Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Bucs Go Solo X 4 To Snatch 5-4 Victory Over Redlegs

Cutch got to second with two down after a walk and bouncer, and Alfredo Simon kept him there. No such luck for Juan Nicasio. Billy Hamilton tripled on a grounder into the RF corner and came in on Brandon Phillip's soft pop into center to make it 1-0 after a frame. The Bucs went quietly in the second as did the Reds, and ditto for the third.

Andrew hasn't been fooled by Simon, tho; he drilled a homer the opposite way to start the fourth. Starling just missed joining him. With two gone, Fran walked and Jung Ho was plunked, but S-Rod whiffed. And so it begins; Phillips took a hip shot on the first pitch, followed by a bench warning. Jay Bruce made the payback hurt, though; he poked a fastball the opposite way over the wall in left to make it 3-1.

Josh started on the pine, but his long fly tied the game (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

The Pirates responded in the fifth when Freeser took a two out, full count cutter and dumped it over the RC fence; everyone's going oppo field today. Cutch almost doubled up; his drive was gloved at the wall. Cincy came right back. A lead off double by Tucker Barnhart, bunt and sac fly kept the pad at two runs. Marte had a shot at the catcher Barnhart tagging, but his throw was uncharacteristically weak.

Starling was smacked in the hand with a curve in the sixth. No intent, ruled the umps (and they were right) and allowed Big Pasta to stay on. With two outs, he stole second, but a review rung him up. That brought Clint out; his claim was that Phillips pushed Marte's hand off the bag briefly, which looked like what did occur. Both Starling and Clint were ejected while Juan kept his cool and tossed a scoreless frame.

Jung Ho opened the seventh with a long fly to left off an 0-2 hanging curve; he almost hit it one handed. That swing ended Simon's night. Steve Delabar picked up where Alfredo finished; he plunked S-Rod on a 3-2 pitch, again w/o intent or consequence. A wild pitch moved him to second, where he died. Bad at bats that inning; Jaso and Freeser whiffed and Jordy popped out swinging at ball four. Juan was gone, going six innings, giving up four runs on four hits with no walks, one HBP and five whiffs. He was quite efficient, using only 68 pitches, but is still a "work in progress" project as a starter.

Jared Hughes took the hill and plunked Adam Duvall on a 2-2 pitch; Jared wasn't sent to the shower. Duvall was caught stealing against a pitch out; even a Reds challenge couldn't undo the call. Good thing; Barnhart banged a two out triple but was left on the pond. Tony Cingrani took the ball in the eighth and whipped three pitches past Cutch and getting Gregory on a soft pop. Then Josh nailed a center cut heater over the knees, going (all together now) the opposite way to knot the score. Tony Watson toed the rubber and threw a drama-free frame.

Ross Ohlendorf got the call for the ninth. JHK was credited generously with an infield knock when Zack Cozart threw away his tapper to short. He was bunted to third and Jordy's bloop to right brought him home. Freeser was hit in the hand with two outs; the third time after the warning was the charm for the Reds as Ohlie was tossed. His beaning was no more intentional than the others, but Jeff Kellogg finally said enough is enough after the fourth plunked Pirate. JC Ramirez climbed the hill and calmed the waters.

The Shark got his 10th save with the game on the line (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Mark Melancon gave in, looking at a legitimate save opp. Bruce greeted him with a single, followed by two routine outs. Joey Votto stepped to the plate to pinch hit and walked on a borderline 3-2 pitch. No prob; he fanned the red hot Barnhart, and somehow the Bucs managed to grind out a 5-4 win tonight.

Stylish it wasn't, and the series promises to get ugly as the bruises keep accumulating. But the guys have a day off to ice themselves down, and they certtainly didn't want to roll into Wrigley with another loss hung on them by the Reds.

  • The Pirates only had four hits through eight innings; all four were solo homers by four different players.
  • Clint and Starling were the first two Pirates tossed out of a game this season. Marte entered the game with a four game streak of multiple hits, ending with his ejection.
  • The Pirates tied a modern-era team high for plunked batters with four; it was last matched against the Giants in 2008. Five Pirates were hit in 1890 in a game against the Cleveland Spiders.
  • David Freese looked pretty comfortable fielding at first. 
  • The Nat's Max Scherzer tied a MLB record tonight by K'ing 20 batters in a nine-inning game, beating the Detroit Tigers, his old club.


WilliamJPellas said...

Nicasio has done pretty well for a junkheap guy. I'd rather see him as our fifth starter than as our number four, but again, considering what it cost to get him, which was basically nothing, he's done alright. Unfortunately it seems to me that the Pirates as currently constructed basically have 3 fifth starters in Niese, Nicasio, and Locke. Niese of course has a somewhat better track record than that, but he hasn't been good since the first half of the 2015 season. I would have to think that at least one and possibly two of these guys will be replaced by Glasnow and Taillon before the season is out; Niese has a not-ridiculous option for 2017 and another for 2018, so it's all there for him if he can figure it out. Nicasio can surely help in the 'pen even if he eventually gets passed up in the rotation. Locke, I would think, is on the way out. On the other hand you can never have enough pitching, so....

Ron Ieraci said...

Some interesting choices with the young guns ready to move up, Will. Niese is the only one with options; he's also been the biggest disappointment of the trio.