Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Buc Bats Remain Cold; Miami Scores Late To Take 3-2 Victory

Jordy worked a lead off walk against Adam Conley for naught; Cutch bounced into a 4-3 DP. Freeser drew another free pass, then Conley served Marte six straight balls and he still K'ed. Jon Niese allowed a one out knock that led to nada. Conley struck out the side in the second; he left some fastballs over the plate that the Bucs missed, and his slider is working. Giancola Stanton led off with a walk, laying off a couple that just missed, followed by a two strike single and a bobble of a DP grounder by Josh to jam the sacks. The Bucs got a force at home and the pitcher fanned; ditto for the next Fish and Jon escaped.

The Pirates went down 1-2-3 in the third, with Jordy's liner finding a mitt. Christian Yelich doubled with an out on a ball that barely beat Starling to the wall; Niese squelched that threat with a pair of whiffs. It was a clean fourth for Conley; that's 10 straight Corsairs sat down. The Fish opened with a knock, but a fly and a 6-3 liner DP shut Miami down.

Jon Niese's streak of six+ innings was snapped at four (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Fran battled for a walk to start the fifth, but a fly and two more whiffs took care of that. JT Realmuto banged a one out double and Martin Prado's knock put Marlins on the corners. Yelich put the ball on the ground and JJ went home; Realmuto's slide just beat the tag. A walk loaded them up. Jon got a call to catch Stanton looking, but a two out wild pitch negated that to make it 2-0. An intentional walk juiced the bases again to get to lefty Derek Dietrich and his pop ended it. Cutch's two out liner to center crossed a hit off the Pirates bucket list in the sixth. Freeser followed with a double, with Andrew held at third, and that hurt when Marte grounded out to short. Wilfredo Boscan came in - Niese was at 95 pitches - and tossed a quiet frame.

Kyle Barraclough took the hill in the seventh. He walked Fran and Josh followed with a knock. S-Rod whiffed and JJ did the opposite, walking on four pitches. Matt Joyce grabbed a bat, and the Fish called on lefty Mike Dunn in response. The count went full before Joyce pulled a heater into right to tie the game. That brought David Phelps into the game and it took him two pitches to get a 6-4-3 DP off Jordy's bat. Neftali Feliz took the ball and fanned a pair in a clean frame.

Fran had the eye of the eagle, drawing three leadoff walks (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Phelps struck out the side in the eighth. Tony Watson got the first Fish duet, then plunked Dietrich on an 0-2 pitch. The ball caught him square on the wrist; he was in pain and removed from the game. It hurt the Pirates, too, and Adeiny Hechaverria fouled off four straight pitches before finding one he liked, doubling home pinch runner Miguel Rojas. AJ Ramos came in to close the gate. Fran drew his third lead off walk to open the ninth, but eight pitches later, Ramos notched three routine outs to seal the deal.

Tony went five weeks without giving up a run, so he was due to be dinged. Still, it's frustrating to have two outs and two strikes two times and not be able to finish. As for the Bucco batters, Conley and then Ramos ate them up with sliders; the guys couldn't lay off them. What was surprising was how many fastballs that were in the zone that they couldn't handle; the Pirates hunt that pitch, but just couldn't square any up tonight. Not a very good trip so far at 2-4, with a struggling Juan Nicasio due up next.

  • The Pirates drew six walks (four led off innings, with three drawn by Fran); unfortunately, they only had four hits to go with that, along with 14 strikeouts. S-Rod whiffed all four times he batted for a golden sombrero, and Starling went down on strikes three times.
  • Tony Watson has allowed his first run since April 27th on his first hit allowed since May 6th.
  • Josh has an eight game hitting streak.
  • An old familiar face took in tonight's game as Rennie Stennett was in the house.
  • The press gang got a pre-game injury rundown from Pirates trainer Todd Tomczyk - Gregory's foot was examined today after he fouled a ball off it last night; no word on his condition yet. Arquimedes Caminero is throwing off the slope of the mound and is near to a rehab assignment. Ryan Vogelsong and MiLB IF Kevin Newman are getting their fractures checked out by Pittsbugh docs. C Elias Diaz is in Pirate City, where he's throwing and swinging in the sun to strengthen his cleaned-out elbow.


WilliamJPellas said...

I don't care what anyone says. I believe Andrew McCutchen is playing hurt, and that it probably dates back at least to spring training of 2015. His stolen base game has nearly vanished completely over the past year and change, and at 29 and with the kind of shape he's in otherwise, he is too young to have his speed vanish like it has---unless he's injured. Do you have any reliable information about what is, or might be, wrong with McCutchen?

As for the current series, honestly, I liked Miami as a bit of a darkhorse this season---any team that has two elite players like Giancarlo Stanton and Whatsisname Fernandez (the pitcher) on it, and that is managed by a steady, experienced hand like Don Mattingly has a chance---but the Pirates, on paper, should still be better than the Marlins. Now we have to win tomorrow just to salvage a split. Yoi and double yoi!

Ron Ieraci said...

I've seen nothing to indicate he's hurt, Will. Could be his knee thing is chronic and gets worse as the season goes on, but it doesn't seem to bother him now. It looks more like, judging by fly ball & K rate, he's trying to become a 40 homer guy in his golden years. Maybe swinging out of his shoes is why why he's missing so many fastballs. Curious to see when they decide to slide him to left. And yah, Miami has pieces; they're still hanging around even with Dee Gordon out and Giancola Stanton with his durability issues.