Monday, August 17, 2015

Bucs Can't Cash In Their Runners, Drop 4-1 Decision To Arizona

Gerrit Cole is about due for another gem, right? Well...he gave up a one out triple to the wall to AJ ollack, but came back to whiff Paul Goldschmidt on a nasty slider. After that, meh...David Peralta doubled him home, there was a passed ball, and Welington Castilo singled home a second run. The Bucs got a one out double from Starling, but Cutch and A-Ram both went down swinging, one on a change and the other on a curve.

The second started no better with Chris Owings leading off with a double; a liner to right moved him to third after the catch. To add insult to injury, Hellickson lined a 2-2 slider into right for a third run. Cole Train got a 4-6-3 DP to get out of it. The Bucs went down without a bang, thanks to a nice snag of JHK's shot by 3B Jake Lamb..

Gerrit tossed a 1-2-3 frame; his slider looked much sharper this frame. The Pirates also went down in order, but on three well hit balls; maybe they've cracked the code.The Snakes sure have; with two gone, Lamb just barely cleared the yellow line above the Infiniti sign in right center; it had to be confirmed in NY; even Jake stopped at second. Nick Ahmed singled before the third out. Cole hasn't been serving up meatballs, but he has been working the outer half hard and that's where the contact is being made; we're guessing that's either per the scouting report on Arizona or that the Snakes are looking away for the slider.

The Bucs wasted a two-out A-Ram double in their half. Cole worked a quick, ten-pitch fifth. If the Bucs are to chip away, Pedro gave them the start by barely dropping a sky-high fly off a hung curve over the railing (maybe even nicking it) of the Clemente Wall to make it 4-1. Peralta opened with an 11 pitch single banged through the shift. He was caught stealing, after a review to determine if The Kid tagged him; apparently, he did. The rest of the frame went down easily.

The Big Bull goes deep (photo Charle LeClaire/USA Today)
The Pirates made some noise. With an out, Starling reached when his roller came up on Owings at second for an error, and Cutch walked. That was it for Hellickson, who had baffled the Bucs to this point with his off speed stuff. Randal Delgado took the ball and quieted the bats, getting A-Ram looking at a change that was hung right there and JHK to bounce out to third, way ahead of another change. The Bucs are still hunting fastballs and not getting any.

Owings opened the seventh with a walk and became Fran's second victim of the night when he was nailed stealing on a perfect strike. An out late, Jarrod Saltalamacchia stuck out his bat and looped a ball into left. That was it for Gerrit; Joe Blanton came in and got a K. In an unusual move considering the score, Clint double switched JHK for Pedro Florimon.

Lefty Jake Hessler came in; with one gone, Pedro lined one of his instep for an infield knock. Addison Reed took over. he walked Fran and Ishy, who batted for Florimon, singled to fill the bases with Buccos, but like last inning, they stayed put as Gregory whiffed and Starling popped out foul to right field. After another zero by Joe, Daniel Hudson took the ball.

He caught a break; against the shift, Cutch lined one to the right side, but straight to the only fielder there, Paul Goldschmidt. With two gone, Michael Morse and The Kid hit back-to-back singles, Walker's almost exactly like Cutch's; he lined one the opposite way against the shift, right at 3B Lamb, but it cleared his leap by inches. Pedro came up as the tying run; three change ups later, he sat down; the Pirates have stranded seven in tthe last three innings.

Joakim Soria worked a calm ninth. Brad Ziegler came out for the save. he walked fran, but a routine 6-3 DP by S-Rod squelched that rally in a hurry, gregory bounced out to first, and the Bucs four game streak was at an end.

The Bucs had chances; tonight they couldn't cash in and there will be nights like that. Our only two issues are the failure to adjust when teams go soft - Hudson throws 97, and used three change ups to get out of his jam; teams know the Bucs love the heat - the double switching when behind. Clint knows his bullpen and how much workload it can take, but it doesn't seem to give the team a fair shake when you sit down a bat while on the short end of the score.

  • Gregory's 10 game hitting streak came to an end tonight.
  • The Pirates have hit homers in 11 consecutive games.
  • Cutch's spray chart shows a ton of grounders to the left side and flies to right center; he lost a hit tonight to the shift, which he's seeing more often.
  • Gerrit failed to win for his fourth straight start, tying the longest he's gone without a win in his career. He's only won one game since the All-Star break.
  • Travis Snider, per Rob Biertempfel, said he was talking to multiple teams and should reach a decision on where to play shortly.

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