Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Locke, Schugel Rocked As Bucs Fall 9-5

Jeff Locke walked the lead off guy, and then gave up a knock. Ryan Braun bled a spinner in front of the plate that went foul off him; Clint argued he was out of the box (he wasn't) and should be out. Ump Sam Holbrook said "wrong, see ya'" as he bounced the skipper. Nothin' like an early ump show. Anyway, Braun bounced into an around-the-horn DP and a whiff of Jonathan Lucroy ended the frame. Chase Anderson was touched for a Starling double with one gone. Marte was wild-pitched to third, but Cutch and Freeser K'ed, so...

Chris Carter doubled to open the second and took third on a wild pitch an out later. A walk put Brewers on the corners. Locke got a big K, then gave up a single to Anderson, sheesh, then yet another to make it 2-0. Jeff did strike out the side, tho. Fran started it off with a two-bagger and JHK followed with a bobbled infield knock. Josh doubled in a run and Jordy's knock plated the pair. Jordy went to second on the throw and was bunted to third. Gregory couldn't cash him in, then Starling walked. He was caught stealing, so the Bucs took some and left some.

Freeser had a pair of doubles tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Brewers began the third with a single and walk, then a double steal. An out later, Scooter Gennett turned on an inside heater and doubled the duo home before the fire was put out. The Pirates went down in order. Locke walked the pitcher to start the fourth followed by a bunt single, the third time in four frames the first two batters have reached via hit-and-walk. Then came another walk and Jared Hughes. He got a soft pop and whiff, then spoiled it with a four-pitch walk to force in a run before getting out of it. He was fortunate that the Brew Crew was in chase mode. Jordy doubled with two gone and Matt Joyce walked, but they remained on the pond.

AJ Schugel took the ball in the fifth. He gave up a one-out rap but tidied it up with a 4-6-3 DP. Carlos Torres took over and Starling said hi with a soft knock. He stole second after an out and trotted home ahead of Freeser's two-bagger to make it 5-4. The sixth began with a leadoff walk, single and double steal repeat. Another free pass juiced 'em and a rap chased home two more runs. In came Arquimedes Caminaro (and Adam Frazier to third in a double switch). A sac fly brought home another score before Arquie calmed the seas. Jacob Barnes took his turn. Fraze got to second with two outs thx to a misthrow, and it cost Milwaukee when Gregory's dying quail to left chased him home.

The Brewers got a two-out bunt single in the seventh to no avail. Tyler Thornburg climbed the hill, and an out later, Freeser doubled off the Clemente Wall but was left stranded. Juan Nicasio answered the bell, and gave up an opposite field, three-sack shot to Braun with an out. A fly brought him home before a walk and whiff closed the frame. Will Smith toed the rubber and 1-2-3'ed the Bucs. Juan tossed the first clean Bucco inning in the ninth. Jeremy Jeffress tossed a dozen pitches and it was in the books.

Jordy had two hits and a pair of RBI (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

It's a long nite when the club serves 188 pitches and gives up 12 knocks with nine walks, mixing in five stolen bases (four on a pair of double steals) and a wild pitch. The attack again sold itself short by failing to cash in more often, but five runs should keep you in the game. Still, the goal is to take series, and the Bucs can do that tomorrow in the rubber match behind Frankie, who has given us a glimmer of hope with his last pair of outings. 

Tuff job for the FO to try to showcase a guy whose line is three innings, five runs, seven hits, five walks and five K. But they have to resolve the back end of the rotation soon. This is the part of the schedule when the team should be making hay and they can't afford these crapshoot outings.

  • Starling, Freeser and Jordy each had a pair of knocks. 
  • The NL's top two base stealers each added one more swipe to the total -  The Brew Crew's Jonathan Villar claimed #34 while Starling took #33.
  • Clint wasted no time getting tossed, but he's used to it - tonight was the 50th time in his career he's gotten the heave-ho. 
  • Tonight's announced attendance was 36,717, the Pirates' fifth sellout of the season.
  • Jameson Taillon isn't entirely in the clear yet after taking a liner off the bean last night. He's still being watched and tested; the MLB has a 48-hour window for a concussion diagnosis because the symptoms sometimes don't manifest themselves immediately. He did spend an uneventful night and appears to have dodged the bullet.
  • Per Buster Olney: "Among the teams watching Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez: Pirates, who had Gomez for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Looking for bullpen upgrade."

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