Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pirates Bite Snakes 12-1

Frankie walked one in the first; he was probably fortunate, as none of the four batters saw a first pitch strike. JJ drew a walk off Shelby Miller, but was picked off first by the catcher. Jaso's swim move may have dodged the tag, so Clint challenged and won. A Cutch single put Pittsburgh in business. Big business, too; Gregory was fed a steady diet of heat, and a 3-2 fastball ended up in the RC seats 398' away. Starling singled, stole second and went to third on a wayward throw with an out, where he died. It was 1-2-3 in the second for the Snakes. JJ singled with two away to no avail.

Liriano tossed a clean third. Starling blooped a two down knock followed by a Josh walk, and both cashed in when Jordy banged a 3-1 heater over the CF'er's head for a two bagger. Stew drew an intentional pass that proved a bad idea when Frankie's knock plated Jordy to make it 6-0, although the D-Backs did nail Stew trying for third. Phil Gosselin opened the fourth with a double and Paul Goldschmidt drew his second free pass. But a force at third and a 4-3 DP on a ball bounced up the middle relieved the pressure. The Bucs went down in order in their half.

The Rox hit a couple of bullets in the fifth, but Cutch ran them down for a 1-2-3 frame. JHK walked and Josh singled an out later, but a 4-6-3 DP on a smoked ball nicely played by Jean Segura ended the parade. That also ended Miller's night.

Frankie struggled with his control, but gave the Bucs 5-2/3 IP of one run ball (photo Associated Press)
Frankie gave up a two-out walk in the sixth followed by a single and a pair of four-pitch passes to bring home the Snakes first run of the night. That brought Jared Hughes to the hill, and he got a bouncer to hold back the tide. Liriano went 5-2/3 IP, giving up a run on two hits, with five walks and just two whiffs. He tossed 98 pitches; 50 were balls.

Andrew Chafin entered and Stew welcomed him with a knock. Freeser pinch hit another single, then they were bunted up by JJ (lefty-on-lefty). Cutch couldn't bring them home, tapping back to the mound on an 0-2 count; Chafin hit his spots perfectly on the black. Alas for the Snakes, El Coffee picked him up with a two-run two bagger to right center. Evan Marshall came in and JHK banged an RBI singled in a grinding, nine pitch at bat before the fire was put out.

Arquimedes Caminero came on in the seventh (ho boy!) with Figgy going to third and Freeser to first. After an out, Arizona banged out two singles followed by Arquie beaning Segura in the helmet. Jean got up and walked off the field on his own, but that's two too many scary moments the last couple of nights. Clint kept Caminero in, and he worked out of it. Josh and Jordy led off with knocks, and a bleeder moved them up notch. Freeser got drilled by Marshall, and both benches were issued warnings. Cole Figueroa answered with an RBI single; Cutch's blooper brought in two more, one on the hit and another while Figgy did the dance during a run down before Arquie bounced out to end the frame.

Jordy had two hits, two RBI and two runs scored (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
The first D-Back walked in the eight - with the Bucs up by 11! Two outs later, a single dropped into left, followed by another HBP, catching Nick Ahmed around the jaw, and he too left the game. Caminero, who's a hot mess right now, was bounced. In 1-2/3 IP, he gave up three hits, walked one and plunked a pair. AJ Schugel was tossed into the fire. He prob should have started the inning, but did finish it with a grounder. Randall Delgado took the hill and worked around a walk and an error. AJ cruised through the ninth.

The Buc bats were on fire, pounding out 17 hits and a dozen runs. But Frankie's wildness has to be a concern, though he has been effective. As for Caminero, well, the FO may love the arm, but they're carrying a six man bullpen as long as he's in it. With 20 more games before a break, that's not a luxury the team can afford. Arizona got as many walks as hits (six) plus two HBP and stranded 11; that wild streak will bite the Pirates sooner or later.

  • Gregory Polanco's five RBI was his personal best. He went 3-for-5 with a homer, double and two runs scored.
  • The first 11 Pirates with an at bat all recorded a hit; the string was broken by Arquie, who got his first MLB plate appearance and grounded out to short. Cutch, Starling, Josh and Jordy each had a pair of raps.
  •  Jordy has an eight game hitting streak.
  • Rob Biertempfel of the Trib tweeted that Jameson Taillon's next start will be skipped as part of the plan to keep his innings under control. Or is it something else the FO has in mind...like getting him set for a mid-June MLB debut?
  • SS Clint Barmes retired. In 13 MLB seasons, the glove-first IF slashed .245/.294/.379. He played here during the turn-around years of 2012-14 (.224/.271/.314) and will be remembered in Pittsburgh for his walk up song that epitomized the resurgent Pirates, "Don't Stop Believing." 
  • The Chicago White Sox released ex-Bucco 1BTravis Ishikawa, who had been playing in AAA.

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