Cutch started the fourth with a walk. An out later, JHK had a pesky, eight pitch at bat, culminating in a bloop single that put Bucs on the corners. Pedro rolled over on what looked like ball four; his comebacker was turned into an inning ending DP. The Mets went down in order on six tosses; Happ has quietly picked up five whiffs over the first four frames. The Bucs bottom of the order went down without a peep in the fifth. It was ditto for NY; that's nine in a row for JA.
The Bucs aren't helping themselves much; Gregory led off the sixth with a bunt single, but Walker's grounder to first resulted in a 3-6 twin killing. El Coffee may not have known first base had been touched; he opted for a take-out slide rather than an evasive move. Cutch took a four pitch walk, and A-Ram's fly left him there.
Happ ran four straight pitches inside at the knees to Yoenis Cespedes; he drilled the last one over the left center wall to tie the game. An out later, Daniel Murphy doubled on a first pitch curve that was right down the middle. That brought Jared Hughes in, and he put out the fire.
With an out in the seventh, Pedro rolled a single the opposite way but stayed anchored at first. Jared remained and worked a clean frame; he collected five outs on 14 pitches.
|JA Happ earned another start tonight (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Closer Jeurys Familia grabbed the ball. After two routine outs, Pedro singled off Familia's mitt for an infield knock. S-Rod shot a liner to right, but Curtis Granderson had it measured to end the frame.
Arquimedes Caminero came in for the Buccos; the Shark is in reserve for a save situation on the road. After an out, Wil Flores reached on an error by JHK; his throw pulled Pedro off the bag. The Bucs challenged; it looked like Petey tagged him going by. And he did; the call was overturned. Anthony Recker followed with a grounder up the middle, and lefty Michael Conforto pinch hit; he lifted a ball to the track and into Cutch's mitt.
Bobby Parnell took over in the 10th, and Stew greeted him with a single; Starling came in to run. Fran stepped up for Arquie and singled on a 3-2 toss, chasing Marte to third. Gregory banged the next pitch into center, and it was 2-1 Buccos. That brought on Carlos Torres. The Kid's tapper moved the runners up a station. Cutch was walked to load them up. A-Ram's been hitting flies tonight; one more would be nice. Bless him, he came thru; his sac fly to right made it 3-1 and sent El Coffee to third. Torres got JHK on a foul tip; it was Shark time.
It's never easy; Juan Lagares fought him for eight pitches before doubling to right center and was wild pitched to third. Granderson lined a ball to right; Gregory tracked it down, and it went as a sac fly to make it 3-2. Then he settled down, getting Cespedes swinging on a 55' curve and Juan Uribe on a roller to third for his league-leading 36th save.
Well, didn't expect a pitching duel tonight, but we got one. The depth of the Bucco bullpen was the difference on a day when the bats were icy, but so far against the Cubs and three division leaders, Pittsburgh is 6-3; not bad at all. Tomorrow night will feature Charlie Morton going against Jon Neise.
- Gregory, Petey and Stew each had a pair of hits tonight.
- Pittsburgh has won six straight extra inning games. The last time they did that was in 2008. It's regression; they're 8-7 overall in bonus baseball.
- This was the 12th consecutive win for Pittsburgh of games determined by the bullpens.
- This is the eighth straight game that Pittsburgh has homered.
- Cutch drew the first base on balls Colon has issued in 31 IP; he averages less than a walk per game.