Sunday, August 14, 2016

Pirates Chase 'Em Home Today In 11-3 Romp

Late lineup change: Starling Marte was scratched from the original nine about 45 minutes before game time when his back acted up again. The order was shifted a bit to accommodate Adam Frazier taking over in left field.

Good start; Josh singled on the first pitch Brett Anderson served. It got better; Jordy got a 3-2 pitch down Broadway and shipped it 414' to a lucky fan sitting in the left field stands. The Bucs got a walk and knock with two gone, and they're not stranding guys this frame. S-Rod went long (407') the opposite way, and it was 5-0. Fraze reached on an infield bleeder before Chad Kuhl lined out. The Blue LH's are killing it this series; Josh Reddick doubled and scored on Adrian Gonzalez's knock to make it 5-1. Even after an LA answer, it was exit stage right for Anderson as Brock Stewart took over in the second.

The Bucs haven't lost a Chad Kuhl start (photo Rob Carr/Getty)

Brock lost a pair with two outs in the second before JHK fanned. Kuhl was cool in his half. S-Rod walked in the third, which led to the order turning over. With two gone, Reddick and Corey Seager singled, but the shift saved Chad against Gonzalez. Josh opened the fourth with a knock. A hopper moved him up a station and Cutch's rap brought him home. Andrew swiped second with a J-Hay wiggle before Freeser walked, but that was all the action. The Dodgers answered with a Joc Peterson crush job. Howie Kendrick dropped a dink double that just eluded Josh, but he wasn't cashed in.

J Howell was greeted in the fifth by an S-Rod rap and he went 90' further on a short wild pitch. Oooops...a challenge was issued and won as Sean beat the tag but came off the bag. Fraze lined a single and was bunted up. He plated on Josh's third rap, a lost-ball, sun-field double (RF is brutal in LA during afternoon games) and a boot put Bucs on the corners. Jesse Chavez was waved in and finished off the frame. The Dodgers went down on nine tosses. Chavez cruised through the sixth and so did Chad.

S-Rod: 3 hits, 4 RBI, 2 RS (photo Stephen Brashear/Getty)

Grant Dayton took the ball in the seventh and was nicked for a Fraze single. Antonio Bastardo stepped in for Kuhl. He opened with a walk, wild pitch and single. After an out, Ol' Dirty balked a run home. He got a second out and was yanked for Felipe Rivero, who closed the frame. It was 1-2-3 for the Bucs in the eighth. Felipe bopped Gonzalez with one gone, then focused and whiffed the next pair.

Josh Fields spun the ball in the ninth and watched his second pitch disappear 445' into the seats, thanks to JHK. Fran followed with a leg double. A passed ball and S-Rod single chased Fran home, then Fraze followed with another rap. Josh's knock ka-chinged another Bucco. Jordy banged one to first; Gonzalez didn't glove it and the error scored another Pirate. Pedro Baez took over for the beleaguered Fields and got Cutch to hit into a 6-4-3 DP. Juan Nicasio and turned out the lights.

Fraze had his first MLB  four hit day (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Bucs offense looked good again, but then again, LA didn't have a very strong trio on the hill. But the Pirates took the series, and that's the MO and mindset they need. If the rotation has settled in and the offense continues to heat up, the dog days will be worth sweating out. Now off to San Francisco.

  • The Pirates had 16 hits and drew five walks today while the Dodger hurlers threw 197 pitches.
  • Josh and Fraze each had four knocks while S-Rod added three.
  • S-Rod's four RBI ties his career high. Sean's reached that number five time, and twice this season. 
  • The Pirates went 23 IP against LA before issuing a walk.
  • With his 40th swipe last night, Starling became the first Buc with 40+ steals in back-to-back seasons since Tony Womack in 1997-98 (60 & 58).
  • On his radio show, Neil Huntington said the Bucs are looking at the possibility of rolling out a six-man rotation once or twice in September. They'll certainly have enough starters after call-ups.
  • Big wild card news: The Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton will miss the remainder of the season with a groin injury.

No comments: