Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bucs Baked By Fish 10-3 In Series Finale

Tom Koehler's not-so-hot body of work continued against the Bucs in the first. J-Hay doubled, J-Bell went deep, Gregory doubled and JJ singled him home to make it 3-0 from the gate. The Fish got a couple of singles and a stolen base off Chad Kuhl, but he left the Marlins stranded at second and third. The Pirates left a knock and a walk on base in the second while Miami led off the inning with back-to-back doubles for a run and an infield knock to third, which fortunately froze the lead runner and allowed Cool Chad to escape further damage after a DP and K. The third was a clean frame for both pitchers.

Chad took one off the leg today; no report yet (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Pirates hit into their own DP to make the fourth a quiet frame, and their porous D reared its ugly face again when J-Hay's throw-away on a force to set up a run, tho another was saved when Marcell Ozuna was cut down at home trying to score on a grounder. Dustin McGowan came in for Miami, and he left the bases filled with Bucs in the fifth. Then ouch - Dee Gordon lined one off Cool Chad's leg; Kuhl dropped and was removed after getting back to his feet and trying a couple of tosses; Trevor Williams took over. He got two outs, then literally lost control, walking the next two Fish on nine pitches and then giving up a two-run knock. Juan Nicasio climbed the hill - he seems to have taken over Jared Hughes' trouble-shooter role - and put the inning to bed with a whiff.

David Phelps worked the sixth. He handed over a walk; the Pirates said "no thanks" and hit into another DP. Felipe Rivero took the ball and got into a one-out jam thx to a walk and a rap, but a whiff and routine grounder calmed the seas. Kyle Barraclough came out for the seventh and put up a zippo, with Cutch's two-out walk/stolen base the only nick. Huddy answered the phone. With one gone, and infield bleeder and a Justin Bour bomb made it 6-3. A plunked batter and double that JJ couldn't quite get to brought home another run, with J-Bell dropping the relay just to make sure. A single plated another run. Johnny Barbato climbed the hill and gave up a walk, single and run (charged to Hudson) before the smoke, making the count 10-3 Marlins.

Huddy had another rough outing today (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates) 

Brad Zeigler and Barbato put up zeroes the rest of the way, and so the Bucs had to be satisfied with a series win rather than a sweep, still not a bad way to open a long road trip. We're not sure on the status of Fran and Chad; that should be clearer by tomorrow. We're also wondering how long it takes for Felipe to take the set-up role from Huddy, back-to-back lefties or not.

  • J-Bell had two hits and a walk while Gregory, JJ and Stew had a walk and a knock.
  • Justin Bour was 4-for-5 with a homer and six RBI today against the Bucs.
  • Just before the game, the Pirates called up C John Bormann from High-A Bradenton and optioned OF Danny Ortiz back to Indy. Apparently Fran was a late no-go and the Bucs scrambled to find the closest catcher to Miami. With the Marauders playing in Port Charlotte, John drove across the state and was in a Bucco uni by the sixth inning. Tho a good glove guy, Bormann was batting .136, so we'd expect Elias Diaz to replace him on the roster tomorrow in Cincy, assuming Amore remains in "discomfort." As for JB, he became the fifth rookie to get his first taste of MLB in the past 10 days when he pinch-hit in the ninth.
  • The amazing part of Ivan Nova's 95-pitch, nine-inning shutout last night is that even with five complete games as a Pirate under his belt, that's the second highest amount of pitches he's thrown in a game for Pittsburgh. He tossed 98 in a win over Houston last August.

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