Friday, April 28, 2017

Bucs Go Fishing In Miami, Hook Marlins 12-2

Jordy got the Bucs off on the right foot with a first-inning dinger off Adam Conley; JT tossed a clean frame. The second...whoa, Nelly!The Pirates filled the bases with two walks and a single mixed in with a pair of whiffs. But that third out can sometimes be a bear to get. An infield single, walk, ground ball knock, HBP and an Amore triple (actually a single that scooted under Marcell Ozuna's mitt) made it 8-0 and Jose Urena was waved in. A single, walk and infield single (the Bucs were getting greedy; Clint challenged the original out call and got it reversed) tacked on another run before Taillon whiffed with the sacks full for the second time in the inning. JT put up another zippo. Pittsburgh stranded a pair; the Fish got on the board when a two-out infield knock (turnabout is fair play, after all) brought home a Marlin tally.

Jose went 4-for-5 with a walk (photo via MLB Pipeline)

The Pirates added another in the fourth on four singles but left more runs on the table when Jordy bounced into an inning-ending bases-loaded DP. The Fish went down in order. The fifth was another frame the Buccos ended with a DP ball while the Marlins stranded a pair. The Pirates opened the sixth with a single and grounded into yet another DP. But left with an out, Gift and Alen Hanson hit back-to-back triples to make at 11-1. JT was done after 95 pitches and Johnny Barbato made his first Pirates appearance while Gift went to short and Hanson to second. Miami drew a walk but no blood. Junichi Tazawa gave up a free pass while putting up a zippo in the seventh but surprisingly couldn't coax a twin killing. It was 1-2-3 for Johnny.

Pittsburgh loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth against Kyle Barraclough. He got a force at home before he was nicked for J-Hay's RBI sac fly. Dustin McGowan came on to K the Goose and quell the uprising. Wade LeBlanc took his turn. He gave up a run on a check-swing double that was barely fair (Clint, who had already issued two challenges tonight, came out to question the call, earning a barrage of boos from the Miami fans) and a pair of two-out infield singles. Ichiro was caught looking at a 3-2 pitch (borderline high, but the umps like to get home, too) to escape the jam. The Bucs stranded a walk in the ninth, the Marlins left a single go to waste and it was time to raise the Jolly Roger.

Gift went 3-for-3 with a triple and two walks (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

No carping tonight; the guys fielded cleanly, piled up a dozen runs and put 27 runners aboard (18 hits, 8 walks, one HBP). Too bad JT couldn't keep his pitch count down, but after an off day, the pen should be OK despite working four frames.


  • Per Joe Block: Gift Ngoepe is the first Pirate since Eddie Moore in 1923 to reach base five times (3-for-3, two walks) in his first MLB start. It wasn't Jose Osuna's first start (it was his fifth if you're keeping count), but he had four hits and reached base five times too (4-for-5, one walk). J-Hay had three hits, Fran two hits plus a walk and J-Bell one knock with two walks.
  • This is the first time since August of 2013 that the Pirates hit three triples in a game. It was a good game for the sticks - all eight starters and sub Alen Hanson had hits.
  • With Gift's start at second tonight, Clint has penciled in five different guys for the spot in the past six games.
  • Miami pitchers threw 211 pitches tonight. If the club looked a little bushed on the field, there was good reason: this is their first game home after finishing a franchise-record 7,162-mile road trip.
  • 22-year-old RHP Luis Heredia, a once highly touted prospect who has been with the Pirates since 2011, has been promoted to AA Altoona. That's good news on a couple of fronts. Not only is he finally in an upper level, but he started the year in extended training with some physical issues. Luis dropped 20 pounds and is ready to rock 'n' roll.


michael kaczmarek said...

Gift is certainly a great story and some much needed positive Focus for this team, however why aren't the Bucs using the new 10-day DL rule to put Freezer on it since obviously he isn't well?? Seems very stupid to waste a spot on the team every single game, especially when there's a new rule just for that

Ron Ieraci said...

Gift and Jose Osuna have been pleasant surprises, Mike. I liked Gift not because of his stick (I'm sure that will cool down) but because they really need at least one glove-first guy for the IF. Osuna makes me wonder a bit about how the Pirates evaluate players. He has some occasional power, very good contact skills/good eye, plus he goes with the pitch. I see players like Alex Dickerson, Brock Holt, Keon Broxton, JaCoby Jones etc. who may not prove to be everyday big-league players but with sufficient MLB skills as fourth OF or utility-type guys; sometimes it seems as if the FO undervalues its minor-league players; starter or bust seems top be the philosophy. Who knows what may have become of Neil Walker if Aki Iwamura hadn't been such a bust - remember, they jerked The Kid around in the minors (C-3B-1B-OF-2B) until they were forced to call him up - and he had all of 21 games at second under his belt at that time.

With Freeser, I suspect that they thought his hammy was a three-or-four day thing; if it drags out to a week, you're right, although I'm not sure Jason Rogers or Joey Terdoslavic would be a great help, lol.