Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bucs Can't Squeak Run Home; Lose 3-2 To Phils

Early on, it looked like a duel between Frankie and Cole Hamels; both sides frittered an early chance, and it went into the fifth 0-0. The Bucs loaded the bases that frame; Cutch proved clutch when he singled home Neil Walker and Jordy. Starling Marte followed with a roller that originally was ruled an infield base hit that scored Josh, but upon review, Marte was ruled out by a hair (he was), the first of two plays that were close but cost the Pirates.

Frankie couldn't hold the lead; two soft hits and two bullets gave the Phils a 3-2 lead. The lead run scored on a two-out fly that dropped in front of Corey Hart in right; maybe if El Coffee or even Sean Rodriguez was there instead...

It was pretty quiet after that; Liriano worked out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh of his own making; he walked a pair around a single with two gone, but finally retired Chase Utley on a grounder to keep the game close.

In the ninth against Jonathan Papelbon, the Bucs took their last shot. Fran Cervelli walked and Steve Lombardozzi ran for him; an out later, he reached third when a wayward pickoff throw bounded into right field. With a chance to be the hero, Jordy lofted a short foul fly to right by the railing; Rick Sofield sent Lombo, but Jeff Francouer set up quickly, fired a bullet home, and Carlos Ruiz got the ball in plenty of time to make the tag.

Ruiz applies the tag on Rodriguez (photo: Chris Szagola/Associated Press)
The option was to have him sit at third with Jung-Ho Kang up as a pinch hitter, needing a knock off Papelbon, still an elite closer, for the tie. Test an proven outfield arm or a veteran closer? The Bucs rolled the dice and came up snake eyes.

This afternoon, the Bucs try to take the series with Vance Worley taking on Aaron Harang.
  • Pittsburgh didn't help themselves much; they not only lost the play at home, but banged into a pair of DP.
  • Francouer's assist was his 123rd since 2005, tops in MLB over that time. 
  • Jameson Taillon will toss a frame during extended spring training today, his first live action against oppo batters since last year's TJ surgery.
  • RHP Buddy Borden, who was the PTBNL in the Sean Rodriguez deal, tossed a seven inning no hitter.

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