Thursday, July 30, 2015

GABP Curse Continues: Bucs Bombed 15-5

David Holmberg gave up a bunt single to Gregory to open the game, but a couple of flies and a liner later put the Bucs away. AJ, on the other hand, remained in his doldrum. With an out, back-to-back Redleg knocks were followed by Marlon Byrd smoking a ball into the seats, making it 3-0 after a frame. More ominously, AJ topped out at 90; with most of his pitches in the upper 80s, a troubling sign.

In the second, El Toro got a run back when he lost a ball over the right center wall. The Reds went down with just a single; the bad news is AL didn't even get to 90 that frame. Pittsburgh left another runner aboard in the third, and the Reds added another run when Joey Votto's double - he's on fire recently - was cashed in on a sac fly. AJ's velocity is returning; maybe he just had trouble getting loose.

Fran walked with two away in the fourth but Pedro went down looking; Joe West is having another of his days with the amorphous strike zone. Billy Hamilton bunted his way on with an out, running out of the baseline as he evaded Pedro's tag without a call. He stole second, natch, and scored when Brandon Phillips tapped a curve off the end of his bat slowly through the right side; the infield was playing partially in. Phillips went to second on a pitch to the backstop and then stole third; Ivan Dejesus Jr. walked, much to AJ's displeasure. Votto walked on a full count. A whiff looking (TY, Joe West) and sharp grounder got him out of it.

Cutch & the top of the lineup had a nice night, anyway.

The Kid opened the fifth with a base on balls. He was bunted to second, and Gregory walked. The rally quickly fizzled when Starling banged into a 6-4-3. With an out, AJ plunked eight hitter Tucker Barnhart with a curve and Holmberg singled him to third with a flare on a hit-and-run (yep, a pitcher-catcher hit-and-run). Not a very good night for Burnett, and it got worse when Pedro fired a DP try into left field.

So Deolis Guerre got the call with runners on second and third. Phillips lined a curve into the cheap seats, and it was 9-1. Guess we can figure who's going when Soria arrives tomorrow. A single, walk, wild pitch, double and two whiffs later, it was 11-1.

Stew's sac fly made it 11-2; Phillips homer off Deolis made it 14-2. Ryan Mattheus was touched for three runs when five straight Pirates reached with two gone in the seventh, the inning ending when West mistook ball four for strike three. Marte got plunked that frame; Jay Bruce ditto to open the Red half as Antonio Bastardo at least kept that scorecard even, tho he did score when AB walked three following batters. Arquimedes Caminero mopped it up.

The Bucs went quietly in the eighth; Jaff Decker climbed the hill to take one for the team. Spotting his 80 MPH heat, he gave up a couple of hits but kept the Reds off the board. The Bucs left a couple on in the ninth, and it was finally over.

The only thing worse than getting a butt-booting is to have to take it with Joe West behind the dish. Nothing to do but wash off and get 'em tomorrow, with Jeff Locke facing Michael Lorenzen.

  • The Pirates first four batters, Gregory (2), Starling (2), Cutch (3) and A-Ram (2), collected nine hits tonight.
  • Jaff Decker was the first position player to pitch for the Buccos since Travis Snider June 18th, 2014, also against the Reds.
  • Tonight was the most runs given up by Pittsburgh in a game this season, not exactly the way Clint wanted to spend his birthday.
  • This is the third straight start that AJ has allowed five+ runs and 10+ hits.
  • Detroit closer Joakim Soria has joined the Bucs in exchange for Altoona SS JaCoby Jones. He'll join Tony as an eighth inning arm.
  • The Pirates traded infielder Justin Sellers, recently sent outright to Indy, to the White Sox. in a cash deal
  • The Athletics signed Brent Morel to a minor-league contract.


Anonymous said...

Had the unfortunate experience of attending tonight's game. AJ appears to have lost it - Hurdle needs to skip him. This is where it will get interesting with AJ. how does he take it ? Would like to see the Buccos take their chances with Angel Sanchez (from Indy) for AJ's next two starts.

Pedro - ugh! the dude makes it so hard. Huntington needs to make a deal for a First Baseman. I like the Soria and Blanton pick-ups but we need another starter

The REDS are hitting well lately - Votto seems to be back to his old self.

Ron Ieraci said...

Dave - I thought the Reds coming into the season had a very nice lineup; depth was their bugaboo. They sure do pound on the Bucs. AJ has historically been better in the first three months of the season than the last three, and I think you're right, given that history and age, that Clint best find a periodic a break from the grind for him.

As for Pedro, looks like the Bucs sniffed the market and decided to live with what they've got. I would have loved to see a controllable top three arm join the staff, but I guess it's not in the FO's genes (or pocketbook) to pull the trigger on a big deal.