Saturday, September 5, 2015

Bucs Turn The Page With 9-3 Win Over Cards; Happ, Marte, Cutch Shine

The Bucs came out loaded for bear in the first against Carlos Martinez. Gregory opened with a walk and Cutch singled him to third with an out. JHK's bloop brought El Coffee home, and Starling's broken bat lob into left chased home another. A two out walk loaded 'em, but Jordy bounced out to strand the trio. jay gave up a Stephen Piscotty knock, but left him standing on second two outs later.

The second went quietly, with the only damage a two-out Redbird single. The third was calm too, with Starling's single the only action. Ditto the fourth, with a Fran knock erased via DP. In the fifth, Josh singled and Cutch walked with one gone, and a wild pitch moved them up a station. An out later, Marte lined a double, and the Bucs were up 4-0. Jay did what every good pitcher does; he shut down the Cards after a big inning.

It was back to calm in the sixth; Happ registered the only hit between the teams, with Seth Maness now on the hill. Same in the seventh, except Brandon Moss collected the single. His two out bouncer up the middle was the first Card hit since the second frame.

Miguel Socolovich came in for the eighth. S-Rod doubled with an out and scored on Fran's knock. Michael Morse singled him to second, bringing on Randy Choate. Gregory greeted him with a knock to juice the sacks, but Mitch Harris took the ball and got Josh on a grounder to stem the bleeding at 5-0. Antonio Bastardo took over for Jay. He got two outs around a hit and walk, and Clint called Tony Watson in. Piscotty doubled in a run before Tony got the third out to make it 5-1.

Happ-y days are here again... (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
The ninth was wild. Carlos Villanueva climbed the hill and gave up back-to-back singles to Cutch and JHK. An out later, S-Rod singled home Andrew. After a whiff of Starling, Jordy singled in Kang and Travis, pinch hitting, smacked a two-run two-bagger to make it 9-1; gotta love that two-out action. Jared Hughes took the hill. Between two ground outs, he gave up a pair of soft singles, the hit Mark Reynolds. That hurt; pinch hitter Cody Stanley hit the first hard ball for the Cards, driving in a pair before Jared finished off Tommy Pham.

The bullpen didn't exactly shine, but Jay Happ sure did, as did Starling Marte with three RBI and Cutch with three runs scored. Nice way to wash off the grime of the Brewer series. Charlie Morton gets the call to keep it rolling tomorrow night against Jaime Garcia.

  • The Bucs had 17 hits tonight. Starling had three of them while Cutch, JHK, S-Rod (remember him?) and Fran added two more each. For Kang, it was an all-or-nothing day - he had three K to go with his two hits in five appearances. Oddly, the same dynamic for Marte - fives ups, three hits, two whiffs.
  • El Coffee broke an 0-for-23 streak that was really quite deceiving -  he hit the ball well during his dry spell, but couldn't find any grass until tonight. 
  • At one point, Jay Happ retired 15 straight Cardinals. He went seven innings, giving up three hits and striking out eight.
  • No crying about RISP tonight; the Bucs went 8-for-16.

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