Sunday, July 19, 2015

Buc Bats, Bullpen Falter Again In 6-1 Brooming By the Brewers

The first inning went by calmly. The Bucs made no noise against Taylor Jungmann, and a timely DP eased Jeff Locke through the frame. In the second, JHK led off with a single, but a nice catch of Ishy's opposite field ball and a DP ended that quickly.

Carlos Gomez walked to open the Brewer half. On a grounder, he took out Jordy (thx to Forbes at Federal) way in front of the bag - we're talking 10' at least - on a tag play (the Bucs were in a shift with Adam Lind up). Mercer left on a cart clutching his knee on what was a bush league slide by Gomez, who went into Jordy's knee (with the caveat that it was prob OK by the bag, but between the baselines, he could just as easily stopped to avoid the tag). Mercer was replaced by JHK with S-Rod coming in to man third. A-Ram followed with a single, but the inning ended quietly after that.

Jungmann lost Locke with two gone in the third, and Gregory doubled off Lind's mitt to put Bucs at second and third. But The Kid couldn't make them pay, grounding out to second. Jean Segura beat an an infield knock with an out (the Brewers called for a review that they won; he had clearly beat the rap). Locke left him there.

The Bucs went down in order in the fourth, with Ishy's liner the only well struck ball. Locke pitched to rather than at Gomez, and got him to pop out as Jeff worked a 1-2-3 frame. Jaff tripled with an out in the fifth off Gomez's glove, but S-Rod, who's had a brutal July (.097 coming into today) popped out. Locke-Down picked him up, dropping 3-2 offering into left to plate Decker. Gregory walked before Walker flew out. Jeff sat down the Brewers in order.

Jeff did his part, but the team fell flat (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
Kang singled with one gone in the sixth without any further action. Segura opened by poking a changeup into right for a knock. but was quickly accounted for via a 3-6-3 DP and a Braun bounce out. Jaff worked a nine pitch walk to start the seventh, and ran Jungmann's pitch count to 97. It only took S-Rod one pitch to bang into an around-the-horn DP. Jeff whiffed to softly end the frame.

Gomez walked for the Brewers. and an out later A-Ram, who the Bucs can't get out, singled him to second. Khris Davis turned on a first pitch fastball, inside corner, belt-high, and doubled in both runners; the lumbering A-Ram scored on a decidedly lazy throw in by Marte. Parra had a leg hit to second and Davis tried to score; he was caught at the plate 4-2-5-2.

Will Smith, the lefty, came on in the eighth. He K'ed Polanco, and tried to slip a two strike heater past The Kid on the inside corner. Didn't work; Walker doubled, and Jeremy Jeffress got the call. He K'ed Marte and Kang swinging to quell that fire.

Lucroy singled with an out, and that brought Jared Hughes in on the trot. Braun singled off Hughes' glove (Jared muffed a not-so-sharply DP ball) and Gomez knocked one up the middle to load the bases. The damage continued when Ishy booted Lind's ball; 1B has proven to be quite a testy position for the Bucs. A-Ram made an out this time, but his fly was deep enough to bring home another Brewer. Pinch hitter Shane Peterson piled it on; he singled home another pair on the first pitch and it was now laugher city. Neal Cotts came in to mop up; he gave up a walk in an otherwise ho-hum ninth frame to close it out.

Well, it was a lousy series, and right now, that's all it is. After all, the Bucs did start their 4-5-6 pitchers. But it does show how limited Clint's hand is without Josh to juggle around in the lineup and the abyss at first base. The Pirates have no good in-house solutions to those issues; it'll be an interesting couple of weeks for the FO to see if they can reshuffle the deck.

AJ opens the KC series tomorrow night against Yordano Venturi.
  • The Kid's hitting streak now is at nine games.
  • The Bucs describe Jordy's injury as to "the lower left leg" which we hope means the knee is OK. They only added they would do "further evaluation." He was sent back to Pittsburgh to be checked out. the Pirates took the play seemingly in stride, with Clint labeling it merely as "unfortunate."
  • This was the Brewers first home sweep since last July against the Reds.
  • The Pirate road trip continues to KC after today; should be a good spot to get Cutch and The Kid some DH time. we were surprised Cutch got off today with an AL road series on tap to rest his wheels.
  • If Jordy goes on the DL, it would almost guarantee the club brings up Pedro Florimon. S-Rod shouldn't be an everyday player, tho Pedro isn't much with a bat, either. We'd personally like to see Gift Ngoebe or Alen Hanson get the call, but that's not the way the FO does it.

No comments: