Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bucs, Josh Walk It Off 3-2 Against Brew Crew

After two quick outs, Jameson Taillon ran into a brief jam when two soft singles dropped but had a K up his sleeve to escape. 31-year old rookie Junior Guerra, walked El Coffee with an out, Cutch singled and Starling worked another free pass to jam the sacks. Freeser singled in a run and Fran's sac fly plated another; good opening round.

With an out in the second, JT took a liner (105 MPH off the bat) that smacked the back of his head and he went down in a pile. He sat and then stood as the trainers checked him out. They let him stay in; we're not real sure that's adulting. The Bucs responding by Jordy muffing a DP ball, but his face was saved when a review rang up a force at second and another grounder ended the frame. Guerra got a whiff and two comebackers. Jordy booted another ball to open the third. Josh robbed Ryan Braun to get a force at second and a 6-4-3 DP cleaned up the frame. Starling reached on a two-out error (SS must be hexed tonight) but no damage resulted.

JT - "yep, it's still there..." (photo via MLB.com)

Chris Carter opened the fourth with a first pitch double. A pair of bouncers brought him home. Fran started off with a walk and stole second with one gone. Jordy legged out an infield knock; Fran had to freeze and JT couldn't bunt them up. No diff as JJ fanned fishing. JT worked a clean fifth as did Guerra. Braun has to be talking to himself - the sixth opened with Josh stealing another hit from him, diving to snag a liner and priming a 1-2-3 frame. JT is at just 65 pitches. It was an easy frame for Guerra, but he's at 100+ tosses.

Ah, we know they want to conserve the kid, and Clint reeled him in (we're thinking it was a predetermined corporate decision, not just Clint's). A liner off the noggin couldn't get him out of the game, but six innings did. JT gave up a run on five hits with three whiffs before Neftali Feliz took over in the seventh and sat the Brew Crew down quietly. Corey Knebel climbed the bump. Jordy got a 3-2 heater down Broadway and opened with a three bagger to The Notch. As is often their wont, the Bucs left him there.

Tony Watson took the cowhide in the eighth and gave up a four pitch walk. He atoned by coaxing a 6-4-3 DP and finishing with a K to put the Bucs three outs from victory. Jeremy Jeffress spun the ball for the Brewers and lost Cutch after being up 0-2. Starling's grounder was flipped for the force and was dropped to put Buccos on first and second. Freeser wasted no time hitting into a 4-6-3 DP, then Fran fished and whiffed as the Pirates continue their disdain of adding insurance runs.

Jordy had two of the Bucs five knocks (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Shark toed the rubber and walked Braun, then Jonathan Lucroy's grounder found its way into the outfield. After two whiffs and two strikes, the save was again blown when Hernan Perez punched a ball into center; worse yet, the Brewers had runners at second and third after the throw home. It wasn't a bad pitch, in on the hands, but the cutter moved just enough to let Perez get the bat on it. Mark left them aboard. Tyler Thornburg came on, and it was quickly over. Josh tripled to center, Scooter Gennett skipped the throw past the hot corner and J-Hay had himself a walk off little league homer.

It's a win, and we wouldn't worry too much about The Shark; the two hits against him tonight weren't exactly lasers. We would be concerned about the Buc bats. They've scored six runs in the past 44 frames and let more than a couple of chances slide by the boards. Granted, they've seen good pitching, but it's about time for the bats to wake up from the post-ASB slumber. Chase Anderson would be a good starting point for that tomorrow.

  • Jordy had a pair of raps; Gregory and Cutch each reached twice with a knock and a walk. 
  • Clint said that JT passed the concussion protocol adminstered by the trainers after he was drilled in the second frame.
  • The Pirates drew 27,106 tonight, not counting pooches.
  • John Perotto says in The Knuckleball that the Rays and Bucs match up for a pitching-for-hitting deal, but Tampa wants either Josh Bell or Austin Meadows on the table. Grant Brisbee of the McCovey Chronicles thinks the Pirates should lay off high priced acquisitions.
  • The life of a journeyman catcher - not only was Erik Kratz DFA'ed today by the Bucs, but the Cards did the same to Mike "The Fort" McKenry.

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