Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bucs Start Off On Fire, Then Hang On To Take 6-5 Win From Chi-Town

Tyler Glasnow survived the first although two walks and an infield single - no one covered second base on what should have been a force out - did cause him to burn 29 pitches. J-Hay led off with a homer off Jon Lester; it barely made it over the left field fence and if Kyle Schwarber had been a little less leisurely he may have pulled it in. With two gone, Gregory legged out an infield knock and Amore brought him home with a double to make it 2-0. With two on and two outs in the second, a walk and HBP - Anthony Rizzo was nicked in the hand, and his hand is always in the strike zone - made it 2-1.

Tyler took a step backward tonight (photo Kim Clement/USAT)

But a Goose double got that run back when he chased home J-Bell who had reached on a left side dribbler. A grounder and walk to J-Hay put Bucs on the corners and a comedy routine broke out - Harrison was picked off on the break (altho it may have been Clint's notorious delayed double steal), he and Goose juked around with both being in rundowns at one point or another, and somehow it ended up as a successful double steal, Gosselin scoring w/o a slide. Jordy's infield knock put Pirates on the corners again and a Cutch double plated J-Hay. The Pirates missed a golden opportunity to really pile on as Gregory and Fran left the ducks at second and third. But it is 5-1 Buccos and will be a long night - both guys are already well over 50 pitches and the game is at the 1:08 mark.

Ty gave up two more hits in the third but a caught stealing helped bigly. Red flag: he's at 75 tosses. Lester sat the Pirates down on 10 pitches. A walk and one out double that Gregory should have gloved - it was off his mitt - made it 5-2 in the fourth and brought Wade LeBlanc in. Also entering the game was Gift Ngoepe, who went to second as part of a double switch; big day for him.  A Rizzo single cut the lead to 5-3. A walk (that's five to go w/HBP) sandwiched around two bouncers finished the frame. Gift singled up the middle in his first MLB at-bat; J-Hay whiffed and Jordy banged into a DP. With an out in the fifth, Wade walked Lester and Jon Jay doubled him to third. The infield wasn't in, but J-Bell made a heads-up play by cutting down Lester at home on Schwarber's grounder. Juan Nicasio got the call to face Kris Bryant and got him on a swinging bunt. It took eight pitches for Lester to retire the Buccos.

Gift had a day to remember (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Juan tossed a quick and clean sixth. With one gone, J-Bell got a 3-2 center-cut heater and lined it over The Notch to make it 6-3. Gift walked with two away followed by another infield knock, bringing on Pedro Strop. He walked Jordy to fill the bags with Bucs, but Cutch K'ed looking, frozen by a changeup. Felipe Rivero took the ball in the seventh and gave up just a generously ruled infield hit that Jordy coulda & shoulda eaten up. Mike Montgomery toed the pitching plate and worked a clean frame thanks to Fran being caught stealing after a walk.

Daniel Hudson worked the eighth, and a single and Anthony Rizzo bomb made it a game again at 6-5. With two gone, Tony Watson came out to face Jason Heyward, presumably for the rare (for Clint) four-out save and got the first of those four easily enough. In a two-fer, Alen Hanson was sent to right field to  replace Jose Osuna. Carl Edwards Jr. chopped down the Pirates in their half, and onto the ninth. Will Contreras opened by singling on an 0-2 pitch. After a force, Jordy muffed another grounder. But Tony kept serving up those worm burners, and a fourth straight grounder got the results he wanted as Jordy gloved this one, flipped to Gift and on to JJ to close the gate.

Jordy had some holes in his glove tonight but was there to start the game-ending DP
(2014 Topps)

Walks, bad D...and still they somehow navigated their murderers row of games against the Cubs, Cards and Yankees at 6-6. Now a day off and a long road trip on tap as the Bucs continue to bumble, fumble and stumble through the schedule but still keep their heads above water.

  • J-Hay had two hits and a walk, J-Bell also had two knocks.
  • Felipe Rivero has made nine straight appearances without allowing an earned run and has been charged with just one earned run in his 14 games this season.
  • Welcome to the club, Gift - Gerrit Cole got Ngoepe's first MLB-hit ball and keeping with tradition, gave it the fake toss-into-the-stands. In fact, Cole Train actually threw the ball toward the fans but into the new security screen.
  • The Cubs put up a Bucco-esque RISP line, going 2-for-12.
  • Just 16,904 in the park tonight.
  • This was the first Monday-Thursday game the Pirates have won this year.
  • Root announcer Bob Walk's father passed away late this afternoon in California. Our prayers to the Walk family.
  • 1B Michael Morse was called up by the Giants today. It's his first MLB gig since being released by the Pirates last April.

No comments: