Friday, June 26, 2015

Bucs Bump & Grind To 10-Inning Walk Off Win, 3-2

For a change, the Bucs got through the first without giving up a score (a DP helped the cause), but it didn't take Atlanta much longer to plate a run. In the second inning, back-to-back flares put Bravos on the corners. Frankie got a pop out, then walked the seven-eight hitters on nine pitches to give the Braves the lead. He escaped what could have been an ugly frame with another pop and a whiff after the gift wrapped score. The Pirates got their first hit, a two out double by Jordy, off Williams Perez, but El Coffee looked at a third strike; two strikes, including the last, called against him were balls. When you're hot...

Atalnta started off the third with a single just past Pedro. A DP ball was wasted when Jordy had to hold the relay when Frankie was a bit leisurely covering first, but the next roller was turned 6-4-3. The Bucs tried for some two out lightning following a Josh knock and a plunk (on the foot) of The Kid, but Cutch popped out to end the music.

For the third time, Francisco let the leadoff runner reach, walking Juan Uribe, and for the third time in four innings, the Bucs turned a DP. Pittsburgh made a run at scoring in their half. Pedro singled and Gregory walked, with Jordy having replaced Alvarez via a force. Stew singled sharply to the SS hole; Mercer stopped at third (and perhaps should have kept on running as  the throw went to first and Frankie due up) but Gregory didn't. With both runners on the base, Polanco was finished off in a rundown that he almost beat before Mercer could reach the plate. Still, El Coffee's bad; especially with all the action in front of him.

Liriano was working on a 1-2-3 frame in the fifth until Pedro booted a big two-out hopper; no sweat as Frankie picked him up with a K. Perez got a painful assist on the second out; Josh's hard grounder was ticketed for center, but caught the pitcher's ankle and ricocheted to first. After being checked out, he stayed in the game, but a walk, balk and plunked batter got him to the trainer's room. Luis Avilon came in. Starling greeted him with an infield knock (after review) and Pedro won the lefty-on-lefty duel with a two run shot into center to put the Pirates up 2-1, doing all the damage with two own and the bases empty.

No save for the Shark tonight - he had to settle for a win. (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

The lead didn't last long. After two easy outs, Uribe got under a pretty decent pitch, down and in but with just a little run over the edge of the plate, and deposited it beside the batter's eye in center to tie the game. The bottom of the Pirate order went down quietly. The Bravos got a dink single but were retired routinely otherwise in the seventh. Nick masset took over. Cutch singled and stole second with two gone, but Starling couldn't cash him in.

Jared Hughes climbed the hill - we thought Clint might try to milk one more from Frankie, but 97 pitches is plenty - and got three ground outs, two on outstanding plays by Josh and Jordy. Jim Johnson tossed for the Braves and worked an easy frame thanks to an El Coffee DP. Hughes worked another clean frame; he's tossed 10 pitches and collected six outs.

The Pirates continued their little league running exhibition in the ninth. JHK walked and got to second with two outs on a missed catch trying to double him up after a liner. The Kid banged one past third; Uribe gloved it, but had no play. Jung-Ho made a turn, and then tried to dive into the bag as Uribe charged in with a tag; Kang was called out, and on review, remained out. The decision stood, meaning it was too bang-bang to decide, so the original call remained in effect.

Mark the Shark took the ball in the 10th, with just a two out walk to mar the frame. His predecessor, Jason Grilli, took the hill. Cutch bounced his first pitch into the stands for a ground rule double, and Starling was intentionally walked. Pedro whiffed looking at a pitch that was a little outside, but Grilli got the call on. When Jordy fell behind 1-2, that sinking feeling from last night came back, but he took a two strike fastball off the plate and banged it high off the Clemente Wall as Cutch flew - and we mean full tilt boogie - home for the walk off win. Lotsa chances again; this time, the Bucs finally took advantage.

Odd game, with the base running blunders and all. The Bucs stranded 11, but went a strong 5-for-10 with RISP for a welcome change, even if they only brought three ducks home. And dang, what a bullpen even if they did hit a bump Thursday night. Charlie Morton and Julio Teheran hook up tomorrow afternoon in the middle game of the set.

  • Pedro has a four game hitting streak, and Jordy has five hits in the past two games. He's hitting .278 for June after a brutal first couple of months.
  • The attendance was 34,220 tonight.
  • Ryan Lavarnway's bases loaded walk is his only RBI of the season.
  • The roster transactions to bring up Deolis Guerra were almost as expected. Rob Scahill went on the 15-day DL with right forearm tightness and Andrew Lambo went from the 15-day to 60-day DL.
  • Pete Mackanin is the Phils interim manager now that Ryne Sandberg has resigned. He's got Bucco roots. After a couple of years managing in the minors for the Bucsh from 2001-2, he became the bench coach for Lloyd McClendon, and the Bucs' interim manager after Lloyd was let go in 2005, leading the team to a 12–14 record.

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