The Cole Train gave up a knock in the second and the Bucs went down in order. Chicago left a leadoff single and two-out hit batter, both reaching with two strikes, in the third, with a couple of well stroked outs in between. Cutch led off with a single and stole second as JHK whiffed; he had been ahead 3-0. With two gone, Lunchbox was walked intentionally to get to Jordy for the righty-righty faceoff. Good move; Mercer bounced out on the first pitch.
Gerrit spun a clean frame, showing some very good off speed stuff. He then singled with an out, went to second on a wild pitch, third on a bouncer and touched home when The Kid hooked a double off the bottom of the Clemente Wall. That was it for Hammel; Trevor Cahill got the ball and retired Cutch on a hopper to third.
|Cole Train didn't get the W but tossed a strong outing (photo Associated Press)|
With an out, Miguel Montero singled off a diving Pedro. Gerrit's foot got in the way of Starling Castro's probable DP ball, deflecting it to third for a knock. Then PH Tommy LaStella sliced one the opposite way, doubling just inside the LF line, and that was it for the Cole Train. Joachim Soria got a line out, then with two gone, his pitch went through Stew (it was called a wild pitch), and it was 4-3 with a Cubby on third. Fowler walked, and a 2-2 pitch to Kyle Scwarber also went to the backstop (both were 55' inside curves thrown into the dirt), tying the game before finishing the frame. Pedro Strop 1-2-3'ed the Pirates.
Tony Watson took over and worked a clean frame; Cutch cradled the last out off Kris Bryant's bat just in front of the bullpen fence *whew*. Justin Grimm lost Pedro on a 3-2 pitch, and it hurt him. P-Flo came in to run; he stole second and went to third when Montero's short hop was short-armed by Castro. He came home on Starling's sac liner to left. So it's Shark time in the ninth. Three up, three down (tho he did go 3-0 on Javier Baez) and raise the Roger.
Gift runs have been the bane of the Bucs all year; recovering from them has also become a hallmark, and today was no different. Bad throws, wild pitches, balls deflecting off fielders; ho hum, another day at the office. Still, great to open the set with a win; the pressure is all on Chicago now.
- Mark Melancon has tied Mark Williams single season saves record at 46; he has 26 at home, which is also the team standard.
- JHK has a seven game hitting streak.
- For a 5-4 game, the pitching was pretty tight; both sides finished up with just six hits.
- The Pirates lead the NL with 32 OF assists; Starling leads the league with a dozen.
- The Bucs drew 31,488 to today's daylight opener.
- Joachim Soria threw no wild pitches while a Tiger but has five in six weeks as a Pirate.
- It's Cy Young week comin' up for Pittsburgh. The Pirates are scheduled to face Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw over the next five days.