Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bucs Bats Dreary As The Weather In 2-1 Loss

Kinda gloomy day, but everything started on time. Jeff Locke had trouble throwing strikes - he walked one and went to three ball on two other hitters - and didn't cover first on a DP ball, but still got away unscathed in the first. Alex Wood plunked JHK on the back of the leg. He stole second, but was left stranded. Jeff whiffed a pair and walked a pair in the second for another zero. Jordy singled for the Bucs and went nowhere. The third went by quietly.

Back-to-back singles and a bunt put the Bravos in business, but a couple of nices plays bailed Locke out. JHK went home to erase the lead runner on a sharp grounder, and then Jordy roamed deep in the hole and got an inning-ending force. The Bucs went down in order.

With two outs in the fifth, Cameron Maybin rolled a half swing, excuse me single into left. A passed ball moved him to second - it looked liked Fran tried to frame a pitch away, and it popped out of his mitt - and he scored when Nick Markakis singled through the shift. Another knock had Locke in hot water, but Sean Rodriguez snared a liner to end the frame. Three up, three down for the Bucs again. Jordy led off with a single, but was easily nailed trying to steal on perhaps a botched hit and run, followed by a whiff and grounder.

Jordy keeps on tickin' (photo UAS Today)
Deolis Guerra took the ball and worked a drama free frame while Pittsburgh again floundered at the dish. Vanimal toed the rubber, and the first hitter, Jace Peterson, caught a breaking ball in the lefty sweet spot and dropped it over the Infiniti sign in right center to make it 2-0.

The Pirates blew their first golden opportunity. Cutch and Starling led off with singles, and Fran bunted them up; we'd have had him swinging. Jordy had a miserable at bat, swinging through a fastball that was right there, fishing for high heat, and then taking strike three on the corner. Sean Rodriguez didn't do much better; he also swung through a heater that was center cut on a 3-1 pitch and then popped out.

The Bravos went down without a peep in the eighth. With an out, The Kid chased Wood, doubling into the left field corner, just a couple of feet short of dropping it over the short porch. Jim Johnson climbed the hill, and K'ed Josh on three pitches without throwing a strike. Pedro pinch hit and just missed a heater, getting under it for a mile-high fly out.

Jared Hughes took seven ninth inning pitches to get the Bucs back to the bat rack. Jason Grilli was out sniffing for the save and got it though he and the Bravos did everything they could to let the Bucs back in.

With an out, Starling tried to check his swing on ball four and instead tapped back to the mound. Fran walked, and Jordy drove a ball to the bullpen fence; it should have been a loud out but the Brave outfielders ran into each other, letting a run in and putting Mercer at second. Gregory pinch hit and worked the count the 3-2 after falling behind 0-2. Grilli threw ball four in the dirt; Polanco couldn't hold up his swing, and that was it.

It was one of those days that drive a fan (or batting coach) nuts. Wood filled the strike zone, and between looking at strikes or swinging through 92 MPH heaters and balls in the dirt, the Pirates made him look like Cy Young. Tomorrow is an off day, then Pittsburgh starts a three gamer at Detroit, with Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander to kick things off Tuesday.

  • Jordy had three hits; the team had six.
  • Today was Gorky's first big league appearance since 2012 with the Marlins.
  • The crowd was 36,082.
  • Two things we think: the Pirates need someone who can homer every so often badly, and with Andrew Lambo, JT and now Gorkys as the fourth outfielder if the FO would like a redo of the Travis Snider trade. 

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