Thursday, September 29, 2016

Bucs Tie Cubs 1-1 In the Rain, Head to Birdland

Ivan Nova spun a 1-2-3 opening frame against the Cubby B-Teamers. Rob Zastryzni faced a mix-n-match Buccp lineup and was unmarked other than losing Cutch on a 3-2 pitch. In the second, a pair of infield singles sandwiched around a bunt put Cubs at the corners and a sac fly made it 1-0. A two-out double raised an alarm that was silenced by a whiff of Zastryzni. The Pirates again went down w/o a peep. As a reliever who's been tough, we'd expect the Z-Man to be solid the first time around the order.

Ivan's last start was a good one albeit against the B-Team (photo Pgh Pirates)

The Cubs went quietly in the third. The Bucs got a single, booted bunt and walk to juice the sacks with nobody out. J-Bell hit a sac fly to tie it; Cutch hit into a 6-4-3 DP to finish it. That wasn't bad enough; it started to rain though the troops soldiered through it. Nova allowed a single in the fourth, ditto for the Z-Man, who was relieved with two away by Travis Wood. The rain picked up in the fifth but didn't bother Nova or Wood. The ground crew spread the Diamond-Brite around, but after an out in the sixth, the umps chased everyone into the locker room and waved in the tarps.

Took awhile, but the match was called. It's a suspended game that will become a tie in the books, so the stats will count. (It doesn't have to be made up because it has no effect on playoffs.) One thing it does is make it impossible to have a .500 year now. At 78-80, they have to sweep the upcoming Cards three-gamer to have a winning season; a loss guarantees them a losing slate for 2016. And it does kick off Ivan Nova's FA season with a bang.

  • The Bucs last tie was August 24th, 1998, v the Cards at TRS; it finished 5-5. The game tonight lasted 1:15; the delay before calling it lasted 1:23.
  • The Pirates finished 4-14-1 against Chicago. They finished the campaign 38-42-1 at PNC Park.
  • Pittsburgh is 20-9-1 v LH starters, winning 10 of the last 11 with tonight's draw against southpaws.
  • AJ Schugel's second opinion confirmed his initial diagnosis of rotor cuff inflammation, with rest & rehab as the cure. The overall late season injury report was compiled by the Trib's Bob Cohn. 

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