Sunday, July 24, 2016

Joyce, Frazier Power Bucs To 5-4 Rubber Match Win

Rough first frame for Jameson Taillon. He started off with a single and pickoff, which was big as he gave up a homer and single further in, so JT was lucky to escape in a 1-0 hole. Vincent Velasquez tossed a calm opening frame. The Phils went down in order in the second with a pair of punch outs, and the Pirates answered. Starling singled and stole second, then Matt Joyce walked. A wild pitch moved them up, and before the smoke cleared, a bouncer and a S-Rod double made it 2-1 Pittsburgh.

The Phils punched back in the third. A Cesar Hernandez triple sandwiched between an infield single and grounder made it 3-2 Philadelphia. Pittsburgh blew a great opp. The first pair of Bucs, JJ and Gregory, walked, but a Freeser DP (originally a force, but challenged by the Phils successfully via the targeted slide rule. Tough rule to figure; Gregory went at the bag, but did make contact with the IF'er. It took 3-1/2 minutes for NY to debate). Even more annoying was Jaso being sent back to second because a runner can't advance on interference. That cost when Starling singled, but was then caught stealing to allow that promising start to go by the boards.

Starling had three hits, two runs scored and a stolen base (photo Pgh Pirates)

The Phils had their own TOOTBLAN when Carlos Ruiz led off the fourth with a double and was picked off second by C Elias Diaz (it took another replay to overturn the original safe call). JT took advantage and fanned the next duo. Joyce opened with a knock and S-Rod walked two outs later, but Jameson couldn't aid his own cause. He did drill a liner to right, but he was perfectly played. Taillon worked a clean fifth. Gregory hit a dink double with an out; he was nailed trying to steal third as Ruiz is having a flashback to his younger gunner days (The 37-year-old has a 29% throw-out rate this year). The inning ended without a further peep.

Odubel Herrera got an elevated 3-1 fastball and dropped it into the seats to open the sixth. Starling started the Bucs off with a two-bagger on an 0-2 mistake pitch, and Joyce blasted the next delivery 434' into the batter's eye in center to tie the game. JT was done; he went six, giving up four runs on eight hits with seven whiffs; his off speed stuff was solid, but he was again inconsistent with the fastball, leaving it up and flat. Neftali Feliz came on for the seventh. A walk and single left runners on the corners with two outs; three strikes to Herrera left them there. Edubray Ramos took the ball and served up a 407' top row bomb to RF off the bat of Adam Frazier.

Fraze drilled his first MLB tater for the game-winner (photo Pgh Pirates)

The Bucs made a slew of switches in the eighth, the main one being Tony Watson on the bump. The usual drama acted out - drizzle began, a hit, walk, review going against the Bucs, pair of dandy plays by JHK and Freeser, an inning-ending K... It all resulted in a zero for the Phils. Hector Neris got two outs around a JHK knock when the rains came and the tarp was rolled out. Eventually, they rolled the tarp back while John Jaso came out and signed autographs for the remaining few, the wet, the Bucco hard core. Andrew Bailey came on to replace Neris after the 92 minute delay to nail the last out.

The Shark circled, looking for his 30th save. Diaz showed off his rifle by gunning out speedy Peter Bourjas on a nubber. A couple of more routine grounders ended the dark and stormy night for the Phils.

So far, so good; two series taken. The offense was efficient again, going 3-for-8 w/RISP and scoring five times on nines hits (it helps to lose a couple of baseballs) even with the base running misadventures. So it's a day off before the grind picks back up against Seattle. It's getting close to rug-cutting time with the roster; we imagine Neal doesn't plan to enter August with Jon Niese and Jeff Locke in the bullpen.

The Shark has 30 saves (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

  • Starling Marte and Matt Joyce went 5-for-6 in the 3-4 lineup spots, with four runs scored and a pair of RBI. Joyce homered (eight of his 10 HRs have come at PNC Park) & Starling doubled.
  • In four MiLB seasons and 1,520 PA, Adam Frazier hit three home runs. He hit first MLB dinger today after 42 big league PA.
  • Adam Frazier hit his first MLB homer while Elias Diaz collected his first big league RBI.
  • The Pirates are 8-1 since 2014 against the Phils at PNC Park, sweeping both 2014 & 2015 series and winning this set 2-1.
  • 32,439 fans were in the house today, at least before the rain storm.
  • During his Sunday radio show, Neal Huntington said that he thought Tyler Glasnow's arm was bothering him prior to yesterday. He added that he suspects that Glasnow had a giveaway in his delivery that the Phils picked up on, leading to their five stolen bases yesterday. NH said he doesn't have definite diagnoses for Glasnow & Chad Kuhl, but is "optimistic" that neither injury is serious. Kuhl was at PNC today and signing autographs before the game.

No comments: