Thursday, August 11, 2016

Taillon, Freese Lead Bucs To 4-0 Win

Three Padres up, three Padres down on ground outs against Jameson Taillon in the opening frame. Josh opened with a double off Christian Friedrich and was bunted to third by Starling; we suspect he was trying to drop a ball for a hit. Cutch walked and Freeser followed with a RBI knock to give the Pirates an early 1-0 jump. SD opened the second with a ground ball single, quickly erased on DP started nicely by S-Rod, and Jamo had another calm frame. The Bucs went down quietly in their half.

Who da man? (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Friars opened the third with an infield rap; JT had a senior moment and didn't cover the bag. A two-out walk and passed ball put him in a jam, but he finished up by getting Wil Myers on a grounder. Starling singled with an out. Freeser's two-out double chased him home and David plated on Gregory's broken-bat knock. JT issued a two-out walk (a pair already, holy moly!) in the fourth, and followed with a K. The Bucs opened with an infield bleeder and knock. Jamo, somewhat oddly, was swinging and lined out to right. Josh's rap scored a run, but a TOOTBLAN hurt. Josh broke for second, was picked off and Fryer was chopped down trying to tip-toe home during the rundown. Then J-Hay rounded third hard on Starling's infield single and was flushed in another rundown, effectively killing the inning all by himself.

It was three up and down for the Padres in the fifth, and ditto for the Pirates. It was a clean sixth for JT, and the same for Friedrich. Jamo kept dealing in the seventh and has now cut down 10 Friars in a row. Carlos Villanueva took the ball and had a rocking chair inning.

Freeser has been one of the Pirates few constants (photo: Pittsburgh Pirates)

JT came back out for the eighth at 88 pitches, and his streak ended at 11 batters after a one-out single. The next two hitters lined out. Jamo's been tough today but been catching a little too much plate the last couple of frames. He headed back to the dugout with the crowd on its feet aroar after his performance. He gave up three hits with two walks and four K after 101 tosses. Lionel Campos climbed the hill and ran the Bucco sit-down skein to 13 batters.

Neftali Feliz answered the bell. A single and defensive indifference put a Padre on second for the first time since the third, and a two-out walk set up a save situation; time to cue "Sweet Emotion" and bring on Tony Watson. Three pitches, three strikes and the game was in the books.

Josh is liking his return to leadoff, but those happy feet...!  (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Bucs went 4-2 in this homestand against the Reds and Friars. It's a pity they fell flat against Milwaukee and Atlanta, but nice to be back to winning series. None of the wildcard teams have made a break from the pack, so the postseason is still very much a horserace. Looks like Cole, Taillon, Nova, Kuhl and Vogelsong will be the rotation for the foreseeable future, and that beats what they were sending out. we'd still like to see Bell here, but at least Clint is showed some cognizance by starting S-Rod and keeping Jaso/Kang on the pine. We hope there's more of it.

  • Josh, Starling and Freeser had a pair of knocks each
  • The Bucs drew 32,071 for an afternoon game, quite a nice crowd.
  • Youth shall be served: The Pirates are 12-3 in games Jameson Taillon and Chad Kuhl have started.
  • Pirate 2B prospect Alen Hanson, who was icy cold at the start of the season, is heating it up and extended his Indy hitting streak to 12 games today.

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