Monday, June 15, 2015

Brilliant Pitching + Booming Bats = 11-0 Bucco Blowout

The Bucs were ready from jump street tonight. The first six Pirates reached, with Cutch, JHK, Fran (with a two-run triple) and JT all knocking in runs to make it 5-0 off rookie Carlos Rodon, and his bacon was saved by a 3-2 strike 'em out, toss 'em out DP. The Bucs tried to add on in the second, but with Josh at second and two down, Gordon Beckham speared a bullet ticketed for the corner to get Rodon into the dugout.

Frankie liked the lead; it was nine up, nine down for the Pale Hose. Beckham robbed Jung-Ho to open the Pirate third, diving to snag another laser looking for the corner. A Cervelli single followed, but went for naught as JT banged into their second DP, 6-4-3. A walk and passed ball started the White Sox in the fourth, but Frankie calmly mowed down the next three batters, bringing him up to six K.

Jordy doubled for the Bucs and scored on a two-out knock by Josh, sending Rodon to the showers. Harrison stole second, his second swipe of the night, and chugged in on a Starling single off Daniel Webb to make it 7-0.

Melky Cabrera got the first ChiSox hit to open the fifth; a whiff and 4-6-3 twin killing cleaned that up. Hector Noesi took the mound, and walked JHK and Fran. JT gave him brief life by rolling into a DP, but Jordy's double off the Clemente Wall pushed the score to 8-0. Liriano then struck out the Chicago side in the sixth; they're beginning to look kinda disinterested.

The Bucs weren't. With an out, they teed off on Noesi. Josh singled and scored on Starling's little league home run into the RF corner. The cutoff went to third, where Marte was dead, but was wide and went off Beckham's glove into left and Marte partayed his way home. Cutch and Jung-Ho followed with two baggers, and it was 11-0.

Frankie was untouchable tonight (photo: Associated Press)
In the seventh, a leadoff infield hit was erased by a nicely started Kang DP, followed by another whiff. The Bucs were finally stopped in their half, tho they left the bases loaded. The Sox went down 1-2-3 in the eighth, with Frankie at 100 pitches; maybe Clint will give him a shot at the CG. Spoiler alert: he didn't. After the Bucs went down without a run in their half, Rob Scahill come on to close it out, tossing a clean frame through a pretty hard rain.

After what seems like one grinder after another, it's nice to get a blowout under the belt. Frankie was brilliant, throwing a two-hitter with 12 K and just one walk. The ChiSox had more errors and GIDP's (3) than hits (2). Tomorrow's another day, but tonight was nice. Charlie Morton & Jose Quintana hook up tomorrow night.

  • Starling and Josh had four hits apiece. For Marte, it was the fourth straight three hit+ game (Willie Stargell last did that feat in 1973), and for Harrison, it continued a streak of reaching base safely in six consecutive plate appearances. 
  • The first seven batters for the Pirates all had a multi-hit night. Sean Rodriguez reached base from the eight spot, but went hitless. Tonight's 18 hits is the season high mark.
  • Fran Cervelli topped Manny Sanguillen's 1972 streak by catching 42 consecutive scoreless innings. John Dreker of Pirates Prospects believes the record is held by Ed Phelps, who caught 54 straight scoreless innings for the 1903 Pirates during their franchise record six straight shutout streak. This edition of the Bucs have four shutouts in their last five games.
  • Francisco had 12 whiffs; nine were off the slider.
  • When you're hot: The Pirates scored nine runs in the first six games of their homestand. They put up 11 tonight.
  • After going without one for a while, the Bucs brought in Chris Peters to be their lefty BP tosser. He started yesterday; guess the results showed. Chris, an old Bucco pitcher and one time Point Park manager who is now a parking lot attendant, will work homestands only for the time being.
  • Pat Murphy, San Diego's Triple A coach who is on his way to SD to take either the skipper or bench coach job, is Pedro's father-in-law.
  • Jumped the gun a bit on the crowded Indy outfield; the Tribe made room for Willy Garcia, 22, by sending Mel Rojas Jr to Altoona. Garcia was hitting .314 with a .794 OPS, although he is adverse to walks. Rojas, 25, was hitting .265, but with no power at all and an OPS of .608.

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