Sunday, April 19, 2015

Romper Broom: Bucs Sweep Brewers 5-2

It was pretty sloppy start to today's game. The Brewers left the sacks loaded (error, ground ball single, walk), and Gerrit Cole escaped by the skin of his teeth after Geraldo Parra lined out to left. Matt Garza had a rougher start - three singles and a wild pitch netted the Bucs a pair of runs.

The second wasn't much more artistic. Milwaukee scored twice, thanks greatly to Josh Harrison, who added to his first inning boot by dropping a throw from left and then one-hopping a ball to first that Pedro couldn't pick. Then it was the Bucs turn to squander a one-out, bases loaded opportunity when Cutch popped out behind the dish and The Kid whiffed chasing a low slider.

After that, it settled into a routine Bucco win. Pedro homered in the fifth and Chris Stewart drilled a two-run knock in the sixth to plate Pedro and Jung-Ho Kang. Kang was in for Jordy Mercer, who took a heater in the letters while squaring up to bunt. X-rays for a break were negative, but he'll have a heck of a bruise, maybe to the bone, so we'll see how long his recovery takes.

After the second, the Brewers disappeared at the plate. The Bucco staff faced the minimum 21 batters over the last seven frames, erasing two singles with DPs. Cole went six innings with six K and probably had another frame in him at 95 pitches, but Clint opted to let the pen close it out, which is exactly what Jared Hughes, Tony Watson and Mark the Shark did. So the Pirates took their first sweep of the year and reached the .500 mark at 6-6.

The Cubs come to town for a four game set starting tomorrow, with AJ Burnett and Jake Arietta slated to take the hill.

AJ Burnett from Getty Images
  • Love the Day Shift: Pedro Alvarez has hit three of his four homers this season in day games. Since the start of the 2012 season, Alvarez leads all NL players with 37 homers hit in games played during the afternoon.
  • Mark Melancon moved into ninth place all-time for Bucco saves, earning his 51st today to break a tie with Jim Gott. His velocity, a big discussion topic lately, was up a couple of ticks today as he was sitting at 90 MPH. Oddly, this was the first time the Pirates entered the ninth in a save situation this season.
  • The Pirates were bad at closing out sweeps last year when they were just 4-of-14 in sweep opportunities. Today's brooming was a good start to the year, and the first time Pittsburgh took a three-game set from the Brewers since June of 2013.
  • The Bucco streak of 71 straight innings without a boot ended in the first today, when Josh Harrison bobbled a grounder.
  • Today's attendance was 28,129. They've drawn 178,951 fans for six games, an average of 29,825, not bad at all for April. The club averaged 30,155 per game in 2014. 
  • The Brew Crew is dragging tail out of town. 2-10 is their worst start in franchise history

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