Friday, October 2, 2015

Marte Partay: Bucs Cut Home Magic Number To One In 6-4 Walk-Off Win

Well, Frankie was ready; he tossed six pitches in a 1-2-3 opening frame - and that included a whiff. Keyvius Sampson one upped him, collected two punchouts. Jay Bruce singled with one away in the second, and Eugenio Suarez sent the next pitch, a knee-high changeup, over the centerfield wall into the hedges to give the Reds a quick 2-0 lead. Adam Duvall doubled as Frankie is catching way too much plate this frame; the last three hits have been tattooed.

Ramon Cabrera lined out to Cutch. A wild pitch moved Duvall to third, but he stayed there as Sampson lined out to right on a hop - El Coffee tossed him out by a half-step 9-3, with Pedro being heads up too by heading straight to the bag. A-Ram gave the ball a ride, but it became a loud out to center. The Kid reached on a Todd Frazier boot and Petey walked. Fran lined out to left, but Jordy fouled off some balls down the middle and whiffed on a hook.

Joey Votto dribbled a single up the left side with one gone in the third. Brandon Phillips singled an out later, after getting new life following a phantom foul call on a ball in the dirt that should have been strike three. It hurt; Bruce knocked home Votto  on a bloop and Suarez's single brought in Phillips. Frankie got a whiff to close it; Fran dug out two balls in the dirt during the at-bat. Pittsburgh went down in order.

With an out in the fourth, Sampson reached on Pedro's misfire to Frankie. Tyler Holt bounced into a force, stole second and went to third when Fran's throw missed the target. Francisco K'ed Votto to leave Holt stranded. Cutch pumped some life back in the Bucs with a blast over the right center fence to make it 4-1, and A-Ram again just missed the fence, lining out to deep center. Two routine outs got Keyvius back to the dugout.

Andrew had three hits tonight (photo: USA Today)
Frankie worked a clean fifth. Sampson picked up two more whiffs. The second one ended up on first as Travis Snider missed a curve and so did the catcher, but it didn't help the cause. Jared Hughes sprinted in for the sixth. After a K, Duvall walked and Cabrera legged out an infield single, but never threatened. Starling dropped a bunt for an opening knock, Cutch singled and A-Ram walked. That brought in lefty Tony Cingrani, and Michael Morse hit for The Kid, walking on five pitches to make it 4-2. Clint let Pedro bat (Cingrani has reverse splits), and Petey put up a battle before rolling into a force, making it a one-run game.

Righty Jumbo Diaz came on with runners on the corners and K'ed Fran on a high slider. Jordy picked him up, lining a fastball to center to tie it up and chasing Pedro to third. Josh went up and swung at everything; he sat down after four pitches, one of which may have crossed the plate. But a good frame nevertheless; now it's a battle of the bullpens.

Joakim Soria took the ball in the seventh. With two gone, Phillips lined a 1-2 hook for a knock and Ivan DeJesus Jr ran for him. He didn't go far as Bruce K'ed. El Coffee led off with a bloop hit and went to second on Starling's bouncer; Marte might have made it interesting at first with a little more hustle down the line. A Cutch liner to short was snagged before A-Ram walked. Ryan Mattheus came on to face Morse. A wild pitch moved the runners up a base, but Morse was caught him looking, his bad as took a swing at ball four on the 3-1 pitch and then failed to spoil a fastball on the corner.

Tony Watson climbed the hill, and gave up an infield single to Cabrera with two gone before ending the frame. Carlos Contreras toed the rubber and had a quiet frame. Mark the Shark got the ninth inning call and sailed through. Aroldis Chapman answered the bell and sat down the Bucs without any sweat. Antonio Bastardo came out for the 10th and retired the Redlegs in order. Sam LeCure came out and gave up a leadoff knock to Cutch, but a K and DP closed that book quickly enough.

Duvall greeted AB in the 11th with a ground ball single to left and was bunted to second. After a K, Bastardo lost Tyler Holt, hitting .100, to get to Votto. Joey was HBP, loading the bases for Frazier. It ended well, though, on a fly out that Cutch ran down on the track in right center. Collin Balester took his number and walked Travis Ishikawa on four pitches. Keon Broxton ran for Ishy. Fran fouled off a heater down the middle with Keon in motion, then grounded the next pitch, well outside, to second for a DP. That was followed by a K.

A Marte partay (Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
Arquimedes Caminero was next in line for the 12th and tossed a clean frame. El Coffee walked with one away, and the long night ended on a sweet note as Starling jacked the next pitch the opposite way over the Clemente Wall for the walk off win.

Clint didn't exactly distinguish himself in extra innings. Andrew and Keon Broxton were aboard with no one on to open the 10th & 11th frames respectively, and there was only only break for second by either, without a bunt call, and both runners were eliminated by DPs. That's a little too earl Weaver-ish for us, but hey, it worked out. The Bucs magic number for a home date with the Cubs is one, and AJ will take the hill tomorrow against Brandon Finnegan on Batman's last regular season start; we hope it's the clincher.

  • This was the Pirates 11th walk-off win of the campaign; they haven't had that many since 1982.
  • Todd Frazier became Frankie's 202nd strikeout victim in the third, setting a personal single season high for Liriano. 
  • The Pirates and Reds have near identical NL Central records (33-41 for Pgh; 32-42 for the Reds). The Bucs have 97 wins on the year; the Reds have 97 losses. (S/O to Dan Zangrelli of The Fan). 
  • This is just the seventh time the Pirates have reached 97 wins in a season. Three of those years (1909,1971,1979) ended in World Series titles (Hat tip to John Dreker of Pirates Prospects)
  • Pedro has 23 errors, the most by a 1B since Kevin Young in 1999. Remember who the Bucs brought into spring camp to help Petey transition from third to first?
  • Tonight's crowd was 31,422, with not many left at the finish.
  • Joey Votto tied Pete Rose's Reds record by reaching base safely in his 48th straight game.
  • Cincinnati has now lost 13 in a row.

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