Monday, August 24, 2015

Bucs Give Some, Take More In 5-2 Win Over Giants

Calm enough first for Frankie, tho he did give up a Matt Duffy single and line out, there was no threat in the air. Gregory opened for the Bucs with a knock off Ryan Vogelsong. A force, single and walk set up shop for JHK; he walked, too, chasing in Starling. V-Song fed The Kid a diet of hooks; Neil found one he liked and lined it into right to plate Cutch. Pedro banged a sac fly and A-Ram tagged home before Fran's bouncer ended the frame at 3-0.

Ah, Frankie - he walked Andrew Susac to start the second. But it got better as Brandon Crawford bounced an 0-2 slider into a 4-6-3 DP. Good thing, as Kelby Tomlinson followed with a knock and Gregor Blanco walked (Tony Randazzo's strike zone is quite tight so far). A passed ball put G-Men at second and third, and then Vogelsong walked. Nori Aoki swung at the first pitch and hit it well, but right at The Kid to end the frame with another zero.

After Frankie flew out, Gregory ripped a triple to right, with a nifty slide-by to beat the tag at third. Marte and Cutch couldn't cash him in, an opportunity wasted. Duffy opened the third with a knock, but Frankie shut the door after that. Jung-Ho singled with an out followed by a walk. With two gone, Fran loaded 'em with an infield single, but Francisco whiffed, seeing a boatload of curves. Lotta ducks left on the pond for both sides already tonight.

With two gone in the fourth, Blanco singled. Frankie went 3-0 on Vogelsong, but came back to get him on a 3-2 grounder. Starling singled with an out and stole second; with an open base, Cutch walked. Yusmeiro Petit got the call after that; Vogelsong was done for the night. A-Ram popped out and JHK whiffed chasing a curve; the Bucs refuse to add on again. In fact, the two teams have combined to strand 12 runners already.

Jordy's back (photo Justin Aller/Getty)
With one gone in the fifth, Duffy worked Frankie for a single after an eight pitch battle. Then a catchable pop fly dropped between Pedro and Walker, compounded by bad throw by Neil to second for the force to put runners on the corners (it was ruled a fielders choice/E4). Marlon Byrd hit a tester to third; A-Ram' made the short hop play but his throw was dropped by Pedro. Quite the inning so far; should be three outs, but... Frankie closed it out with a K and a comebacker. Fran singled with two away to turn the order over.

With an out, Blanco reached on El Toro's error; it's another bad night for the Bull. It became worse when pinch hitter Juan Perez singled Blanco to third. Aoki rolled a 1-2 fastball the other way into left to make it 3-2. Frankie was done; he struggled tonight, with no help behind him. Arquimedes Caminero took over and got a quick DP to stop the bleeding. Or not; the Giants challenged the close play at first, but it was upheld. Lefty Jeremy Affeldt toed the rubber. he K'ed Gregory, got a hard out on a liner by Starling, then gave up a harder ball when Cutch took him yard with a drive into the batter's eye to add an insurance tally.

Joakim Soria came in; Jordy moved to short, JHK to third and A-Ram took a seat. He faced the middle of the order in the seventh. He got Buster Posey and Marlon Byrd to ground out to Jordy, then lost .231 hitter Susac. Brandon Crawford banged a 3-2 cutter on the hop over the wall for a ground rule double. That saved a run after Brandon Belt grabbed a stick and lifted a hung curve to Cutch.

Another Giant southpaw, Josh Osich, climbed the hill. JHK reached on a misfire from Crawford, but the call was reversed after an ump's review, tho on TV it didn't appear the 1B was in contact with the bag. An out later, Pedro made amends for his glove work by pounding a belt high cutter over the fence in left center, off a lefty yet.

Tony Watson answered the phone for the eighth with a 5-2 lead and S-Rod went to first. It was a 1-2-3 inning, capped by a nice play by JHK to deny Aoki's bunt. In came Hunter Strickland, who gave up a two-out single to Starling. That made it Shark time, and it was easy as 1-2-3 for his 39th save.

The Bucs always keep it interesting, but their new-found prowess as an offensive machine makes up for a lot of mistakes. And they just blew away all comers in a stretch of games against all the NL big boys - Cards, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Mets, with a dash of Snakes, finishing 13-5. Also good to see Jordy back; in three innings, he had three assists, one very nicely played, and an out. That left side in the late innings with Jung-Ho & Jordy is money.

  • Gregory, Starling, Cutch and Fran had a pair of knocks each tonight.
  • Starling Marte extended his hitting streak to eight games tonight. He also became the only player this season with 15 home runs and 25 stolen bases.
  • Pedro committed his 17th & 18th error of the year of the season, the most by a 1B since Ryan Howard had 19 in 2008.
  • Mark Melancon has been in 60 games. He has 39 saves, three wins and a hold. Tony Watson has been in 57 games. He has 31 holds, two wins and a save. Pretty good stuff by the boys.
  • Jordy was, as expected, recalled from rehab today. Travis Ishikawa was placed on the 15-day DL with a lower back sprain (funny about that timing, lol) and so will be back for the September run.
  • Travis Snider went 3-for-5 with a two run dinger at Indy today.
  • RHP Josh Wall cleared waivers and was assigned to Indy.
  • Cubs and Cards won today, ho hum. You'd have to imagine their fans are just as exasperated as ours looking at the scoreboard this month.

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