Sunday, July 26, 2015

Ol' King Cole leads the Way As Bucs Take Series With 3-1 Win

Second base proved untouchable in the first; Bryce Harper singled off the wall and was tossed by Gregory trying to stretch it; Starling singled and was caught trying to swipe second. In the second, the only batter to reach was Yunel Escobar, who led off with a HBP and never got to second while the Bucs went down in order.

The third warmed up. Gerrit Cole was touched by a two-out Michael Taylor homer to make it 1-0. That was followed by Danny Espinosa's single and stolen sack; the Cole Train whiffed Harper to close the frame. Stew singled of Joe Ross, was bunted to second and came home on Gregory's liner up the middle. El Coffee zoomed to third on a throwing error (Stew was DOA at home if the relay was on line). Starling was plunked and both benches were warned, although there appeared to be no messages involving either plunk, tho both were in the side). Then Cutch gave the Bucs the lead with a single dropped into center to make it 2-1.

In an otherwise completely calm fourth, The Kid homered (437' into the bullpen) to put Pittsburgh up by a pair. Both sides went down in order in the fifth and the sixth. After Gerrit had put away 11 straight, the Nats were up to no good in the seventh with runners on the corners and an out. Wilson Ramos bounced a first-pitch heater to short, and the 6-4-3 DP ended the threat. Matt Thornton came on for Ross and worked a quiet inning.

Gerrit Cole leaves to a standing ovation in the eighth (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
In the eighth, the Nats had two on on and two out; Tony Watson came in - yes, in the middle of an inning - and got Harper to bounce to first, a testy play that defensive sub S-Rod ate up. Casey Jannsen shut down the Bucs; that's 14 in a row that Washington pitching has sat down. It was easy as 1-2-3 for Mark the Shark in the ninth, and the Bucs now have a well deserved day off as they travel to Minnesota to open a quick two game set on Tuesday.

  • Mark Melancon has made 31 appearances in a row without allowing an earned run. The record is 38 games, set by Craig Kimbrel in 2011. (s/o to @DavidManel)
  • The crowd of 37,597 was another sellout. 151,952 warm fannies caught the series, setting a PNC Park record for a four-game set.
  • Cole became the second Pirate with 14 wins before August, joining Dock Ellis, who has his fast start in 1971.
  • The press gang reports that Josh is playing catch and fielding grounders (soft ones, we hope) now that his cast has been removed.
  • Justin Seller, who's been on the DL all season, was outrighted to Indy to clear a spot on the 40 man.
  • Andrew Lambo has been shut down for three weeks, Casey Sadler is done for 6-8 weeks after a platelet injection , and Rick Scahill still has a ways to go before he's ready for MLB game action. On the plus side, John Holdzkom had a good rehab outing at Morgantown (1 IP, 2 K)
  • Dave Cameron of Fangraphs has his take on how deadline dealing will go down around the league. Two names he tosses out for Pittsburgh are Mike Leake and Tyler Clippard. He adds "...there are a lot of other mid-level starter/reliever combos that could go here too. And if Ramirez doesn’t take to 1B well, I could see them swinging a deal for Mike Napoli, though that might be an August trade."
  • Johnny Cueto was scheduled to pitch this week against the Bucs, but not now - he was finally dealt, after a bump or two along the road, to the Royals for three LH piching prospects: Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed.
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