Friday, August 21, 2015

Giants Locke-d In Early, Hold On For 6-4 Win To Even Series

Jeff Locke was looking to come up with a second solid consecutive performance; he's still looking. A leadoff single and walk turned into a run after a Buster Posey sac fly. It looked manageable when Jeff went up 1-2 on Marlon Byrd. It wasn't. Byrd fouled off four balls, and then took the second of back-to-back 1-2 curves deep to make it 3-0. The Bucs did get a run back; Starling and Cutch singled with an out, and with two gone, JHK's knock plated Marte.

It didn't get better. After a line out, Locke gave up three straight hits; the middle being a blast by Mad Bum, his fifth, to put the G-Men up 5-1. The Pirates again made noise, starting with a walk and single. Jeff couldn't bunt them up, but Josh got HBP on an 0-2 pitch. Starling's force brought home a run.

It was six up, six down in the third; Byrd singled for San Fran, but was erased on a DP. In the fourth, a couple of Giant singles and a double made it 6-2. Bumgarner struck out the bottom third of the order. In the fifth, Byrd led off with a double but was stranded while Pittsburgh went down 1-2-3.

Jeff didn't have any tricks up his sleeve tonight (photo: Garnt Jeffries/Bradenton Herald)
Joe Blanton took over in the sixth, giving up a Nori Aoki two bagger but no runs. The Bucs went down in order again; they've hit a several balls on the nose, but can't find grass. To be fair, so have the Giants. After whiffing the first two G-Men in the seventh, Joe gave up back-to-back knocks, with runners on second and third thanks to Cutch's throwing error. An intentional walk and K of Bumgarner provided him an escape. Michael Morse led of with a double and S-Rod singled him to third. A sac fly got Mad Bum out of the match, replaced by Sergio Romo, who gave up another knock. No more fun, tho, as Starling swung at a slider way off the dish and bounced it to second for a 4-6-3 DP.

Antonio Bastardo got the call for the eighth and worked a clean frame, the first time SF hasn't had a runner aboard this game. Cutch opened with a double and A-ram singled him home. Romo went to his bread-and-butter slider, getting JHK swinging and Fran on a pop. Morse kept the inning alive with a knock, and that brought up Pedro. Lefty Josh Osich answered the call, and took El Toro to school with his cutter, getting a roll over and ground out to first on a 2-2 toss; the strikes were cutters no where near the dish that Pedro bit on.

Arquimedes Caminero toed the rubber and tucked the Giants away. Santiago Casilla came in for the save. He lost The Kid on five pitches, but two pitches later it was moot as Gregory rolled into a 4-6-3 DP. Marte went down, and so did the Bucs.

Well, Bumgarner didn't have a typical day, but Jeff Locke gave the Bucs virtually no chance to win tonight. They did rally - the lefty lineup allows Clint to whip up a pretty good hitting order later in the game - but two key plays were DPs hit into by the Bucs two fastest runners, Starling and Gregory, at times when a hit would have made things interesting. Another good matchup tomorrow when Gerrit Cole takes on Bucco nemesis Mike Leake.

  • No surprise when Cutch has a pair of hits; so did bench bats S-Rod and Michael Morse.
  • The 11 hits Jeff Locke surrendered in five innings were a career high for one game. Six went for extra bases.
  • With his first inning homer, Marlon Byrd has a hit a bomb at PNC Park while playing for the Pirates, Phillies, Cubs, Mets, Nationals, Rangers, Reds, & Giants. Getting him for this series was a master stroke by the Giant FO. So far this year, Byrd is 22-61 (.361) with six homers and 14 RBI in 14 games v Pittsburgh.
  • Tonight's attendance was 37,692, the 20th sellout of the season.

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