Monday, May 23, 2016

Bucs Ride Big Frame To 6-3 Rubber Match Win

Though it was a sunny day, Ryan Vogelsong had to dodge a couple of raindrops to get through the first. A leadoff double put him in an immediate hole. Two routine outs later, Carlos Gonzalez grounded one up the middle; a diving stop by S-Rod held the hit to an infield single to save a run when Mark Reynolds grounded out. Jordan Lyles punched out two of the first three Bucs he faced.

Colorado went down in order in the second. Starling opened with a single and steal; after a whiff, Fran walked. A wild pitch moved them up, and Josh's wormburner to short chased Marte home. The Bucs challenged the out call at first; it was rightly reversed to an infield knock. Harrison stole second, and Lyles worked around S-Rod, walking him. V-Song took a heater under the earflap and went down like he was shot; he had to be taken off the field in a cart, alert and mobile but with a towel draped around his head. Jeff Locke came in to run for him as Wilfredo Boscan warmed up. After all that, JJ bounced into a first pitch DP, short circuiting both a big inning and Wilfredo's loosening up time; it's 2-0 Bucs.

Ryan had a very scary ending to his outing today (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Boscan worked a clean third.  Cutch and Gregory opened with singles, and Starling's fly tagged Andrew to third. Gregory quickly moved up a station with a steal and Freeser walked to jam the bases. Fran bounced to first with the infield in; Reynolds' throw home was high, the catcher pulled an El Toro, and two Bucco runs plated on the error. Josh's single brought home another, and Lyles' day was done. Chris Rusin took the ball and got Fran at home on a contact play gone astray (note to Pirates: try a fly ball). It also caused another plate injury; ump Jeff Nelson got some debris in his eye and had to leave the field; Ben May replaced him after a jog to the locker room to don the gear. Boscan singled in a run before the music stopped; it's 6-0.

The Rox went down in order in the fourth; Rusin struck out the side. The Rockies got a one-out single and walk in the fifth. They moved up 90' on a tapper and jogged home on Charlie Blackmon's double; walking the eight hitter came back to bite Wil. Fran singled with an out; Josh hit into a force and then was picked off on a steal try. Upon review (he looked as if he ducked the tag) the call was upheld by the war room; maybe Josh came off the bag for a sec. It was 1-2-3 for Boscan in the sixth and the end of his day. It was a solid enough four innings: two runs on two hits with a walk and two whiffs on 64 tosses. The Bucs still can't solve Rusin. He cruised, tho the middle out was a 405' shot to The Notch by JHK.

Wilfredo Boscan picked up his first MLB win today (photo Pirates/Getty)

Neftali Feliz toed the rubber in the seventh, and he punched out a pair in a no hit, no run frame. Rusin shut down the Bucs. Tony Watson got the call for the eighth; the Rox are still hanging' around thx to Rusin, who went 4-2/3 scoreless IP on 41 pitches. Tony did his job with a quiet frame. Miguel Castro climbed the hill for Colorado, and survived a couple balls hit on the nose for another calm inning; that's 12 Bucs cut down in a row.

Jared Hughes came in and took the ball in the ninth; after an out, he gave up back-to-back soft liners to center, bringing on The Shark. Clint gets heat for this move, but it's not his fault that the pen just can't close a game out. Another single loaded the bases, and a sac fly made it 6-3. Another fly to Cutch, and the Bucs had another series win.

This is how Pittsburgh does it; a series at a time. And who woulda thunk this series would be a pitching contest; the last two games didn't turn on ball bashing, but key errors. This game did point out the fly in the Pirate ointment - too many big leads have turned into save situations for The Shark because the pen just can't finish out a game without Tony and Mark. It's especially galling now that the starting rotation seems to be finding itself. Ah well, 5-of-7 at home is a good start, with Arizona coming in for three more.

  • A week of firsts for Alfredo Boscan - after three previous call ups left him on the bench, he got his first MLB outing and K on the Wednesday. Today he gave up his first run(s), got his first big league at-bat, hit (on the first pitch) and RBI. Oh, yah - he got his first win, too.
  • Josh had two hits, two RBI, a run scored and a stolen sack today.
  • Tony Watson hasn't surrendered a hit since May 6th. Since April 30th, he's worked eight games covering eight innings and given up just one knock. 
  • The Bucs stole three bases today and appeared to have a fourth, tho replay disagreed.
  • JJ's three game multi-hit streak ended with an 0-for-4 outing today.
  • No report on V-Song's condition yet; we'll update you when it's known.

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