Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sorry Charlie - Heyward, Lyons Dismantle Bucs, Win Central Crown 11-1

Charlie didn't do much to instill any faith in the first. He gave up a leadoff triple to Matt Carpenter on a ball that looked like Starling could have had; maybe he and Cutch forgot that communication thing. Then Jon Jay's pant leg was brushed by an 0-2 curve. A 4-6-3 DP - Josh made a diving stop as it appeared the ball took a reverse hop on him - made it 1-0. Jason Heyward singled to right and came home on Matt Adam's double. It hit the concrete base of the Clemente Wall and caromed past El Coffee to put the Bucs down a pair before they got to the bat rack. Tyler Lyons put them away 1-2-3.

Ground Chuck was back for the second, getting a pair of bouncers before whiffing Lyons. A-Ram opened with a Texas League single between three fielders. Starling smoked one up the middle; the Cards were squeezed for the DP, Peralta took one step and turned two 6-4-3. Michael Morse banged one high of the Clemente Wall, but just foul, and then grounded out.

In the third, the Redbirds chased Morton. Carpenter doubled into the corner, Jay was drilled in the thigh while trying to bunt, and Peralta walked. That brought a chorus of boos, Clint and Bobby LaFromboise to the mound in that order. Heyward got ahead 2-1, got a center cut heater and banged a grand salami to right center. The next three outs came quietly, but the Pirates are in a six run hole. They went down in order again, with Heyward robbing Cervelli with a diving catch of his dying liner to center.

Joe Blanton came in for the fourth, and gave up a walk but put up a zero. The Bucs had another typical frame - line out, whiff, fly out to the track. Joe tossed a clean fifth. The first two Pirates whiffed chasing, then Heyward took a ball off the Clemente Wall smacked by Morse, pulling it in just under the "21" logo. Blanton kept dealing, surrendering just a quail single that Cutch missed by a half step. Lyons was takin' a cruise; he's faced the minimum so far.

Arqimedes Caminero took the hill in the seventh, and didn't help the cause. Jay walked, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Peralta's single. Heyward then doubled, but a pair of tappers closed the tap with the score now 7-0. The Bucs put three hits together, but still couldn't score. Josh singled to lead off, and El Coffee one hopped the next pitch to short for a 6-4-3. Cutch followed with a knock and A-Ram rolled a soft double to left. Starling then bounced out on the following pitch.

This sez it all about tonight...
Vance Worley took the ball and gave up a looping double that a hard charging Marte sold out for, but had hit his wrist as he dove. Two routine outs later, Vanimal walked back-to-back Cards and Peralta dropped a single to center to make it 9-0. Rob scahill took over, walked the bases loaded and then got a swinging K to end the frame. Kevin Siegrist toed the rubber.

The Pirates broke through, but a base running brain cramp cost them a second tally (not that it mattered much). Morse walked, then Stew banged one to the bullpen. Jay called it, missed the catch, and the ball took a high hop. At that point, Morse apparently thought it was going into the pen for a ground rule double, but it came down, hit the top padding, and bounced in play. Jay held the ball up and waved it for some reason, but Morse, head down, missed Rick Sofield's windmill as he trotted toward third; poor Stew was halfway to the hot corner before he saw him anchored there. A grounder scored Morse, but Stew never got in.

Rob gave up a couple more in the ninth on a Kolten Wong double and Tony Cruz bomb. Carlos Villanueva finished up. Polanco doubled to open, but Villanueva sliced and diced through Travis Snider, Pedro Florimon and Elias Diaz to bring it home.

Congrats to the Redbirds; 100 wins in the bank despite an injury list as long as your arm. For the Bucs, they couldn't break Lance Lynn or dent Tyler Lyons. Now they have to take care of business against the Reds this weekend and get ready to take on da Cubbies Monday.

  • Charlie has made 23 starts and given up 23 first inning runs. He hasn't made it to the fifth inning in his last three starts.
  • The Pirates used six pitchers; Joe Blanton, who tossed three frames, was the only one who wasn't scored upon.
  • The attendance was 34,279 fans.
  • Tyler Lyons went seven innings for only the third time in his career, and for the first time since 2013.
  • The Cards are the first team to clinch a title at PNC Park. The last opposing team to clinch before them were the Phillies in 1993.
  • The Cubs won; we know Cole Train and Jake will go for the gusto on Wednesday, October 7th at 8:08 on TBS. It's still uncertain where the game will be; the Pirates magic number for a home match is two.


monkee said...

Isn't the W.C. game Wednesday October 7, 2015?

Ron Ieraci said...

Monkee - thx; the bad part of my gaffe is I cut-and-pasted it from somewhere, and both the day and date were wrong! That's why I don't cite my sources, lol. I appreciate the heads-up on my bad & corrected it.

WilliamJPellas said...

Morton has been pretty bad for most of the second half of the season. While I am personally ready to move on from him, he has had his moments when healthy and the Pirates would probably be best served if they could eke out one more halfway acceptable season from him next year. I just hope he's not hurt again and that injuries are not the reason for his recent run of poor performances.

Ron Ieraci said...

He'll be back, Will. Charlie's FIP has always hovered around league average, give or take, he has $8M guaranteed next year, and the Bucs don't have the internal depth to replace him - Glasnow may be ready after the AS break, Taillon may be a September call up, Kingham is prob a 2017 candidate; so even if they reup Happ, they'll be short. Dunno if he's hurt or just tinkers too much; in some ways, he reminds me of Ian Snell.

WilliamJPellas said...

Snell was a guy who had some talent but not much going on between his ears. With Morton, I suspect it's that he doesn't have much going on in his chest cavity, though I should quickly add that I have never heard of him being a problem in the clubhouse and also that there have been a few successful "space cadets" in the past. Not many, but a few.

Anyway, yes, you're right, the Pirates don't currently have the depth to replace Morton, at least not from internal assets. I hope they bring back Happ for a year or two---assuming he'll take a deal that brief---and that by 2017 our "real rotation" will be established. I just hope the next wave is coming soon after Taillon-Glasnow-Kingham-Cumpton, 'cuz three of those four guys have already had serious injuries, and you can never have enough pitching!

Ron Ieraci said...

I threw out that comparison, Will, because to me, it's not lack of heart so much as lack of confidence. In Morton's case, he's prone to over analyze, tinker with release points, play with his mechanics -trust your stuff and attack. That may be a bit of Jeff Locke's problem, too, though he doesn't have the arsenal of Charlie or Ian.