Thursday, August 25, 2016

Cutch Chases Them All Home In 3-2, 10-Inning Win Over Brew Crew

J-Hay started off with a knock against Wily Peralta and went down six pitches later as the back end of a strike 'em out, throw 'em out DP. Didn't bother Cutch, who yanked a hung 3-2 slider over the fence in left to give Pittsburgh an early leg up. It was a quick 1-2-3 opener for Chad Kuhl. Josh Bell went from 0-2 to a walk with an out in the second and was bunted up a station when Fran tried to drop one for a hit. It almost worked, but Peralta was quick to the ball. Jordy also walked after being down 0-2, getting a generous call on ball four, but they were left aboard. Kuhl was clean again; he's used 19 pitches over two frames.

With one gone in third, Starling legged out an infield knock and swiped second. He came in when Cutch rolled a sinker into right center against the shift. A tapper moved him up, but he stayed rooted at second. With an out, Manny Pina turned on an elevated inside sinker and doubled to left. A couple of bouncers kept him there. Bell walked to open the fourth and Fran singled, both dying in place. Ryan Braun singled with one gone, followed by a walk an out later. A steal put Brewers on the corners before Chad cajoled the third out.

Chad was brilliant until he hit the wall in the seventh (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Starling reached on a boot to start the fifth. He was caught stealing with the Bucs challenging the out call. Marte looked like he did beat the rap and NY agreed. It didn't help; Pittsburgh is 1-for-9 w/RISP instead of giving Kuhl some elbow room. A walk opened the Brewer half, but a liner and 6-3 DP cleaned that up. Milwaukee figured it had pressed its luck sufficiently and called out Jhan Marinez for the sixth, who served the Bucs three soft outs. Chad also had an easy frame, and is at just 73 pitches.

Marinez spun a clean seventh. Time caught up to Chad. After an out, he was tagged for a double and then a homer by Kirk Nieuwenhuis on a hung slider. Then he gave up another two-bagger; his pitches are all up this inning. Kuhl was done after pitching a six inning gem and Felipe Rivero took over. He got a whiff, gave up a walk (on a blown call by ump Dale Scott, who's had a rough night all around), and finished with a pop to shut the gate. Corey Knebel took the hill for the eighth and mowed down the Bucs, who have sat down 12 times in a row. Neftali Feliz struck out the side.

Tyler Thornburg claimed the hill in the ninth, and Bell drew his third walk; quite an eye for a youngster. Adam Frazier ran for him, but a fly and 4-6-3 DP ended the fun. The Bucs have gone five innings w/o a hit and just two runners. Antonio Bastardo stepped on the mound and lost Keon Broxton with one away after a loud foul that almost was a walk-off. He stole second an out later but stayed planted. It's time for some free baseball.

Cutch was clutch tonight (photo David Zalumbowski/Associated Press)

Carlos Torres started the 10th and gave up the Bucs first hit in a blue moon, a John Jaso opposite field, broken-bat dink. He was bunted to second and a grounder got him to third. Bless Andrew; he spanked another ball through the right side to give the Bucs the lead. Tony Watson came in for the kill and got it without a bit of drama.

The offense is still in the doldrums, but it was nice to see Cutch happening tonight; it was even nicer to see him to to right a couple of times. Chad Kuhl tossed another solid game and the back end of the pen was money. But it's never easy in Miller Park.

  •  Cutch had three RBI for Pittsburgh and three of the team's seven hits. The Bucs also drew four walks; three of them were to Josh Bell.
  • Starling Marte set a personal single-season high with his 42nd stolen base. He added #43 a bit later.
  • Tonight was the first time Chad Kuhl worked into the seventh inning as a Pirate, even though he did only get one out before being chased. 
  • What a stat line - Felipe Rivero has worked 12 IP for the Pirates. He's issued 10 walks and fanned 20.
  • Tyler Glasnow's bullpen session went fine, and he's expected to make a rehab start for Indy on Saturday.

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