Sunday, October 2, 2016

Bullpen Blasted Again As Pirates Drop Finale 10-4

Adam Wainwright gave up just a two-out Cutch leg single in the first. Ryan Vogelsong walked the leadoff guy, Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina singled an out later. Vogey worked out of it without much problem. The Pirates went quietly in the second, ditto for St Louis. All the Bucco action in the third consisted of a JJ walk. The Cards got a two-out walk and made something of it by backing the free pass with a pair of knocks, one of which Cutch should have gloved but didn't to make it 1-0.

Vogey finished the season with a solid outing (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Bucs stranded another walk in the fourth; takes a lot of those to score w/o any hits. A one-out single and two-out boot by JHK put Redbirds at second and third. Vogey's third walk loaded 'em before he escaped. In the fifth, the Bucs shot themselves in the foot; Eric Fryer singled and then was doubled up in a strike 'em out, throw 'em out DP. The Pirates followed with two knocks and a walk, and Cutch came through with a two-run knock, so at least the Pirates got the lead but passed on a chance for a knockout inning. The Cards went quietly.

Matt Joyce opened the sixth with a rap and tagged to second on Alen Hanson's fly. It was close enough to challenge, but he remained safe after review. Didn't help; a pair of whiffs left him aboard. The Redbirds cashed in off Antonio Bastardo after a walk, a two out single and a fat 3-0 fastball that was launched into the seats by Carpenter. It was the first 3-0 pitch he hadn't taken all season; guess he was waiting for the right moment. Jared Hughes got the last out.

JJ went long and was on base four times (photo Joe Guzzy/Pgh Pirates)

Jonathan Broxton took over in the seventh, and the Pirates had an answer. Fraze singled and JJ went yard, and it's 4-4. Juan Nicasio toed the slab and gave up a ...ground rule triple? Molina looked like he bounced one into the stands that popped back out; it was even picked up by a ball boy. Confusion reigned as Yadi circled the bases; the umps gave him a triple. Clint challenged and it was as it should have been, a ground rule double. After all the ado, he was blooped home by the next batter; the next Redbird served a soft shot that found grass, too. Wade LeBlanc came in and gave up a hit, then another JHK error made it 6-4, then a double made it 8-4, a grounder 9-4, a sac fly 10-4...well, you get the picture. The pen answered the bell and the Cards rang up nine runs in two frames.

Both sides left a guy on in the eighth. The Cards did a nice, letting Matt Holliday go finish his Card career in left in the ninth; his teammates let him take the field alone and the faithful gave him a last hurrah, as did both benches. The Pirates did nada, and St. Louis swept. They'll join us as playoff spectators - the Giants won too, brooming the Dodgers, so the Cards were eliminated from the playoffs.

Eric Fryer banged a pair of hits (photo Greg Fiume/Getty)

It's done, and prob about time. The baseball was pretty ugly, the umps were brutal and the games took forever; guess that's how a losing season goes. The Pirates finished 11-22 down the stretch (78-83 on the year) and leave the FO with plenty to do during the off season.

  • JJ reached four times with a pair of knocks and pair of walks. Cutch and Eric Fryer had two raps and Matt Joyce a hit and walk.
  • We're still not sure why Starling Marte was DL'ed. Neal Huntington said it was a paper move that was "useful" in some ways, but wouldn't say what those ways would be.
  • J-Bell will be considered a rookie next season (130 < at-bats) if he doesn't bat twice. It doesn't affect service time at all, but leaves him in the mix for the All-Rookie team, RoY consideration, etc.. The GM said that wasn't the reason he didn't start, though we'd be hard-pressed to think of another reason.
  • With his 150th outing this year, Andrew has started 150+ games at center in six of the last seven seasons.

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