Monday, April 17, 2017

Buc Bats Take A Nap In 2-1 Loss to Cards

The Buc tried a two-out rally in the opening frame off Lance Lynn, but a Cutch single and Freeser walk led to nada. It was 1-2-3 for the Cards against Ivan Nova. Both sides stranded a runner at first in the second and the next frame saw one hit; it was Kolten Wong's first-pitch, lead-off homer to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead. The Bucs tried again with two gone again in the fourth, leaving a Fran two-bagger and J-Hay plunk aboard as the Redbirds went down quietly. It was six up, six down in the fifth, and all the action in the sixth was a two-out Josh Bell knock. Ivan is at 56 pitches and Lynn has tossed 85 so far.

Gregory came off the bench to deliver the only RBI blow for the Bucs
(image from Positively Pittsburgh)

The Bucs went quietly in the seventh; the only guys K'ed have been Cutch and Ivan, but the handful of pitches they've barreled tonight have been at 'em balls. Stephen Piscotty led off with a soft single; he was thrown out try to take second by Starling. Good thing as Randal Grichuk followed with a knock, stole second and went to third when Amore's toss went into center. Grichuk scored on a soft liner by Jose Martinez followed by no further mayhem, but 2-0 looks big tonight. Trevor Rosenthal tucked the Pirates away in the eighth and Ivan returned the favor. Seung Hwan Ho came in for the ninth and Bell kept the game alive with a one-out knock that ticked off the first baseman's mitt. He became the third Bucco to reach second (all with two outs) on a tapper. Gregory pinch-hit and dropped a 2-2 fastball way off the plate into the left-center gap for a double to make it 2-1. John Jaso grabbed a bat, but the door slammed shut when JJ rolled out three pitches later.

Nova tossed a 78-pitch gem, but no support cost him; we'll never know if the error that allowed the lead run to get to third was fatal or not. Let's hope the sweep-or-no-count syndrome ends in St. Louis. Chad Kuhl takes on Max Leake tomorrow night.

  • Ivan Nova has four complete games in 14 starts for the Pirates; tonight's was the first CG of the year for the Bucs. It was Pittsburgh's last complete game loss since 2009. Fun fact: Nova has more complete games (4) than walks (3) as a Pirate; he has yet to issue a free pass in 2017.
  • J-Hay was plunked in four straight at-bats over two games (twice yesterday, twice tonight) and six times in 2017. He was dinged five times during the entire 2016 campaign.
Josh is calling for the Ben Gay after being bopped four times
(photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • JJ is still looking for his first hit of the campaign. He's 0-for-17 with two walks. Also on the red ink side of the ledger is controlling the running game. Opponents are 15-of-16 in base swiping v the Bucs,
  • At least it was quick. The match was played in two hours, 14 minutes, tying for the shortest game this year between the Brewers & Blue Jays.
  • Matt Carpenter was scratched from the Cards lineup tonight after a finger injury from last night acted up on him.
  • Jung-Ho Kang's DUI appeal will take place on May 25th, so there will likely be no breaking of the ice jam until that takes place. H e has been training; the Pirates even sent a pitching machine to him in Korea to try to keep him somewhat sharp.
  • Bradenton Marauders Kevin Krause was named the Florida State League Hitter of the Week. In seven High A games, he's hit .333 with three homers and compiled a 1.324 OPS.

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