Sunday, September 11, 2016

It's Steeler Season Now As Reds Romp Over Reeling Bucs 8-0

Ryan Vogelsong and Brandon Finnegan exchanged zeroes in the first; Cutch was the only base runner via a free pass. Not so the second. A couple of triples, a couple of singles, a sac bunt, a walk, HBP and error gave the Reds a five-spot. The Bucs tried to answer: they loaded the bases with no one out. Two whiffs and a pop up later, they were still loaded. Clint apparently forgot Tyler Glasnow was in the bullpen. He let Vogey bat after Stew whiffed and Ryan did the same. The Redlegs got another in the third on a couple of doubles, one a fairly routine fly that exposed J-Bell's lack of OF chops. Pittsburgh left a couple more runners aboard in their half; that's six LOB in three frames. They also lost Polanco for beefing about a called third strike.

JHK is rakin' (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

The Reds got the first two aboard in the fourth thanks to a DP. The Bucs got a guy on, too, and he was erased on a DP, which apparently is the latest fad at PNC. And hey - someone showed Clint the roster card and he discovered Glasnow was available, and he claimed the bump in the fifth. He got a whiff, and also gave up a run on a double and single combo. The Pirates loaded the bases again with one away; two whiffs killed the frame. Tyler gave up a knock and notched another K in the sixth. Jumbo Diaz tossed a quiet frame; the bomb squad is now in for the Bucs. It was a 1-2-3 seventh for the Reds. The first two Pirates reached; a pop up and DP closed that book.

The Reds loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth; Tyler was hooked and Jared Hughes did good work to hold the damage to a run. Ohlie took the ball and for the Pirates, another knock, another DP - that's eight twin killings grounded into during the past two games. Hughes tossed a clean ninth; Wandy Peralta did the same for the Reds to send the fans home.

How embarrassing to be caught with a short pen in September. But with Jamo & Cool Chad on temporary leave, Neftali & AJ injured and Hutch, Trevor and Jeff burned up last night, the Bucs were indeed pants down. There isn't even anyone left to call; Nick Kingham is the only pitcher on the 40-man who's not in Pittsburgh.

Cutch drew two more walks today (image Root Sports)

Anyway, the season should officially shift into cattle call mode after this thumping. V-Song has been in a slide for a month, so our rotation would be Cole-Nova-Taillon-Kuhl-Brault with the Chinese menu of Glasnow/Hutch/Williams spot-starting the rest of the way out. A six man rotation makes sense as it helps assuage the workload concerns and gives the gang a shot to show what God gave 'em. Allow J-Bell nine innings worth of at-bats and find out if if he can play 1B. Let Fraze takes some cuts and romp in the OF, as he's likely to become the 2017 Matt Joyce. Prob wouldn't hurt to let Alen Hanson play, too - he was smoking in August for Indy.

  • Jung Ho Kang is still afire with two more hits today. 
  • As @MattGajtka points out, that's 11 losses in 13 games overall and 13 losses in 16 games at PNC Park, where the Pirates went 53-28 last season. The Bucs are 2-8 in September.
  • There were seven DPs this game, four by Cincy and three by Pittsburgh. The Pirates sent three pinch hitters to the plate; two grounded into twin killings and the other whiffed. 
  • Gregory's ejection in the third inning was the first time he was given the heave-ho in the show.
  • The Pirates don't sound very optimistic re: J-Hay's quick return and there's no update on Starling.
  • There were 26,744 die-hards in the stand today.
  • The Pirates have 21 games remaining, 11 against weak sisters and 10 against some big boys.

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