Dexter Fowler walked (when Cole Train tossed a another ball to the the next hitter, his "Dammit" rang through the park) and with two outs, a pair of bang-bang calls opened the gates. With a 2-2 count on Anthony Rizzo, Fowler stole second, beating Fran's throw by a toe, on a pitch that caught the plate for strike three. Laz Diaz missed it, and Rizzo took advantage to double in a run. Ben Zobrist singled him home on a soft lob to right, and it was 2-1 Chi-town. Hammel tossed a quiet third frame.
|Cutch got the Bucs off to a promising start, but... (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Matt Szczur opened the fourth with a knock and went to second when Gerrit's pickoff try bounced off Szczur's sliding body. Cole Train left him there, but the Cubs have drawn 84 pitches already. The Bucs got a two out double from Gregory, but Josh left him there.
Chicago kept coming; a walk to Kris Bryant was followed by Rizzo double; a sac fly brought that run in. After a K, Cole beaned a batter (on an 0-2 pitch) and walked the next to load 'em. Clint saw enough and AJ Schugel got the ball. David Ross tried to spoil a two strike pitch, and boy, did he; the little poke landed a foot inside the RF line to plate another pair. With two gone, the ol' fake steal tallied another; Ross broke for second, got in a rundown, and the runner on third dashed plateward; he was out by a step or two except that Josh airmailed the ball over Fran's head to make it 6-1. Jordy opened with a single, went to second after a walk and scored on two grounders, prob a victory for both sides.
Kyle Lobstein climbed the hill for the sixth. Fowler welcomed him with a double just inside the line, but the Lobster hung tough and left him at third. Hammel plunked Marte, and Joe Maddon waved in Adam Warren. Marte was caught stealing (we know, we know...) a pitch before Fran walked, but a fly and whiff made it a moot point.
The crowd got into it a bit when Lobstein hit Zobrist in the hip with the first pitch of the seventh, an obvious payback for Marte. Maddon yelled at the Lobster, Fran yelled at Joe (and any Cub within earshot) while Diaz warned both benches. A one out single moved him to third, and the Lobster was a pitch away from working out of it when he sailed a fastball over Cervelli for a wild pitch; the next delivery was a third out pop.
|Kyle Lobstein tossed three good frames tonight (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Justin Grimm took the hill. Jordy singled. Jason Rogers hit into a 6-4-3 DP, but the play at second and first were challenged - second for losing contact with the base (looked like he held it) and first on the call (that was a coin flip). NY split the diff and upheld the forceout. Maddon challenged the challenge on the slide rule basis just to be an idiot; Jordy's slide was textbook legit. It took nine minutes for the three rulings; they could have just given the Cubs the calls as Jaso and Cutch both fanned.
Lobster put up a goose egg in the eighth, despite another double that kissed the chalk (this one hit off a sliding Polanco by the RF railing). Pedro Strop took his turn, and worked K/single/6-4-3 DP to put the Bucs away. Arquimedes Caminero took to the hill, and put up a zippo despite a single and walk. Travis Wood prolonged the agony a sec by walking Jordy with two outs, but fanned Rogers to put it to bed.
Cole Train didn't give the Bucs much help, going 4-2/3 IP and charged with six runs (five earned, the first time since 2014 he's yielded that many) on six hits with four walks and six K. Not much command tonight; maybe he was too amped, or maybe a little unnerved by the Cubbies running on him every time they reached first. Nevertheless, the Bucs were beat in about every way; as Clint would say, shower off and come back clean tomorrow, even if it is Jake Arrieta on the hill
- Jordy had three hits and a walk tonight; the usually slow starter is hitting .326.
- The Cubs scored seven runs, yet were just 3-for-19 w/RISP.
- Statistical oddity - the guys that stole home against the Pirates for the Cubs and Reds were both credited as caught stealing since they scored on errors.
- The team announced that C Elias Diaz, Fran's heir apparent, is scheduled to undergo right elbow surgery this week without specifying the procedure (the word is that it's not TJ surgery, tho that still leaves a pretty wide range). No matter what gets sliced, it complicates next year's catching situation considerably.
- Newly promoted to Altoona, Brandon Waddell got a nice going-away gift. He was named Florida State League Pitcher of the Week for his work at Bradenton.
- Former Bucco minor league C Ramon Cabrero was called up by the Reds after they placed Devin Mesoraco (torn labrum) on the DL. Another ex-Pirate prospect, OF/1B Alex Dickerson, was just brought up by San Diego. Chase D'Arnaud joined the club, getting promoted by the Atlanta Braves.