Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Frankie Does It All; Cutch Bangs 3-Run Bomb In 7-3 Win

Young Raisel Iglesias has shown a pretty good ability to miss bats; he proved it in the first when Starling doubled with an out and trucked to third when the hit was mishandled, with Cutch and A-Ram behind him. Two whiffs later, he was stranded. Frankie got himself into a little two out jam when he bopped Joey Votto and gave up a single to Brandon Phillips, but slid out of harm's way when Cutch tracked down Todd Frazier's liner. Fran walked for the Bucs and Jay Bruce had a knock for the Reds in second inning action.

Frankie started out a big third with a ground-rule double to right center. Gregory singled him home off a ball that deflected off Phillip's mitt, and Starling followed with another single. Cutch, who had looked at a couple of strikes in the first, wasted no time in pouncing on Iglesias' first pitch and lost it in the right field seats. After an out, JHK doubled. He moved to third on a grounder and came in on a balk for a free run. Frankie lost Votto again with two outs, but K'ed Phillips to keep the zeroes comin'.

Josh Smith climbed the hill and quieted the Pirates in the fourth. Liriano continued his two-out blues, plunking Adam Duvall with a 1-2 slider, but left him on first. Smith was touched for Starling's third hit of the night in the fifth, but otherwise had a calm frame while Frankie worked his first clean inning, picking up his sixth K along the way. The only downer was Fran came up gimpy after taking a foul off the knee. He stayed in, though with the score as is it would seem a good time to get him some me time.

Frankie was hitting on all cylinders tonight (photo Justin Aller/Getty)
Carlos Contreras took the ball in the sixth. With two outs, he walked Jordy and gave up another Frankie knock, but got out of it. Frankie gave up a blooper to right to Phillips, but left him aboard with no sweat as he struck out the side. At 104 pitches, his night is probably done. Kris Negron ruined Starling's perfect night, robbing him of a hit on a shot to left and injuring himself in the process. Two quieter outs ended the seventh frame. Jared Hughes charged in from the pen for his turn. After an out, Brayan Pena rolled a single to right and Skip Schumaker followed with a double. A bleeder and a whiff got him out of the pickle.

Collin Balester took the ball in the eighth and JHK greeted him by crushing a shot into the upper deck in left center. And we mean crushed; it was estimated at 476' by ESPN Stats.  An out later, Fran walked, but died at first. Antonio Bastardo toed the rubber for a 1-2-3 outing.
Ryan Mattheus answered the call for the ninth, and was met by an El Coffee double. Cutch walked an out later, and S-Rod chased a run home with a double to left to make it 7-0.

Mark the Shark came in, needing some work as he hasn't pitched since August 29th, 10 days ago. The rust showed; after 25 pitches, he gave up two hits and a walk (after being ahead 0-2) to go with a couple of outs. That brought Arquimedes Caminaro in; getting in some live reps is one thing, but getting an arm burned out in a 7-1 game is another matter. Arqie gave up a triple to Eugenio Suarez on a 0-2 heater before he punched out Votto.

Good to see the ol' Frankie back; he was throwing his fastball for strikes and getting swings & misses from his slider. A-Ram had an uneventful day at first; not much action tonight to judge him by. Now to go after the series tomorrow, when Jay Happ takes on Keyvius Sampson.

  • Starling Marte leads the team in three-hit outings this year with 14. 
  • Frankie had the first multi-hit game of his career tonight after 10 years and 250 games.
  • Liriano now has a win over all 29 MLB teams he's faced in his decade of pitching (including the Bucs). The only scalp he doesn't own belongs to Miami; he's never played against them.
  • In the last five games, Pirate starters have tossed 31 IP and given up just two earned runs.
  • John Dreker of Pirates Prospects noted that Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole became the first pair of Pirate pitchers to reach 175 K's in the same season.

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