Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Heard This One Before? - Cards Win 2-1, Sweep Series

The first inning was an exchange of 1-2-3's by Michael Wacha and Gerrit Cole. The Bucs went quietly again in the second while the Cards got a knock and walk but no points. The Pirates were nine up, nine down after three; the Cards dented the scoreboard on Dexter Fowler's first dinger of the year. J-Bell evened it up in the fourth with his first long ball while the Redbirds left a pair on board thx to a walk and single. Jaso got his first hit of the campaign in the fifth; he was doubled on when he caught after Jordy's line-out to second. Fowler went solo again (we don't like these 2-1 scores much) and a following rap by Matt Carpenter was erased when he was picked off.

Gerrit joins the list of good start/bad result pitchers (photo AP)

In the sixth, a J-Hay knock with one gone was followed by a force and caught stealing by Josh Bell. A leadoff single by the Cards went by the wayside. With two away in the seventh, a Freeser single and JJ walk got Wacha out of the game; Matt Bowman came on and whiffed Mercer. Felipe Rivero took over for Cole Train (two runs, six hits, two walks and eight K after 91 pitches in six IP) and gave up an infield single, erased on a rare caught-stealing by the Bucs, Stew to J-Hay. It was on time as the Cards managed another knock that didn't reach the outfield grass but led to nada.

Kevin Seigrist toed the rubber in the eighth and two Bucs reached on St Louis boots after an out. J-Bell almost became a hero, but his ball was pulled in on the track in left. Cutch walked to fill the bases with Buccos. Seigrist stayed in to set up a lefty matchup situation with Gregory. Polanco stroked the ball but Matt Carpenter, starting for the first time in the series with a nagging swollen finger, made up for his earlier boot. Playing in the hole, he dove to glove El Coffee's hard-hit grounder inside the line and beat him to the bag with a slide; it's at least two runs if it got past him.. Gregory slammed his helmet in frustration and the Bucs, well, they're still frustrated too.

JJ snapped out of it with a couple of hits (photo Joe Guzzy/Pirates)

Daniel Hudson worked a clean frame. Trevor Rosenthal, who hasn't had a save since June, 2016 (he's become Oh's set-up man) got the call for the ninth. With an out, JJ worked a long at-bat that ended in a single to keep Pirates hopes alive. Alen Hanson ran for him. Jordy looked at strike three; that can't happen in that spot. That left it up to Jose Osuna, who stayed in to play first after pinch-hitting last inning. He went down swinging also, writing the final chapter in another 2-1 loss.

Well, another well-pitched game with the Bucs trying to rally late, but in this series no one wanted to step up and be the man. So it continues - swept, sweep, swept, sweep, swept...hopefully the Yankees are in big trouble come Friday when the Bucs resume action.

  • JJ finally got his mojo working; he had two hits (his first of 2017) and a walk. J-Bell had a home run and a walk, but he didn't get to bat in the ninth because he had been pulled in a double switch. On the other side of the coin, Cutch's nine-game hitting streak ended. He went 0-for-3 with a walk. Jordy had a rough day, twice coming up with RISP and fanning. 
Cutch walked but his hit streak ended (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • The Pirates hadn't been swept in a three-game series when allowing six runs or fewer since 1913 per @STATS_MLB.
  • Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors has just about everything you'd want to know about Marte's suspension.
  • Mt Lebanon's Josh Wilson, a 36-year-old vet who has played for nine different teams but was out of the big leagues last year, left his indie club and signed a minor league deal with Texas, where he played in 2014.

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