Saturday, July 23, 2016

Bucs Survive Early Onslaught, Steal 7-4 Victory

Tyler Glasnow gave up a one-out, four pitch walk to Odubel Herrera; he promptly swiped second. A bloop hit put runners at the corners, and a soft single to the opp field plated the game's first run. A comebacker was turned into a twin killing thx to a nice turn by Josh after a weak toss to stop the bleeding. Aaron Nola was tapped for a two-out two-bagger to The Notch by Cutch, and two pitches later it was tied when Starling singled Andrew home, steaming into second on the throw home, where he was left.

With one gone in the second, Freddy Galvis legged out a roller thx to replay; the throw beat him but Tyler missed the bag for an error. Odd play; Galvis hit a curve that bounced before he laid the bat to it. He stole second; Glasgow has a long, deliberate delivery. A bouncer up the middle scored the gift run. Nola whiffed trying to bunt the runner up (no diff; second was swiped shortly thereafter) and another K finished it up. The Bucs again had an answer when Josh tripled with an out and Jordy's right side bouncer scored him.

Gregory's two run knock got the Bucs rolling (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Herrera opened the third with a knock, and umm, stole second. A fly moved him to third, followed by a four pitch free pass. Then Tyler drilled Cameron Rupp in the head with a first pitch heater. Rupp left the game, thankfully under his own power, while Glasnow got his act together, coaxing a pop and grounder to leave the bases juiced. Nola worked a clean frame. Same ol' in the fourth - leadoff walk, stolen base, hit batter (the pitcher, trying to bunt) and a visit by Clint and the trainer after Glasnow went 2-1 on the next hitter. He was pulled, apparently due to injury, for Juan Nicasio who tucked Philly away. Fran beat out a grounder with two gone. Josh's whiff made three when he stopped running out a strikeout that got past the catcher, quite unlike the Bucs Energizer Bunny.

With an out in the fifth, Carlos turned a 10-pitch at bat into a knock with a looper to right. A two-gone rap  put Phils on the corners, and a third single gave Philadelphia the lead. Good response: Jordy's single and a pair of free passes juiced the sacks. Gregory's bullet to right plated two Buccos. Severino Gonzalez took over. After an out, he plunked Starling. Freeser chased in a pair of ducks with a knock to right, and Fran tacked on another tally with a sac fly to make it 7-3.

Freeser's rap gave the Bucs room to breathe (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Jared Hughes took the ball in the sixth.  He gave up a run on a triple and a couple of singles while mustering two outs. Clint gave him the hook and brought in Neftali Feliz to shut it down. Pittsburgh went down in order, their first whiff at a response inning. Neftali almost had a 1-2-3 seventh, save a dropped two-out bloop by Starling. Edubray Ramos answered the phone and tossed a quiet inning.

Tony Watson got in trouble after a dink single and infield knock with one gone in the eighth; the Phils have been extremely good at hitting where they ain't this series. But Tony ended the drama without any damage. David Hernandez took the ball. Fran got an infield knock on a dribbler thx to replay for the only dent. The Shark turned out the lights.

Neftali kept the Phils on ice (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Down to the rubber match; the Bucs just have to keep grinding out series wins during this soft spot in the slate. Count this as a stolen game. Philadelphia could have run away and hid early in the match but couldn't buy a hit to break it open.

As for Tyler Glasnow, he was as advertised - flashes of brilliance, wild, and lousy at holding runners. He's 22 and needs polished up a bit yet. Neal Huntington wasn't blowing Super 2 smoke when he said he wasn't a finished MLB product yet. We hope his shoulder isn't a thing. We've suspected - without, may we add, any verification but by eyeball - that he's overthrowing, and that's what is bugging him. Learning to trust your stuff without an added adrenaline rush is a key lesson in the maturation of a pitcher.

  • Seven different Pirates had hits (Fran was the only Bucco with two), seven scored and five drove in runs. That's a pretty balanced attack. 3-for-6 w/RISP is a good, efficient day, too, especially with just eight hits. The Pirates stranded four runners and the Phillies left 14 on the sacks. We might add that it took six pitchers to nail down the win. They were touched for eight hits in six innings, but just two runs. 
  • Tony Watson made his 198th PNC Park appearance, the most in club history.
  • The Phils five stolen bases were the most they've had in a game since 2009. That was against the Bucs, too, a contest that Philadelphia won 8-7. They swiped the sacks off three different pitchers (Ross Ohlendorf, Matt Capps & John Grabow) and C Ryan Doumit. 
  • The report on Tyler Glasnow is that he has "right shoulder discomfort."
  • The crowd today was 35,802; hope they spent their 3-1/2 hours out of the sun.
  • Ryan Vogelsong did some light throwing today after suffering from neck pain in his last rehab start. 
  • Ken Rosenthal reports that the Pirates would have to move both Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows to get the Rays to part with Chris Archer. Archer is 5-13/4.60 and has never won more than 12 games, so lots of luck, Tampa. Wrong Chris for that price.
  • Chad Kuhl was pulled after an inning at Indy today; our guess is that Tyler Glasnow will get DL'ed and Chad will be back with the big team.

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