Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bucs Save Best for the End, Broom Bruins 6-1

Jameson Taillon and Jon Lester had been tough in the opening days of the season, but dodged a couple of early raindrops. Both sides ran themselves out of a first inning score. The Bucs did it when the Pittsburgh had a strike 'em out, throw 'em out DP (note to Clint - Jordy is not exactly a bullet on the bases) followed by a Cutch triple; the Cubs when Kyle Schwarber took out the Goose on a DP try. The Pirates claimed it Gosselin was rolled into after Kyle's slide and won the challenge to get credit for a DP, negating the effect of following back-to-back singles. The second went quietly and the Cubs mounted a mild threat in the third, stranding two runners.

JT's been on fire so far (photo Joe Robbins/Getty)

The Bucs had a couple of guys reach in the fourth after two were gone to no avail while Chicago went down 1-2-3. The Pirates bunted into a DP in the fifth and the Cubbies stranded a one-out double. More routine zeroes went up in the sixth. Pittsburgh outdid itself in the seventh - Freeser walked and was picked of on a snap throw by the catcher; J-Hay was bopped and then caught stealing. Chicago broke the ice. Jason Heyward singled, was safe at second on a Jordy boot of a DP ball and then scored on Tommy LaStella's double that ticked off Fraze's mitt after an iffy route. JT hung tough though, and left the bases jammed as he stopped the bleeding. He went seven IP, charged with an unearned run on seven hits, three walks and six K after 108 pitches.

Koje Uehara climbed the mound in the eighth and boy, were the Bucs glad to see Lester gone. Two walks around a Fraze double loaded the sacks with nobody out. Jordy tied the game with a bloop. A force at home cut down one run, but pinch runner Alen Hanson scored on a bang-bang play that was upheld by review (Wilson Contreras couldn't hold home with his foot nor swipe the Hanson blur sliding by). A Freeser fly made it 3-1 good guys (Jordy fake tagged and drew a throw, a poor one that skipped past Contreras and allowed him to plate). Felipe Rivero tossed a clean half.

Always roster room for a bat like Fraze's (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Justin Grimm took the ball, and a HBP and walk later, with a wild pitch thrown in, set up Fraze's three-run blast, 432' to straight center, to put the Pirates up 6-1 in a quick two-inning reversal of fortune. Wade LeBlanc served a quiet ninth, and the Bucs, reeling as they came to Chicago, will leave town with a strut after the sweep.

JT doesn't look like he's ducking a sophomore jinx. He hasn't been overwhelming, but he's as cool as Houdini when the pressure's on And geez, it'd be nice to see the Pirates catch the ball and run the bases without any bobbles for a change, but hey, whatever works. They're off to meet the Cards tomorrow and may the good times roll with Ivan Nova on the bump against Lance Lynn.


  • Fraze had three hits today (the Pirates only had six), including a double and homer. Jordy had a knock and a walk, J-Hay got bopped twice and JJ drew a pair of free passes. 
  • All six of JT's fan jobs came off the curve ball.
  • One Buc was picked off and the team was 1-for-3 stealing.
  • Chad Kuhl pinch hit for the Bucs with Stew and Gregory left on the bench. Did pretty well, too, working an eight-pitch walk.

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