Thursday, May 7, 2015

Buc Bats Falter Again In 3-0 Loss

Geez, even keeping up their modest output of a run-per-game was too much for the Bucs last night as they dropped a 3-0 decision to Mike Leake and the Reds. Leake is usually effective against Pittsburgh, and last evening was no different as he scattered six hits over eight innings for the win. He's good, but it might just be time to post the Pirate bats on some milk cartons, just in case someone has seen them.

Leake hardly broke a sweat; the Pirates threatened just twice. In the sixth, a single, error and steal put Bucs at second and third with two away; Pedro looked at a big breaking ball for strike three. The next frame, with runners on first and second with two down, El Coffee's dribbler was fielded by Leake and his throw bounced off Polanco's back. The Bucs had a run for a minute, before Polanco was ruled out for interference. He was on the line, not in the runner's box where he belonged (although the line is one edge of that box). That's generally a no-call, but not this time around. When you're hot...
Jung Ho Kang coming along (photo: Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports)
The Reds caught Gerrit Cole on a very pedestrian evening when he hung a spinner or three, and the usual suspects did him in. Todd Frazier tripled and scored; Marlon Byrd homered, and Leake even got into the act, doubling home a run after an intentional walk to C Tucker Barnhart, the eight hitter.

There was one memorable moment of passion during the game. Joey Votto was ejected for beefing with plate ump Chris Conroy; he yapped after the first strike (Joey gets all the calls, doncha know?) then bounced his helmet off the turf when he went down swinging, exchanging words with Cole. He went to toward the dugout, did a U-turn when he figured out he was tossed for his helmet flip, and raced back to the box, bumping Conroy in the process. Votto apologized for making contact with the ump after the game, but made no note of his conversation with Cole, who was all puppy dog eyes regarding the incident in the Bucco room.

It's getting to the point that one doesn't know whether to tip his hat to the opposing pitcher or go to the fridge for a beer when the Bucs are up, secure in the knowledge that ya ain't missing a thing. The night's only light-in-the-tunnel was that Jung-Ho Kang reached base three times on two hits and an error; he's up to .289 in the bigs and his transition to the show seems to be slow but smooth sailing so far.

The Pirates send AJ Burnett to the slab tonight against Anthony DeSclafani. AJ has been pitching as well as he's ever tossed, and if the Pirates owe any pitcher a couple of runs, it's Burnett.

  • The Pirates lost their fifth straight game and have dropped 7-of-8. The Reds have now won seven in a row against the Pirates and are looking for their second Bucco brooming of the year.
  • Gerrit Cole, the stopper, had his win streak snapped at eight games. The Cole Train had worked 10 straight games without a loss until last night.
  • The Pirates are 11-2 when scoring at least four runs and 1-13 when scoring fewer than four runs. If you're wondering, five of those 14 low-scoring games have been shut outs.

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