Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bucs Outlast Cards 6-5 In 11; Lobstein Gets the Win, Jordy the Walk-Off

Good start for Jon Neise; he whiffed the first two Cards he faced. He was given a quick 2-0 lead built around El Coffee's second inning laser triple off the Clemente Wall that scored Fran; Gregory came home on a Josh right-side grounder. The Cards came right back, thx to a Marte boot that led to a pair of runs. He misplayed a single to allow one run to score and runners to advance 90' feet, and that turned a potential inning-ending DP ball into an RBI bouncer to make it two all.

The Bucs came right back when Cutch doubled in John Jaso. But the attacking style that fizzled in Florida bit the Pirates in Pittsburgh, too; Andrew was thrown out at home trying to score on David Freese's single with no one out. Still, it was 3-2 after three frames even with the Bucs bleeding runs all over the yard.

The lead didn't hold for long; Jedd Gyorko's two-run shot (Brandon Moss was HBP ahead of him) put the Cards up. The Bucs bad day continued; Gregory ran a circular route to turn a single into a triple; Jordy followed with a bad throw that JJ could have at least caught if he had the experience to step off the bag. It must be contagious; the Cards bobbled a bases loaded, one out DP ball to allow a run and send Michael Wacha to the hot water. A sac fly by Polanco (lefty v lefty) tied it at five after five frames.

Maybe Jordy will get a card swinging a bat some year...

Niese joined Wacha in the shower after a line of five innings, five runs (four earned), five hits, a walk, a bean batter and seven K after tossing 81 pitches. A little sharper D would have made those numbers a lot more bearable. Arquie put St Louis away in the sixth and the Bucs were three up, three whiffed. Tony Watson again came on in the seventh and wobbled through it despite a yielding a single and walk. The Bucs apparently aren't liking the strike zone; three straight whiffs have come looking.

Neftali Feliz took the ball and did his job; Jonathan Broxton came on for the Cards. Polanco and Harrison hit balls hard off him, but they found gloves, so it's off to the ninth. Mark the Shark gave up a dink double to open the frame but worked through it. Trevor Rosenthal ran up a 1-2-3 inning and it's bonus baseball time.

Kyle Lobstein trotted in from the pen and S-Rod went to first. K-Lob walked the first batter, but a timely DP erased the threat. Seth Maness tucked the Bucs away. The Lobster put up another zippo in the 11th, striking out the side. El Coffee drew a one-out walk of Maness. Josh's infield single (ruled a fielder's choice) put Gregory in scoring position, and score he did on Jordy's slap down the RF line. Raise the Roger!

Lobster alert! (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

The Pirates had 10 hits against Wacha in 4-1/3 innings; the Card pen tossed 6-1/3 frames of hitless ball, and retired 18 in a row. We're not exactly sure what the guys were looking for; they struck out nine times against the relievers, and six were looking. They made a bushel load of early mistakes. But like all of Clint's team, they play til the last out, and walked off a big win against the division's gorilla. Quite unlike St Louis, they went 1-for-12 with RISP and couldn't pull the bunny out of the hat tonight.

Three things to note: Josh Harrison is showing a skill set that was wasted last year at leadoff, giving himself up for the cause. He's already moved a guy up who scored and brought home a pair with productive outs. Another is that David Freese is really quite good in the field; he made some nice plays yesterday and started an unlikely DP tonight. And finally, looks like the bullpen may be money in the bank again.

Juan Nicasio and Mike Leake get it on tomorrow as the Bucs look for a sweep.

  • SS Aledmys Diaz, 25, made his his MLB debut tonight for the Cards. He was signed in 2014 after he had defected from Cuba.
  • The Pirates announced that Gerrit Cole will make his first start of the season Saturday in Cincinnati, followed by Jeff Locke's first 2016 appearance on Sunday. Frankie will kick it off Friday, working on his usual five day cycle.
  • 26,049 Eskimoes showed up at PNC Park tonight.
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