Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Bucs Open Series With Workmanlike 6-3 Win Over Brew Crew

Well, nothing like a quick start. A Fraze single, J-Bell walk and Cutch two-bagger made it 2-0 three batters in against Matt Garza. Steven Brault was a strike away from a 1-2-3 start until a two-out boot by JHK. That was followed by a walk before the curtain dropped. The Bucco bottom of the order was quiet in the second. The Brewers got a two out knock, with Martin Maldonado taking an extra sack when Gregory had trouble coming up with the ball, but Garza couldn't help his cause and whiffed.

Fraze led off the third with a knock, cancelled by a Bell 6-4-3 DP and Andrew K. Same drill for the Brewers, who got a lob single with two gone. This time it cost when Domingo Santana doubled  to half the lead when S-Rod's relay home took a hop that Fran couldn't glove cleanly. So far, the Bucs have left a play per inning go by. Fran doubled with two gone in the fourth and S-Rod walked. Jordy slapped a single to right that plated Fran barely as S-Rod was caught headed toward third, but he pumped the brakes long enough for Cervelli to get home. With two gone for Milwaukee *sheesh* Maldonado homered. Garza fanned and Brault is at 76 pitches after four.

Fraze had three hits tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Steven started the fifth with a rap to left and went to third on Fraze's third hit (in five innings!), a double to right. J-Bell's smoker into center chased them both home. It also chased Garza as submariner Ben Rowen took the ball. Cutch said "hi" with another knock, but a liner and around-the-horn DP ended the fun. A walk to Jonathan Villar opened the Brewer half. An infield single on a hit-and-run chased him to third, and that brought in Jared Hughes after Brault's 89th toss. He got a first pitch DP started by JHK on his kiester at the cost of a run, followed by a strikeout to make it 5-3 after five in a throwback outing.

The sixth started with a Fran single and he went to third on a S-Rod rap. Jordy rolled one up the middle to take a duck off the pond. Brent Suter was sent in. Alen Hansen popped up a bunt that hurt; Fraze's deep fly just moved the guys the second & third, then J-Bell's rocket was gloved by a lunging Villar, positioned nicely on a shift. Wade LeBlanc came on, and sandwiched a single and walk around a forceout. Then he coaxed a GIDP; lotta that going around tonight. Tyler Cravy worked the seventh. Gregory singled and stole second, where he remained. Wade was yanked for Juan Nicasio when a RH pinch hitter led off, then the Brewers swapped him out for Scooter Gennett, who Juan fanned. Ah, September. Another K and bouncer turned the page.

Jordy had two hits and chased home two (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Rob Scahill took over in the eighth and worked a clean, two whiff frame. Antonio Bastardo gave up a bloop hit with two gone and a whiff left the runner sitting. Taylor Jungmann twirled a calm ninth as did Tony Watson to save the Bucs fifth straight win (this is not a typo) at Miller Park for Jared Hughes, his first W of the season.

Steven Brault was up in the zone & over the dish much of the night and again threw way too many pitches; his location has to come around if he's to become a viable starting candidate. The Buccos didn't help Brault early on, but tightened up as the game wore. It's a credit to the whole team that everyone is contributing, even if they still make more mistakes than a 10-week old puppy. Some lineup continuity next year should help the boys shape up.

Juan has whiffed at least one batter in 30 straight outings (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • Fraze had three hits, while Cutch, Fran and Jordy each added a pair.
  • Guess who's back? AJ Schugel was available from the bullpen tonight for the first time this month.
  • Chris Stewart had arthroscopic surgery to his left knee and will be out 6-8 weeks.

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