Sunday, September 18, 2016

Nova Not So Super; Bucs Drop Finale 7-4

The Bucs opened against Dan Straily with a Fraze walk, GIDP, pop up. Ivan Nova was in some rare hot water, giving up back-to-back knocks with an out, but a whiff and bouncer steered him clear of trouble. In the second, a walk and a single put the Bucs in business. With two gone, P-Flo came through with a three-bagger to score JHK and Fran. The second was less kind to Nova - a single and a boot by J-Bell both came home on Tucker Barnhart's double, who ended the frame stranded at third.

Cutch walked with two gone in the third and stayed there as Gregory's dismal September continued with a three pitch whiff. Joey Votto led off with a double. After an out, Brandon Phillips smacked a ground rule double and came home on Scott Schebler's rap; no Super Nova today. The beat went on; a single to left was fumbled by Fraze, and the free extra base set up a sac fly. Straily singled before the door shut, the pitcher's first MLB knock in 49 AB's/65 PAs.

Pedro showed up today with two hits (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

JHK doubled to start the fourth, and Fran drew a pesky walk. A pop and a whiff later, Matt Joyce hit for Nova and flew out. Tyler Glasnow claimed the bump and gave up some solid contact but Cincy only found grass once; Gregory made a particularly nice snag. Cutch doubled with two away in the fifth and was left standing. Tyler walked one and fanned three. The Bucs got one back in the sixth when S-Rod blasted another homer; he's on a Babe toot. A couple of two-out raps and a balk put Glasnow on the spot, but he shrugged it off, seemingly unaffected by a sore foot that absorbed a liner earlier in the frame.

Michael Lorenzen took the ball in the seventh, and outside an error had an easy frame. Drew Hutchison climbed the hill, and a leadoff double, bunt and sac fly small-balled another run for the Reds. It was 1-2-3 for Pittsburgh in the eighth. The Reds padded the lead with a two-out Votto bomb. Raisel Iglesias gave up a run in the ninth on a P-Flo knock and JJ double to make the final 7-4.

Tyler Glasnow had a promising outing (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Hey, 3-of-4 isn't a bad series. The best news to be taken out of this is that Tyler Glasnow had a decent outing - three zeros on two hits, a walk and four K after 55 pitches. That may be good enough to earn him consideration for a start sometime in the next couple of weeks. Two thoughts on Super Nova - either he's back to his roller-coaster ways, or days that his curve doesn't bite will be long ones. As for Hutch, he should join Vogey in the pen for our money; he's shown nothing so far to separate him from any other journeyman.

  • The Bucs had seven hits, and P-Flo had two of them, with two RBI and a run scored. The Pirates had been doing OK at RISP this set, but went 1-for-11 today.
  • Juan Nicasio and Wade LeBlanc weren't available for today's game due to workload.
  • Cincinnati was dressed in green for Irish Heritage Day; kinda odd look for Cincy, especially with the Reds logo across the front.
  • The Billy Hamilton factor: He's out with an injury, and besides being a pain on the basepaths (.359/.419/.487, 8 runs, 7 SB in 11 games v Pittsburgh), per @MattGajtka "At least three extra-base hits in this series could've been caught by Hamilton...seems to be consensus." His absence may have had as much with the Bucs taking the set as what the Pirates did.
  • On his Sunday radio show, Neil Huntington was non-committal regarding contract talks with Ivan Nova or a possible start for Tyler Glasnow.
  • Old Bucco backstop Rod Barajas skippered the El Paso Chihuahuas to the AAA Pacific Coast League title.

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