Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pirates Plundered By Nats 9-3

Michael Taylor opened with a single off AJ, then went to second when Burnett's pickoff try went awry. AJ then went to work, whiffing a pair sandwiched around a grounder to strand him. gregory lined out to Taylor on the track in center, a nice play as the field at this time of evening is half shade, half sunlight. Gio Gonzalez got the next two outs routinely.

Ian Desmond and Jose Lobaton singled back-to-back with an out in the second to put Nats on the corners. AJ wild pitched a run home without the courtesy of covering home; Fran had a play but no one to throw to it cost him the game's first run. Taylor ran down another liner to center to keep A-Ram off the bases before JHK singled and left on base. Aj worked a quiet thrid with a pair of whiffs (he has six). El Coffee has been seeing the ball well; he doubled with two outs, but Starling couldn't cash him in.

JHK kept his hitting streak alive tonight (photo via
Yunel Escobar started the fourth with a double and the next batter, Clint Robinson, got plunked. Desmond bunted them up, and Lobaton got plunked next to load them (nothing malicious; both were back foot curves). A whiff brought up Gonzalez, hitting .045. He singled off AJ's glove to bring home a run. Taylor singled in another, but Lobaton was nailed at home by Starling to leave it a 3-0 game. Gio tossed another routine frame. A-Ram has squared up twice, both times lining out to deep center; Taylor is the wrong guy to test.

Bryce Harper doubled with an out in the fifth and Escobar followed with another knock. Clint Robinson followed with another single, and it was 4-0. AJ's curve has been very good, but been up and over the plate regularly, too. It was another easy inning for Gonzalez.

Den Dekker dribbled a single between the plate and mound to open the sixth and was bunted to second. A single moved Nationals to the corners; make that second and third after a stolen sack. A sac fly brought in another run, and that was it for AJ as Deolis Guerra came on. In an unusual offensive switch, Pedro took over first for S-Rod. Guerra closed it out.

Good move at first; Pedro singled to open the Buc half, and a boot put Bucs at the corners. Starling singled and the Pirates were on the board. Cutch yanked a fastball away into left, and it was 5-2. That was it; Aaron Barrett took the ball and got A-Ram to bang into a 6-4-3 DP. JHK got bopped with a pitch, bringing up Fran, whose single made it 5-3. Lefty Felipe Rivero came in to face The Kid and got him on a liner to right.

Deolis gave up a leadoff double to Escobar and an out later, Ian Desmond homered for the third straight night to make it 7-3. Pittsburgh went down 1-2-3. Arqimedes toed the rubber in the eighth, looking to rediscover his mechanics. Didn't find them this outing; a walk and homer made it 9-3. Tanner Roarke put the Bucs away quietly. A walk and an error put Arqie in a jackpot in the ninth, but he recovered to keep any more runs from coming in. Fran walked with an out, and that was it for the excitement.

Well, we knew AJ was due to regress, and he has in the last month. And Gio owns the Bucs; he's 4-0 in five starts against them. The bullpen hasn't been been up to the task; it's no wonder the FO is looking for relief help. The series ends tomorrow, when Gerrit Cole will try to make it 3-of-4 against Joe Ross.

  • JHK has a seven-game hitting streak, tho his string of six multi-hit games ended.
  • Cutch struck out three times (the team only whiffed seven times); it's the third time he's done that since July 12th, after K'ing three times in a game only once before that date.
  • In the last nine games since AS break, the Pirate staff has given up four or more runs seven times; the other two times, they gave up three. The club is pretty fortunate to be 4-5 in that span after surrendering 50 runs while scoring 36 times (29 in four games).
  • AJ moved past Jack Morris for 33rd in the all-time whiff list tonight. He K'ed eight, bringing his career total to 2,480 punch outs.
  • Deolis Guerra has given up three homers in 14-1/3 IP.
  • Another sellout: 38,185 spun the turnstiles tonight.
  • Emmanuel Burriss has pinch hit for DC in all three games. He's walked twice, singled and scored twice in three plate appearances.
  • PNC Park is the only NL ballyard Byce Harper hasn't gone long in.
  • Matt den Dekker, LF'er for the Nationals, was drafted by the Pirates in 2009 as a junior from Florida, but didn't sign, joining the Mets organization as a draftee in 2010.
  • That flash you just saw was the skyrocketing value of Cole Hamels, who no-hit the Cubs today. Chicago had the longest streak in MLB of not being no-hit, 7,920 games dating back to 1965 and Sandy Koufax, before Hamels' outing.

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