Thursday, July 23, 2015

Home Sweet Home: Bucs & FranKKKKKKKKKKKie Roll To 7-3 Win

Third baseman? We don't need no stinkin' third baseman said Frankie, who threw out the first two Nat batters and then K'ed Bryce Harper. After a pair of routine outs, Cutch touched Doug Fister with a flare to center. It was enough as he came home on Starling's two-strike triple to The Notch. JHK flew out, but the Bucs were up 1-0.

Buc fielders coulda brought a lawn chair and cold one to the field; Frankie whiffed a pair and 1-3'ed another Nat in the second. Fister left Pedro a two seamer at the belt on the outside edge, and El Toro dropped it over the fence in left to make it 2-0. Fran fisted one into center, and Brent Morel singled to left. Frankie tried to bunt three times; didn't work, and there the runners stayed.

Frankie issued a one out walk in the third. Fister couldn't move him up, bunting through three pitches, and Michael Taylor became Liriano's third K of the frame. With two gone, JHK doubled and went to third on a wild pitch. Pedro walked, but Fran looked at strike three, a ball pretty much down the middle. You keep waiting on some more Bucco production; they've stranded five and gone 0-for-5 with RISP with a chance to run away early.

Filthy Frankie struck out the side again; he has nine punch outs through four frames. After B-More and Frankie whiffed, Gregory doubled the opposite way (and should have gone for three). No diff; The Kid went down looking; Fister has six K's after four. His season high was only four, 'nuff said.

Frankie was firing bullets tonight (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
Clint Robinson walked to open the fifth and was singled to second by Ian Desmond, and an 0-2 wild pitch moved them up a station. After a K, Francisco uncorked another wild one to score Robinson; Tyler Moore walked to put Nats on the corners. Fister went down trying to bunt, and Taylor grounded a 3-2 pitch to short to end the frame, the first out not initiated by Liriano. Starling legged out an infield knock with one gone and raced home as Jung-Ho drove an 84 MPH, center cut fastball to left for a double. He went to third on the throw home and came around on a dribbler by Pedro; 4-1 gives Frankie some elbow room.

With an out, Danny Espinosa singled, but Frankie got Wilson Ramos to roll a 3-2 change to short for a  nicely turned 6-4-3 inning ender. Tanner Roarke stepped in and put the Bucs down in order. Pedro Florimon entered the game at short, with JHK sliding to third and B-More to the pine.

Robinson opened the seventh with a double, cashing out Francisco and bringing in Jared Hughes. A couple of grounders sandwiched around a whiff kept DC off the board. The Kid picked a curve off his shoe tops and banged it for a lead off double; Cutch caught all of a center cut fastball and drove it far (411') over the Heinz sign.

Antonio Bastardo got the ball in the eighth and S-Rod went to first as the good hands team now covered the field. AB walked the first hitter in five pitches. Two outs later, Harper singled to right, but a grounder got Antonio out of the inning. Abel De Los Santos climbed the hill and was greeted by a Fran bomb into the shrubs, followed by a Flo dink into left. The music ended after that, with the Bucs up 7-1.

Arqimedes Caminero came in to finish and walked the first batter on four pitches with a five run lead, then fell behind Ian Desmond and gave up a two run long ball, with emphasis on the long. He was nicked again for a two out single, but closed it out.

As Dorothy said, there's no place like home. We'll see tomorrow when Jeff Locke throws down the gauntlet to Max Scherzer.

  • JHK has a five game hitting streak. Every Pirate batter except Frankie and S-Rod had a hit or two (Cutch, Starling, Jung-Ho, Fran) tonight.
  • Frankie's 11 K just missed his season high of a dozen, which he's hit twice.
  • A-Ram is expected to join the team on Saturday.
  • If Clint Robinson's name sounds vaguely familiar, it's because he was in the organization for a training camp. The Bucs got him and Vin Mazzaro in November of 2012, then DFA'ed Robinson in late March, losing him to Toronto. He ended up playing for the Dodgers in 2014 and Washington this season.
  • Despite the forgettable road trip, it was a beautiful night for baseball and the fans poured into PNC. The attendance of 37,799 was the 12th sellout of the season.
  • The twitter world was buzzing that the Pirates next imminent move was to pick up a reliever; they could use someone dependable behind the three amigos of Melancon, Watson and Hughes. Rob Scahill is also beginning his rehab assignment, but at the GCL Rookie league level, while John Holdzkom may be in shape to help in September.
  • The other hot story, carried by every media outlet that covers baseball, is the Pirates are trying hard to deal Pedro. Be interesting to see just what his value is.

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