Saturday, April 16, 2016

Jon Niese Stops the Slide In 5-0 Bucco Win

Jin Niese and Taylor Jungmann had their way in the first frame. The next inning was a bit more up-and-down for Jon: single, DP, walk and whiff. Starling opened the Buc half by taking a ball on the hands. After some TLC, he trotted to first and an out later swiped second. That's where he stayed. The Brew Crew left a two out double aboard in the third. The Bucs were in business; after a line out, Jon walked and JJ singled. Alas, they joined the Pirate's LOB line.

Jon Neise puttin' up the goose eggs (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

It was easy as 1-2-3 in the fourth for Niese.  En fuego Marte led off with a two bagger off Jungmann and Fran's leg hit put runners on the corners. Gregory's squib to first brought home Starling. Josh ripped the next pitch for a triple off the Clemente Wall to tally another, and Jordy's fly cashed him in. Holy Moly - a three spot and no one stranded! A knock and a walk started the Brew Crew off in the fifth. Jordy made a great stop in the hole and nailed the lead runner. Jungmann K'ed on foul bunts, but a wild pitch moved the runners up a base. Niese left them there. Cutch added another run when he sent a curve into the seats.

Jon tossed a clean sixth, helped by another play in the hole by Jordy and a nice pick by JJ. The Bucs missed a chance when Fran singled but was erased on a strike 'em out, throw 'em out DP when Gregory swung through ball four. Niese stranded a one-out walk thx to nice plays by Gregory and JJ.His night will be done after 96 pitches - seven scoreless, giving up three hits with three walks and three whiffs, a great night from him. Carlos Torres took the hill and was greeted by a Jordy double; JJ and Cutch walked an out later. It was to no avail; Freese banged into a 6-4-3 DP.

Tony Watson took the ball, and walked two of the first three hitters, losing them both on full counts. That brought up Ryan Braun, But there were no heroics tonight, just a well timed 6-4-3 twin killing to end the frame. Sam Freeman climbed the hill. A pair of walks followed by a Josh knock added a run; another walk loaded them, but they remained ducks on the pond. The Shark came in. He hasn't had much work lately, and Monday is a travel day, so it's a good time to keep the machine oiled. It took him 22 pitches, but he struck out the side, all looking, and the Bucs were back on track for a night..

Josh had a big day at the plate (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

For one inning the Bucs went back to their early playbook of productive outs; a ball to the right side and a sac fly helped put up a crooked number. And the fielding was spectacular today; Jordy and JJ should get Stargell stars while the rest of the guys were airtight. And give ol' vet Jon Niese credit for coming up big when the staff needed a stand up performance. Now to keep it up tomorrow...

  • Jon Niese was the first Bucco starter to go seven innings this season. He's been the go-to guy so far; the team has won all three of his starts and he's 2-0.
  • Fran and Josh each had a pair of knocks tonight. Cervelli scored twice with an RBI; Harrison scored once with two RBI.
  • There were 34,957 happy fans for Fireworks night.
  • Tyler Glasnow went five innings for Indy tonight. He gave up a run on fours hits with nine K and no walks, at one point retiring 11 in a row. He left with the game tied 1-1.
  • Keon Broxton, hitless this season, was optioned to AAA by the Brewers.

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