Sunday, September 13, 2015

Magical Mystery Tour Continues; Bullpen, Bats Carry Bucs to 7-6 Win In 11 Innings

It rained, stopped, and rained again, but the game started not too far behind schedule. Unfortunately, Frankie never caught up. We'll put the first three innings in capsule form: Liriano was terrible. A pair of walks and his own throwing error (why can't Pirates make the flip to first?) led to a pair of first inning runs, and a barrage of hits led to a quick hook for Francisco; the Bucs were down 5-1 after the Brewers batted in the third; they added one more off Joe Blanton in the fourth.

The Buc run came on a Pedro bomb; they almost back-to-back homers, but Khris Davis pulled back a Fran shot headed for the seats, both in the second frame. Bucco killerTaylor Jungmann wasn't having a significantly better day; a single and two walks loaded the bases in the fourth, and Travis Snider banged an opposite field ground rule double to chase home a pair. Jordy's sac fly brought another run in, and at 6-4, it was a game again.

Arquimedes Caminero tossed a pair of clean innings; the Bucs left a pair on in the sixth after a walk and error. Antonio Bastardo had a sweaty palm seventh, but left a pair of Brewers aboard. Jeremy Jeffress replaced Jungmann and was tossed into the fire. A one-out error was followed by three straight knocks, with Cutch and JHK singles scoring Buccos. Pedro came up with the crowd on its feet; his 6-3 DP sat them back down.

Tony Watson and Jeffress traded quiet eighth innings, while Mark the Shark and Will Smith worked 1-2-3 ninths. Joakim Soria gave up an infield single to open the 10th. Shane Peterson ripped a liner to third that JHK gloved an inch above the dirt; his strong toss to first resulted in a DP. The Bucs left Cutch's lead-off single go for naught.

Jared Hughes came on and gave up an opposite field knock to Adam Lind, who was bunted to second. A soft liner to left was badly misjudged by Josh; it fell to put Brewers on the corners. Scooter Gennett banged one to second; The Kid went to his left, spun and zipped a perfect feed to Jordy, whose relay completed the inning ending 4-6-3 DP.

Tyler Thornburg came in for Milwaukee. Ishy hit and dropped a soft single to left, going to second when Peterson couldn't pick up the ball. Jordy's bouncer to the right of second was backhanded nicely by Luis Sardinas, saving the run though moving P-Flo (running for Ishy) to third. With the infield in, Josh lined a shot to left for his fifth career walk-off, and the Bucs came back from a five-run hole to grind out a win.

The bullpen was a bulwark today; they went 8-2/3 innings giving up one run. The offense was sharp, too, with the big boys coming through and the second bananas like Lunchbox and Ishy playing big roles, too. Well, off for a day, and then the Cubs come to town for four games.

  • Talk about a team victory - the Pirates used seven pitchers, and every position starter either scored and/or drove in a run.
  • JHK continued his hitting streak; it's up to six games.
  • BTW, nothing wrong with El Coffee; it's a rest day.
  • With today's victory, the Pirates are back to their season high 30 games over .500. St. Louis won and Chicago lost today, so the Pirates remain 2-1/2 behind the Cards and jump four ahead of the Cubs. This is setting up to be the most pulse pounding September since 1979 - and that run for the wire ended up pretty well.
  • The Bucs drew 34,740 today. 
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