enjoy another day at the beach.

The Pirates have become two-out terrors, and tonight's final frame was no different. Again with the bases empty and two gone, they struck when Walker smacked another double and Starling Marte followed with a thank you ma'am hopper that was perfectly placed and paced past a diving shortstop to give Pittsburgh the lead of Arizona closer Addison Reed.

The Kid led the way (photo Al Behrman/Associated Press)
Mark the Shark was short on velocity and command, but with a little help from his friends got the job done. A one out single was erased when Tuffy Gosewisch was nailed stealing; Fran Cervelli's throw was high but Jordy dropped it bunny-quick on Tuffy to get the call. Melancon then walked Cliff Pennington, but a Yasmany Tomas bouncer to The Kid ended the game with the Bucs up 2-1. Tony got the win, the Shark the save, and AJ another "atta boy."

The Bucs go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon when Francisco Liriano faces Jeremy Hellickson.

  • Neil Walker's hitting streak reached eight games.
  • Mark Melancon notched his third save in three days.
  • The Pirates have a four game winning streak, their longest in April since 2008.
  • Gregory Polanco was picked off first, but otherwise has been pretty stellar on the basepaths - his steal (upheld after review) made him 7-for-7, ranked third in the NL.
  • AJ's single was the first hit by a Pirate pitcher not named Gerrit Cole. And for as well as he's pitched, this is the first 2015 start of his that Pittsburgh has won.
  • In the past three days, not only the Pirates but all their minor league clubs - Indy, Altoona, Bradenton and West Virginia - have gone undefeated, with a 15-0 mark.


Lee Foo Rug Bug said...

Re: Polanco - Doesn't a pickoff count a as a CS?

Ron Ieraci said...

Lee, I may be wrong on this (imagine that, lol!), but I think you have to make a move to second before it's considered a CS. The box score listed it as a PO rather than a CS; I think they're separate stats, kinda like a steal in basketball is different from a turnover.

WilliamJPellas said...

I'm with Lee on this one. I thought a "pickoff" was considered a caught stealing, at least historically. If it is not, is this a new stat, and I wonder what that does to the steal percentages of past players?

Ron Ieraci said...

"If a runner is picked off a base, and is thrown out trying to advance then he is charged with caught stealing.
If the runner is picked off and called out getting back to the base, then no caught stealing is charged."
Section 10.07 Baseball Rules "Stolen Bases and Caught Stealing."