Saturday, August 13, 2016

Bad Day All Around As Bucs Drop 8-4 Decision

Very weird first inning. Fraze would be the only Pirate to put the ball in play against Brandon McCarthy, who walked three, hit one and caught a pair of Bucs looking as the Pittsburgh took a 1-0 lead. Cole Train was rough out of the gate too, and fortunate - he gave up a double and three knocks, but only one run thanks to a well-timed DP ball. With two gone in the second a Fraze knock, Starling double and consecutive walks gave the Bucs a run and sent McCarthy to the showers; Josh Field came in and gave up a knock to JHK to make it 3-1. A leadoff single - Cole has been nicked for a pair of infield knocks already - passed ball and two-out Chase Utley double made it 3-2.

His glove woes continue, but JHK reached base five times today. (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Fran singled to open the third. Fields whiffed a pair and gave way to Julio Urias, who collected another K. The Bucs gave LA the tie. A DP was overturned when challenged; Fraze made a neighborhood play instead of tagging the base. It would have made no diff except that JHK bobbled a ball, then airmailed it to first to let the third run score; Kang was given two errors on the play (which was prob piling on). The Bucs got a Gregory two-out two-bagger (basically a pop to right that was lost in the sun) and another walk in the fourth, but left them in place; the Pirates have stranded nine runners in four frames. The pitcher singled off Cole on an 0-2 pitch. He was forced, and with two gone Josh Reddick stole second. Of course, it hurt; Corey Seager singled him home to give LA the lead.

Fran started the fifth with a bloop and Jordy followed with a rap; Cole bunted into a force at third and the next batter drilled a fly to left that should have scored Fran. Sera, sera as the Pirates stranded two more. Gregory had a tough go; he muffed playing a leadoff double, giving up an extra base, and then totally misread a liner that ended up another double. A delayed squeeze followed that almost didn't work - the runner was first called out, but a review overturned it as Howie Kendrick beat the tag by a blink. Cole got the hook; his balls were flat all day as sometimes happens with him, and the Dodgers pounded out 12 hits. Sadly, it wasn't a day the leather came to his aid, nor Clint, who kept him in an inning too long. Jared Hughes got a pair of grounders to calm the storm at 6-3.

The sixth started with a Cutch walk; Kang joined him an out later. Freeser hit for JJ, and the Dodgers countered with Joe Blanton. He fanned David, then walked Fran. A bouncer by Jordy ended it; he was out by a gnat's eyelash. So let's see *takes off shoes to count* six innings, seven hits, nine walks, 14 runners stranded and 1-for-12 w/RISP. The nine K's may have something to do with that. Hughes reverted to form; a single and Joc Peterson homer made it 8-3. A double and steal didn't lead to any more damage.

Jeff may not like the pen, but did good work today (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Pirates did good in the seventh; they only stranded one runner. Jeff Locke came in and gave a soft single - and, btw, hung the first zero on LA today. Pedro Baez took over in the eighth and was dinged by JHK, who gave the fans in left field a souvenir. Fran singled to add another runner left on to the list. Jeff was Locke-down in his half, but Marte left the game with a sore back to make it a glass-half-full situation. Josh Ravin took the ball and walked a pair. He headed for the showers as Kenley Jansen toed the rubber and put this turkey in the oven.

18 stranded runners, a couple or three costly fielding lapses and some amazingly bad pitching will get you thumped most days. Cole Train has a pretty wide split (going into the game, .294 v LH - .302 after today - & .224 v RH) and that's where missing a third pitch hurts him. The Blue had 12 hits against him; nine were by lefties. Jared Hughes is a mystery too; why he's up instead of AJ or The Lobster is a mystery.

  • 18 stranded runners for the Pirates ties the club nine-inning record matched in 1951 against the Boston Braves after being set in 1905 v the Cincinnati Reds. The Pirates had 10 hits, 11 walks and a beaned (well, footed) batter. The team stranded three runners three times, two runners three times, and one runner three times. They whiffed 11 times, which hurt, but amazingly, didn't hit into any DPs nor run the bases in TOOTBLAN fashion while going 1-for-14 w/RISP.
  • JHK had two hits, two walks and a HBP, Fran had three hits and a walk, Starling had two hits and a walk and Cutch drew three free passes.
  • For the second straight day, the Pirates pitching didn't walk anyone. They did, however, surrender 17 hits.
  • The official word on Starling - "upper back discomfort."

No comments: