Thursday, April 23, 2015

El Coffee, Josh & Pen Lead the Way In 5-4 Win

We were at the game today, wondering exactly why we were watching baseball in a typhoon that occasionally blew a snow flake or two around, especially in the early going.

The Cubs jumped out to a 4-1 lead as Jeff Locke pitched five fairly forgettable frames. All the runs were earned, and he gave up seven hits and three walks, though he did K seven. Two runs scored on #9 hitter Jonathan Herrera's two-out triple, a double by #7 hitter Addison Russell and a bases loaded walk. The only early Bucco response was Sean Rodriguez's homer into the bullpen.

But the Pirates put up a three spot in the sixth and one in the seventh. Josh and El Coffee doubled in the sixth for the next run, while a walk and a wild pick-off throw by C Welington Castillo led to RBI knocks by The Kid and Jordy, tying the game. In the following frame, Polanco's grounder into left against the shift plated Josh with the winning run after a great at-bat. The Cubs walked PH Corey Hart to get to Gregory, and he fell behind lefty Phil Coke 0-2, but battled him to a full count and eight pitches before delivering the game winner.

El Coffee (photo: Mike James Baseball America)

Polanco went 3-for-4 with two RBI while Harrison doubled and scored twice. The Pirates bullpen showed their stuff, as Radhames Liz (who pitched two innings & got the win), Arquimedes Caminero (who struck out Jorge Soler & Kris Bryant, then got Starlin Castro on a foul pop) and Mark the Shark (working a 1-2-3 ninth for the save) tossed four shutout innings, giving up just one hit and whiffing five.

The Bucs now go on a nine game road trip, opening with Arizona. Gerrit Cole will face Josh Collmenter in tomorrow night's lid lifter.

  • Good news on the injury front - Jordy played today, and Starling Marte pinch-ran in the seventh and hung around to play some centerfield, so he should be back in action against the D-Backs.
  • It was the first MLB win for Radhames Liz since September 14th, 2008 v the Twins, when he tossed eight shutout innings. He was then with the Orioles.
  • Chris Stewart was 2-for-2 against Chicago's wanna-be base stealers today.
  • The Pirates have homered in seven straight games.
  • The Cubbies have lost back to back games for the first time this season.

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