Saturday, September 17, 2016

Let's Play Two - Bucs Sweep Reds 7-3

The Buc batting barrage didn't carry over into the first against Brandon Finnegan; he walked one and that was it. Trevor Williams tossed a neat, nine-pitch opener. S-Rod started the second with a knock, followed by a J-Bell rap. Fraze blooped a hit to load the bases for the 8-9 hitters. Eric Fryer did his job, lifting a sac fly, and Trevor did his, drawing a four pitch walk. Jordy hit one to short right; Scott Schebler dropped it and the Bucs were up 2-0. With two gone, Cutch's 3-2 rap with everyone moving chased home two more. 10 pitches, three outs for the Reds.

J-Bell was raking today (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Bell singled with an out in the third, Fraze banged a knock, and Fryer legged out a dink to juice the sacks. Williams worked an eight pitch walk after fouling four pitches to force a Bucco home. Finnegan got the hook (walking the opposing pitcher twice will cause that) for Josh Smith. A run was cut down at home with the infield in and Freeser K'ed swinging thru a curve. Trevor continued his cruise through the order; we'll see how the second time around goes. With two outs in the fourth, S-Rod dinged another long fly, blasted 428' to the upper deck in left. J-Bell did his thing and walked. Fraze singled, but Eric couldn't keep the wheel spinning. Jose Peraza got the Reds first hit, a lob to right. The next pitch was a sinker bounced to third to start an around-the-horn DP. Williams has tossed 39 pitches through four frames.

The Pirates calmed down in the fifth. Schebler atoned for his misplay by launching a 90 MPH heater into the seats; Ramon Cabrera then barely dropped an 89 MPH sinker over the fence, too. Trevor has lost a couple or three ticks off his hard stuff, and he's catching a lot of plate, a bad combo. That was followed by a quail to left and another rap; Juan Nicasio was waved in. A 6-4-3 DP allowed another Red to score but cleared the bases, and a whiff TCB. After a pair of bullets were gloved, S-Rod walked in the sixth and stayed put. Juan tossed a quiet frame, ending a 10-pitch duel with Votto by fanning him.

Busy day for S-Rod - he played SS, 2B and homered in both games (photo Pgh Pirates)

Matt Magill took the ball in the seventh and lost Fraze in a 10-pitch battle. Fryer bunted him up and Matt Joyce...c'mon, u know...walked, but those ducks were left on the pond. In a sort of odd call, Zach Phillips climbed the hill. A single and walk were sandwiched around a line out that Cutch made a nice play to glove. Felipe Rivero was called on to quench the fire. He walked the first batter to load the bases, then fanned the next two to smother the flames. Jumbo Diaz tossed a clean eighth; Felipe gave up a two-out knock but put up another zero.

Wandy Peralta toiled in the ninth. The Bucs got that seventh run in unlikely fashion - with two gone and the bases clean, Eric walked and P-Flo doubled him home. A walk and a Jordy knock almost added another, but Pedro was easily cut down at home. Tony Watson worked a drama free frame, and the Pirates had both ends of the twin bill in the books.

Fraze had three hits in the nightcap (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Bucs were patient at the dish, and the bullpen was top notch today, just the way the FO planned it back in March. It's pretty late to hope for a Bucktober repeat, but it's nice to see the youngsters get their feet wet and pile up a win or two while they're at it.

  • The Pirates collected 11 hits - Fraze had three while J-Bell and S-Rod had two each - and accepted nine more walks from the Reds staff; that's 19 walks in 18 innings today.
  • S-Rod has a seven game hitting streak and Cutch has a five-game RBI streak. Per @joe_block, Sean is the first Pirate to homer in both ends of a doubleheader since Pedro Alvarez on 4/25/2012 against the Rox.
  • Matt Joyce set the MLB record for pinch-hit walks in a season with his 21st.
  • Trevor Williams got his first big league RBI before his first MLB hit.

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