Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Bucs Break It Open Late Behind Kang, Cutch; Cole Goes the Distance In 10-1 Romp

Cole Train had a typically rough first, giving up a leadoff double and adding a plunked batter to the mix, but a pair of whiffs kept the scoreboard clean. James Paxton whiffed a duo himself in a clean frame. In the second, Gerrit tossed a quiet frame while Starling singled for the only dent against Seattle.

The third was 1-2-3 for the Mariners, featuring a Globetrotter-ish Freeser behind-the-back flip to Gerrit, who made a running bare-handed catch at first for the out. The Bucs came up with the game's first runs. Josh opened with a triple that glanced off Norichika Aoki's mitt (only a brief stumble on his cruise toward home kept him at third) and he scored on Jordy's two-bagger. There were Bucs on the corners with one gone after Freeser's infield knock. Cutch doubled home a second tally, and Starling was bopped by a ball to load the sacks. Kang hung pesky after falling into an 0-2 hole and drew an eight-pitch walk for a gift RBI. A single could have let the Bucs run away and hide, but one wasn't forthcoming. 3-0 is nice, but it didn't turn the trick last night, so some piling on would be good to see.

Andrew had himself a night w/three hits, including a bomb (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Cole was touched for a bloop single in the fourth while Pittsburgh went down in order. Gerrit has been dealing and kept on in the fifth, with the best part being that he's only used 57 pitches so far. Freeser started it off with a double and stayed there. Aoki led off the sixth with a double. A bouncer moved him along and a fly brought him home. Drew Storen climbed the bump and got three routine grounders.

Gerrit got through his usually five-alarm seventh inning behind shiny glovework by Josh, S-Rod and JHK. Cole opened with a knock off Storen and Jordy's bleeder put Buccos at first and second. A whiff and another infield knock loaded the bases. Of all people, Starling worked eight pitches and took a walk. Nathan Karns was handed the ball and his pitch to JHK got spanked for a bases-clearing double. He did manage to commit the daily TOOTBLAN, tho, getting tossed out at third, but we'll accept that smack as adequate piling on. A single and K ended the frame with Pittsburgh up 7-1.

Jordy had three hits and three runs scored (photo Justin Aller/Getty)

It was a clean inning for Gerrit, with a diving snag by S-Rod. He's working to contact, the guys are catching everything, and he's at just 80 tosses - with 20 in the first frame! David Rollins came in to twirl, and with two gone gave up a knock and walk, then Cutch happened, driving a ball 417' into the CF shrubbery. Starling followed with a double before JHK's fly ended the two out lightning strike.

After a pop-up, Robinson Cano fought Cole for 10 pitches before sending a fly to right. After a pair of brilliant plays, S-Rod muffed this ball. But no sweat; Cole Train served up a DP ball to put this one to bed.

5-3 on the home stand; could have been better, but still on track. Tomorrow's an off day, then off to Milwaukee and Atlanta for six more. They're still trailing Los Angeles, New York, Miami and St Louis for a wildcard spot and are eight games behind Chicago.

  • The top of the order was smoking today. Jordy & Cutch had three hits while Starling and Freeser added a pair. The foursome went 10-for-17 with four doubles, a homer, two walks and HBP, scoring eight times and chasing home six. And the fifth guy in the order, JHK added a base-loaded double and had four RBI on the night.
  • Gerrit Cole had made the most starts (87) in Pirates history without a complete game before tonight's gem. Indeedy, this was only  the second time he's gotten an out in the ninth. Ross Ohlendorf reclaims the top spot with 64 incomplete starts.
  • Andrew tied with Dave Parker for fifth place in Pirates history with 166 home runs. It took Cutch eight seasons and 4,923 PA while the Cobra needed 11 seasons and 5,267 PA.
  • Tonight's crowd was 35,483. 
  • Ryan Vogelsong went seven innings in a rehab start at Indy, giving up two runs on five hits (two solo homers) with a walk and two whiffs. He's about due to leave the DL; his rehab time was supposed to end on 7/23 but was extended because of his neck cramp.

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