Monday, April 24, 2017

At Least It Was Over Quick...Bucs KO'ed Early In 14-3 Thumping

Ah, Buccos. Chad got two outs, then issued a walk. That was followed in order by a stolen base (Anthony Rizzo broke while Kuhl was set and would have been an easy pickoff, but no one on the field - ahem, Fran & J-Bell - alerted Chad), another walk, a single, and a dropped tag by Amore at home (Jose Osuna's throw had the runner) to make it 1-0. Next came a Jason Heyward homer and a double and it was quickly 4-0.  Cutch drew a two-out walk from Brett Anderson and so did Gregory. Freeser singled home a run but the party ended on Fran's liner to second.

Chad was bad tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The next frame flamed up with one out with a single, double, walk (intentional after falling behind Rizzo 2-0) ahead of Ben Zobrist knocking a changeup to the wall in right. Osuna had the ball hop out of his glove; the ruling was a base-clearing double. A couple of more walks, a couple of more knocks and Trevor Williams came in on the short end of a 9-1 count to get the last out. It was double, walk, force-out bunt, 6-4-3 DP for the Bucs. The contest mercifully settled into playing it out; the Bucs emptied their bench in top of the fifth. Trevor carried it two outs into the sixth when Antonio Bastardo took over. ESPN's telecast had given up on the game by then and derailed into a steroid debate. Between that and the score, this was not a good night for the Pirates PR people.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh got a pair back, with Osuna's triple behind an error and ahead of J-Bell's single being the linchpin. With two outs and the bases empty in the seventh, AB filled the sacks and a wild pitch added another brick to the wall. Dovydas Neverauskas worked the eighth. After an early double and single chased his butterflies, he traded a DP ball for a run and closed with a whiff, then tossed a clean ninth. The Cub bullpen held the Buc bats at bay over the last three frames, and 14-3 was entered in the books. Well, it looked a lot like yesterday with shoddy fielding and a couple of DP balls, but without the great mound work. They were 3-for-8 with RISP, tho, but Chicago bested them there too, going 9-for-18. Gerrit Cole will try to right the ship tomorrow against Kyle Hendricks, a Wrigley Field rematch from earlier in the month.

Dovydas had a memorable - and frantic - debut (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • The Pirates placed Adam Frazier on the 10-day DL and called up reliever Dovydas Neverauskas from Indy. Fraze has a left hammy sprain with the DL stint retroactive to yesterday, and Dovydas was called up to augment a bullpen that's carrying an ineffective Antonio Bastardo. Dovy hopped a plane, reported to the Pirate bullpen during the game and was warming up by the seventh frame. With his appearance in the eighth inning, he became the first born-and-raised Lithuanian (Joe Zapustas was Lithuanian and played in 1933, but he was born in Latvia and raised in Boston) to play MLB.
  • Jose Osuna finished a homer short of the cycle and had three of the Pirates seven hits. J-Hay had a knock and two (!) walks; J-Bell singled and walked. 
Jose's stick was smokin' but his glove was icy (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • Adam Berry of noted "Chad Kuhl has made 18 starts in the Majors. He's allowed three or fewer runs in 15 of them. The other three have all been against the Cubs."
  • 13,445 bought tickets for the game and not that many showed up. Smart people.
  • Curious who plays the deepest CF after all the ado about postioning last year in Buccoland? Here's Statcast's average depth played by MLB center fielders, with Starling and Andrew just about at the same jump-off point in the middle of the pack. Carlos Gomez plays the deepest if you were curious; Billy Hamilton plays furthest in.

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