Friday, September 11, 2015

Charlie Strong, Stew & Tony Watson Clutch In Buc's 6-3 Victory

Geez, the first inning! With an out, Elain Herrera doubled to right and Adam Lind homered to right center of Charlie; the Bucs are in the hole for the second night against the Brew Crew before they even touched a bat. The Bucs didn't have a lot going against Jimmy Nelson. Gregory reached on a error, Josh hit into a DP. Cutch walked, and A-Ram grounded out. Runners do not equal runs.

A lead off single for the Brewers was erased on a DP of their own for a quiet frame; the Pirates bounced out three times. The third started with an error by A-Ram; he misfired on the flip to the pitcher again. And again, that was negated by a DP. Ramirez made amends with a nice pick to start the 3-6 twin killing; Jordy's tag was first ruled late, but on review the call was reversed for another 1-2-3 the hard way frame. Pittsburgh grounded out three more times.

Charlie would have had a 1-2-3 fourth, except Josh forgot to catch a fly, but it didn't lead to any damage. The Pirates woke up. Josh singled and Cutch walked to open; two outs later, The Kid also worked a free pass to load 'em for Jordy. He was pesky, and banged the eighth pitch to short; the throw was wide (it was ruled a hit) and Pittsburgh had a run. Stew drilled a pitch to left, and the Pirates were up 3-2. Charlie followed with his first truly clean frame; the Bucs hit the ball hard against Nelson, but the only runner ended up Josh, who was HBP.

With an out in the sixth, Lind walked. No prob; Ground Chuck served up his third DP ball. JHK led off by catching a ball in the side and Neil singled him to second. That earned Nelson a shower after 103 pitches, and Tyler Cravy took his spot. An out later, Stew came up big again, knocking home Jung-Ho with a single to left. Snider grabbed a stick for Charlie and whiffed, biting on a pair of dirt balls. Gregory legged out an infield knock to juice the sacks, but Josh went down swinging to leave the pond full of ducks.

Joachim Soria took the ball in the seventh. After two outs, he had Logan Schafer whiffed; the ump missed the call and Logan then singled. But his nine lives ran out when Stew picked him off first, tho the ump missed that, too, and it took review to get the call. David Goforth climbed the hill, and Cutch greeted him with an infield knock. An out later, JHK yanked a high fastball to left for a two-bagger, scoring Andrew easily when Khris Davis couldn't come up with the ball cleanly. Jung-Ho  was wild pitched to third and touched home on The Kid's fly to center.

Tony Watson after a job well done (Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
Arquimedes Caminero took the ball in the eighth and gave up a single to Martin Maldonado and another to Domingo Santana. It was time for Tony Watson. Hector Perez battled and got the eighth pitch at the belt, singling in a run with the runners taking second and third when Gregory took an ill advised shot at third. Tony came through with a pair of whiffs on seven pitches before walking Davis. In stepped pinch hitter Ryan Braun, who was on the bench getting a rest day. He rolled the second pitch to third, and the Bucs dodged a late bullet.

Stew saw the infield back and dropped one for a hit, moving to second on a S-Rod bunt. He died there as Mark the Shark claimed the hill in the ninth to face the Brew Crew's 6-7-8 hitters. Ten pitches and two K's later, the win was in the books.

Charlie came up big, and Tony Watson even bigger on the hill tonight, while Stew's three hits and three RBI sparked the attack. Good day to win, too - the Cubs took two from the Phils, while the Cards are in a rain delay at Cincy.  Another big one tomorrow, with Jeff Locke taking on Zach Davies.

  • Clint said in the pre-game that AJ would hold a rotation spot. He added that he wouldn't go with a six man rotation, but wouldn't name who was going sit. It's a moot point for a spell, with a twin bill scheduled Tuesday, requiring at least one more six-man spin.
  • Pittsburgh snapped a seven game losing streak against Milwaukee that began in June.
  • The Pirates are 70-1 when leading after seven innings.
  • Starling Marte has a bruise on his shoulder where he was HBP last night. He didn't start, but did come in as an eighth inning defensive replacement.
  • Cutch is at 90 RBI for the second time in his career.
  • Mark Melancon's 45th save is one short of tying Mark William's single-season club record of 46, set in 2002. 
  • Indy rallied for a 4-2 win over Scranton/Wilkes Barre and are in the International League finals. 

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