Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Our Kind of Broken Record - Another Rally, Another Win 7-5

Jeff Locke and Jaime Garcia mirrored one another over the first three frames. Garcia was touched for a Freeser bomb and Locke for an Aledmys Diaz solo shot; otherwise, a couple of runners, but none that made it second. That changed in the fourth. Starling singled for the Buc harmlessly thx to a DP, but with one gone, the Redbirds went to work. Jeff was dinged for four consecutive singles and Garcia added a sac fly, not challenged very well by Cutch. A bunt single, first rung up but then reversed by challenge, tacked on another tally and one more came in on another knock to make it 5-1.

AJ Schugel has quietly run his record to 2-2/3.40 with 2 holds & a save (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

The Bucs did muster an answer. S-Rod went long to open the fifth and Erik followed with a double. A roller moved him up, but he died at third. Locke had been pinch hit for, and Jared Hughes climbed the hill.He was touched for a couple of knocks, but a DP eased him out of the frame. Opening back-to-back walks in the sixth got Garcia the hook; Jim Bowman took the ball. An out later, back-to-back knocks by Josh and S-Rod cut the Card lead to one and chased Josh to third. And in back-to-back innings, the Bucs stranded the runner at third with an out. AJ Schugel worked a clean frame.

Jonathan Broxton toiled in the seventh. With one out, the Bucs had runners at the corners on a walk and Cutch rap. JHK doubled both the runners in and went to third on the throw home. He came in on a two-out Josh tapper; it was charged E-6 but could have just as easily been a soft infield knock. Either way, it's now 7-5 Buccos. Neftali Feliz claimed the bump, and was nicked for an infield single while putting up a goose egg.

Freeser continues to haunt his old mates (photo via Fox Sports)

Sam Tuiavailala answered the call for the eighth and Eric Fryer welcomed him aboard with a knock. A soft roller moved him up 90', where he lay at anchor. Tony Watson strolled in and 1-2-3'ed Saint Louie. Seung Hwan Oh then did the honors in the ninth. The Shark came in, oddly to his PNC Park entrance song, "Thunderstruck," by AC/DC. Awfully nice gesture by the St. Louis staff. He gave up an opening infield knock on a hard hit ball that ricocheted off Freeser's mitt that he would probably like back. The next three Cards had no such luck, and the Pirates raised it once more in St. Louis.

Can't say that the Bucs ever mail it in. The bullpen has been nothing short of spectacular, tho we're not sure how many four inning starts even they can absorb. For Locke, his nightmare on the road continues; despite two shutouts and a one-run outing away from home (he has a 2.96 ERA at PNC), he's been banged for 26 runs in his last four road starts in just 17-2/3 IP and his ERA away from the Allegheny is over seven.

  • It was a team effort at the dish. Eight Pirates had hits (JHK and S-Rod had a pair). Jung Ho led the run prodution with two RBI and two runs, Freeser added two runs and a RBI while S-Rod, who played a nice RF, scored once and chased a pair home. 
  • The Pirates last six wins have been come-from-behind victories; they've rolled out a seven game winning streak. Tonight was the first time they've overcome a four-run hole. For the year, the Pirates are 8-4 v the Redbirds.
  • Per Joe Block: In the Pirates bullpens last 39 appearance, they've surrendered just one run in 46 innings.
  • Josh collected career hit #500 tonight.
  • Stew's MRI showed wear and tear to this knee, which could ultimately require surgery. He and the Bucs are going to try to nurse him through the season if possible.
  • Redbirds have been dropping like flies during this series. Matt Carpenter left tonight’s game with what has been diagnosed as an oblique injury; Brandon Moss and Brayan Pena are also down.

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