Thursday, September 22, 2016

Anderson & Bullpen Tame Pirates 3-1

After an out, Starling and Cutch hit soft back-to-singles off Chase Anderson, but no early landrush resulted thanks to Gregory's GIDP. Ryan Vogelsong walked Jonathan Villar and he was quickly at second with a swipe. He could have spared himself; Scooter Gennett took a curve yard to make it 2-0. Vogey then belatedly fanned the side. JHK walked to open the second and didn't move. The Brewers got a leadoff knock and two outs later, Orlando Arcia stole second before Anderson K'ed.

It took a couple of batters, but Vogey settled in for five strong frames (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

After a couple more whiffs in the third, Marte was taken out of the game during his at bat with "back tightness" and Matt Joyce finished it with a lineout. V-Song walked Villar again, but with a different ending. Fran tossed a strike to prevent his attempted larceny, keying a 1-2-3 frame. Pittsburgh went down in order in the fourth. Vogey kept dealing, too, with seven whiffs under his belt. Cervy went long for the first time this year to halve the lead with two gone in the fifth, that's amore. Trevor Williams took the hill after a 70-pitch outing by Vogelsong and struck out a pair in a clean inning. Cutch almost happened, banging a deep two-out two-bagger in the sixth, bringing Carlos Torres on to face the ice-cold El Coffee, who struck out on three pitches. Trevor tossed a calm five-pitch frame.

JHK drew a patient walk to start the seventh and was doubled off on a S-Rod liner to first. If it weren't for bad luck... Freeser's K shut the door. Chris Carter caught a 1-2 heater over the dish and launched a NASA shot, his 37th, to make it 3-1. A two-out walk left a pair of Brewers aboard, and Jared Hughes was waved in, serving a pop to turn the page. Corey Knebel worked the eighth, and J-Bell rolled a knock into center with an out. He stayed rooted. Wade LeBlanc tucked the Brew Crew in. Tyler Thornburg walked JHK with two outs in the ninth to keep the pulse barely beating; S-Rod went down looking to pull the plug.

Fran's first dinger was all the Buc offense tonight (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Anderson is tough on the Bucs and been strong the past few starts. These low-hit contests are the sort of games that give a power club the edge over the OBP squads, and it turned into HR or no count contest, advantage Brewers. Our only thought is questioning how long a leash Gregory has - he's floundered in the four spot, hitting just .208 since August 1st. If he's not due for a sit down, we'd surely consider moving him elsewhere in the lineup.

  • Cutch kept his hitting streak alive at 10 games. He had two more knocks while JHK drew three free passes. S-Rod's 10-gamer was snapped tonight. Pittsburgh had five hits; the Brewer four.
  • There was a late change to the lineup. Jordy had some forearm soreness (he did pinch hit), so S-Rod switched from 2B to SS while Adam Frazier got the call at second.
  • We haven't seen Jeff Locke for a while (September 10th was his last outing). He had some shoulder soreness and is back in play tonight.
  • Bill Brink of the Post Gazette writes that the Bucs have made a counter-offer to Ivan Nova's reps on a contract. The Pirates first offer was met, according to the article, with a 5 year/$70M reply. Cat and mouse...let the games begin.
  • Catching up on some back reading, Baseball Prospectus had an article on the different big league analytic computer networks. The Pirates' Dan Fox set up is named MITT (Managing Information, Tools and Talent), which BP says "...may not be the most creatively named computer system in baseball, but it has arguably paid the most dividends."

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