Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bucs Take 4-3 Win; Recap & Getaway Day Lineup & Notes

Last Night's Game: Good start to this one. Francisco Cervelli hit an RBI double and Jung Ho Kang followed with a sacrifice fly in the second inning to get the Pirates on the board, followed by Pedro's sac fly in the third and an El Coffee homer in the fifth, a bullet that seemed to clear the Clemente Wall before Polanco could even get out of the box.

And thanks to a Houdini by Tony Watson, it was just enough. Vance Worley put together a gum-and-duct tape start, giving up six hits and two walks but just one run through 5-2/3 frames and 106 pitches. The key was the fifth, when he retired Kris Bryant on a sweet running grab by Polanco after falling behind 3-0 with the bases loaded, thanks to back-to-back two out walks.

At any rate, it was another short if effective start. Rob Scahill finished the sixth for Worley, and Arquimedes Caminero tossed a clean seventh. Jared Hughes took the ball in the eighth (Mark the Shark was unavailable after a 25 pitch outing Tuesday), and had a rough time of it. A single, wild pitch and walk were followed by a couple of soft hits, leaving the bases loaded with no outs in the eighth inning of a 4-2 game. Enter Houdini.

Tony Watson came up big yesterday (photo: Getty Images)

Watson let one run in on a fielder's choice (Kang made a heads up play, forcing the runner at third), but otherwise shut the door. And then he went out in the ninth, allowing a two-out single but closing the deal for the Bucs.It took him 30 pitches to get six outs, so he'll be sitting out today's game.

Game notes: Starling Marte was plunked in the hand with a pitch. It was diagnosed as a bruise, and it's yet to be seen how that will affect his status. Kang continues to look more comfortable hitting as he gets some at-bats under his belt. Last night was the third career two-inning save for Watson. And just what you need in April - there was a brief sleet/snow squall during the Cubs' seventh inning.

Looking for another Locke-down day (photo: Associated Press)

Today's Game: Jeff Locke takes on Kyle Hendricks. Locke has been sharp in the early going while Hendricks has not; let's hope that's a trend that continues as the Bucs go for the split. Should be interesting - in his last 11 starts at PNC Park, Locke has put up a 2.77 ERA, while Kendricks had his most solid outing of the young season last time out. The game starts at 12:35 and will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Today's Lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Andrew Lambo RF, Gregory Polanco CF, Neil Walker 2B, Pedro 1B, Jordy Mercer SS, Sean Rodriguez LF, Chris Stewart C, Locke P.

Some delay in posting the shake-and-bake lineup today; Clint was waiting to see how Starling Marte's mitt felt after BP (not so hot). Jordy's back, Cutch is sitting during a scheduled rest day, and Fran Cervelli is catching a night-to-day game blow. Maybe Pedro will have one of his big daylight games...

  • Surprising (to us, anyway) stat: Jeff Locke will try to win three straight outings for the first time in his career today.
  • Tony Watson's two-inning save was the first multi-inning save for the Bucs since June of 2013 when Ryan Reid turned the trick against the Brewers. Reid's save was of the cherry-picker variety; he went the final three innings of a 10-3 win. The close was Tony's fifth career save; three have been two-frame gigs.
  • Following the game today, the Pirates embark on a 10-day, nine-game road trip to Arizona, Chicago and St. Louis.
  • Charlie Morton is scheduled to make a 65-pitch start in a Pirate City game today. If that goes well, he'll go on a rehab assignment, likely for the entire 30 days allowed.
  • Indy won 8-6 yesterday despite 11 walks from Chris Volstad, Charlie Leesman, Brad Lincoln and Blake Wood. Wood at least earned all four of his outs via the K, hitting 95-98 on the gun.
  • Who'd thunk it? The Mets have won 10 in a row.
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