Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bucs: Too Little, Too Late - Reds Hang On For 4-3 Win

Raisel Inglesias had an easy inning to open, with a tapper and walk sandwiched around a couple of whiffs. It was an easy one for Gerrit, too with a punch out and walk, oh and another great diving play by Marte to rob Bruce of a gapper and possible RBI. It was a 1-2-3 second for Inglesias. Marlon Byrd opened with a triple, taking a slider the opposite way to right center. Cutch got caught 'twixt a catch and a hop, and the ball skipped past him. A sac fly made it 1-0.

Gregory singled in the third, but was stranded. Billy Hamilton singled in the Reds half and stole two bases, but one of them wasn't home so it remained 1-0. But not for long; JHK drilled a slider into the second deck in left to tie the game in the fourth. Again, not for long. With an out, Marlon Byrd blooped a single, then Brayan Pena singled off Pedro's glove. Cole got ahead of Eugenio Suarez 1-2, then hung a fat curve over the dish that turned into an RBI double. He escaped, tho, allowing just the one run.

In the fifth, Pedro fouled off two balls down the middle and eventually grounded out by rolling over on ball four. Stew went down looking and Gerrit swinging. Phillips was jammed to open Cincy's half, but fought it off enough to roll a single to right. It took 10 pitches, but Cole punched out Votto. A passed ball moved Phillips to second. Todd Frazier whiffed chasing a full count slider, but it wasn't enough. Jay Bruce rocketed a 97 MPH heater for a double, scoring Phillips before Byrd went down.

Gregory had two more hits tonight (photo Brian Kerbey/Getty Images)
The Bucs went down in order in the sixth. Arquimedes Caminero took over; Cole was at 98 pitches and had a long inning in the fifth, altho he didn't look happy at the news on the bench. Arqie worked a quiet frame. In the seventh, A-Ram tapped out to the pitcher on ball four; he also fouled a couple of fastballs that were center cut. An out later, The Kid lined a knock to right, and Pedro walked. Ishy hit for Stew, and it paid off when he banged one off Inglesias' mitt into center to plate Walker. Burke Badenhop took over, and caught pinch hitter Fran looking; he never took the bat off his shoulders. Joe Blanton called his first call as a Bucco, and got through Hamilton, Phillips and Votto.

JJ Hoover got the call for the Redlegs in the eighth. Gregory greeted him with a dink single. Starling lined out trying to bunt and Cutch K'ed on a foul tip. A-Ram popped out, and that ended that minor threat. Blanton came out for a second frame. After whiffing Frazier, Jay Bruce yanked a changeup to right for a double. and Byrd got plunked high by the next pitch; Balnton will fit right in as a Pirate. Pena rolled over on a changeup, but it bounced into right to load the bases. A sac fly brought in an insurance run.

Aroldis Chapman took the hill. After JHK flew out deep to center on a catch Hamilton made look easier than it was, The Kid dropped a flare for a knock. Clint let Pedro hit against Aroldis looking for him to run into one (there is only one righty left on the bench, S-Rod, and he'll surely hit for Blanton); he didn't, as El Toro went down swinging at a nasty slider.

Rodriguez did get his at bat, and singled Walker to third. Fran dropped a soft shot into center; Neil scored and after the ball was tossed around, the Bucs had runners at second and third - and lefty Gregory Polanco up. But El Coffee had a great, disciplined at bat and drew a 3-2 walk. But Starling didn't have an answer; Chapman worked triple digit heat upstairs and Marte swung through three of them, all which were strikes under the letters.

The Pirates left some plays in the field tonight, a season-long issue for a team that's built on catching the ball, and missed quite a few pitches that were begging to be banged. Cole deserved a little more help as all three runs had a fielding lapse involved, although this whole Reds thing may be messing with his mind, too -  he left a couple of two strike pitches down the middle instead of burying guys. Have no doubt, this is one they should have taken.

  • Gerrit Cole has 21 starts; 17 were rated as quality starts; four haven't - the four against the Reds. The Pirates still haven't won a game he's started against Cincinnati.
  • El Coffee and The Kid had a pair of hits each tonight.
  • Starling's hitting streak ended at 10 games. Bad night for it; he left five runners on base.
  • Geez, that was quick. JA Happ is suited up tonight, so Bobby LaFromboise was optioned back to Indy after a 24 hour call up.
  • Bad year for John Holdzkom. He's back on the DL with a shoulder sprain, the same thing that slowed him down for most of the summer.

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