Monday, September 28, 2015

Pirates Strand 16, Lose In the Ninth 3-0 to Redbirds

Couldn't ask for more out of Jay Happ. He spun six shutout innings, giving up just one hit. Trouble was, the Bucs were busy stranding runners and blowing opportunities all over the lot against Lance Lynn and company.

The first went quietly, then in the second, Starling led off with a walk and The Kid doubled him to third. Fran's short fly to right froze them, and Pedro was walked intentionally. Jordy hit one to center, not very deep, and Marte tried to tag with Jay due up; he was gunned by Jason Heyward, who threw a no-hop strike home.

In the third, the Cards got their hit, quickly erased by a DP. The Pirates loaded the bases with an out after singles by El Coffee and Josh, followed by a Cutch walk. Starling whiffed, The Kid bounced out, and more ducks were left on the pond. The fourth only saw a Pedro walk. In the fifth, the Bucs were up to their old tricks; Gregory led off with a double, and tried to go to third on a bouncer by Josh; Jhonny Peralta would have none of it and threw him out. The Buccos squandered two walks in the sixth off Steve Cishek, capped by a two-out diving catch by Heyward.

Jay was the Pirates lone clutch performer tonight (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
Joakim Soria took over in the seventh; a one-out walk moved to second on a roller, and Neil Walker came up with a diving stop to hold Heyward to a single and save a run. Joakim buried a change up to Peralta for the inning-ending K.

Josh led off against Kevin Siegrist and hit a gapper. Peter Bourjos ran it down, but in the process kneed Stephen Piscotty in the head for a very scary moment. Piscotty was strapped to a cart and taken away, but did manage a weak wave to the crowd that gave him a well deserved ovation. Say a little prayer for him; he took a hellacious shot to the face and was out cold for a spell.

Cutch then singled and swiped second with two down. The Kid grounded one to Peralta, who muffed it to put Pirates on the corners. Fran worked the count full as the crowd was on its feet; he walked to load 'em. Pedro batted, lefty-on-lefty (Siegrist has a reverse split), and flew out to left to let the Redbirds off the hook. The Bucs are 0-for-9 with RISP and have left 13 runners on base; they've had the bases loaded four times tonight.

Tony Watson took the hill. He gave up a one-out singled to Kolten Wong, who was promptly doubled off on a liner - to right field; it's just not the Bucs with happy feet. Jonathan Broxton came on and Jordy hit a laser - right into Matt Carpenter's glove. Lunchbox walked and Keon Broxton ran for him, but Gregory and Josh hit into routine outs.

Mark the Shark toed the rubber. Carpenter singled with an out and Jon Jay (in as a sub for Piscotty) followed with a grounder into right; Polanco couldn't come up with the ball, and the Cards had the game's first run. It got worse; Mark Reynolds got an 0-2 fastball down the middle, belt-high, and he banged it over the fence to make it 3-0. He's homered in his last three games at PNC Park.

Trevor Rosenthal took the ball and walked Cutch. Starling dropped an 0-2 fastball on the outside half into right for a knock. The Kid put up an 11 pitch battle, but went down swinging. Fran put good wood to the ball, but lined out to right. A-Ram's liner was the third out, and now the Bucs can worry about game-planning for Jake Arrieta in the wild card game.

No doubt about it, it was a brutal loss. And it was a loss - the Cards didn't beat the Pirates as much as the Bucs beat themselves. They stranded 16 and went 0-for-12 with RISP, with the obligatory big error and baserunning blunder tossed in while facing two guys they love to hit against in Lynn and Broxton. Tomorrow, Charlie Morton takes on Michael Wacha,

  • The Cards said Stephen Piscotty suffered a head contusion; he was taken to the hospital to be further evaluated. Tests came back negative, so that's good news.
  • 16 runners LOB is the Pirate season high. 10 runners were put aboard via walks.
  • Tonight's attendance was 30,198.
  • Cardinal injury update: Adam Wainwright may be available from the pen by Wednesday. Yadier Molina is out for the regular season and Carlos Martinez has been shut down for the year. Matt Holliday & Matt Adams are both back.
  • The Cubs won; they're three back of the Pirates in the loss column.

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