Saturday, April 22, 2017

Pitchers, Fielders Take Their Lumps; Yankees Drop Pirates 11-5

JT started it off well with a 1-2-3, nine-pitch first frame. It looked like Michael Pineda was going to match, but a two-out slider to Cutch found its way over the center-field wall into the bullpen to make it 1-0. The second was rocking-chair easy, with a walk erased around-the-horn by the Bucs and Pineda cruising. It was a quiet third for the Bronx Boys; Buc fielding has been uncharacteristically sharp so far. The Pirates got a pair on after two were away on a Fraze walk and J-Bell knock, but Pineda kept his slider this at-bat to punch out Andrew swinging. A quick alarm bell sounded between innings when JT landed awkwardly on his ankle during warmups, but he carried on.

JT didn't have his usual command this afternoon (photo Ted Vuich/AP)

A walk and a steal set up NY with two gone in the fourth but set no fire. Freeser caught a fastball and sent it into the right-center seats; boy, dingers are a nice thing to have in your arsenal occasionally. The Yanks got their first hit with two out in the fifth when Austin Romine got a reprieve on a check-swing strike three and then lined a pitch just past Jordy. A ground ball knock followed, but Pineda K'ed to calm the waters. JT and Fraze singled with an out and Bell walked to juice the sacks. Cutch lifted a heater to right and the sac fly made it 3-0.

Good thing as the Yanks roared back in the sixth. A soft infield single deflected by JT and a walk were both chased home by Starlin Castro's first pitch bomb; that was followed by an Aaron Judge double. That brought Juan Nicasio in, and he caught the next hitter on the back foot with a 1-2 chase pitch, followed by a bloop. Jaso misplayed a ball hit in front of him into a double that brought home two more. An out later Wade LeBlanc entered to end the action. Jonathan Holder got the wave for NY. Amore doubled with two away and scampered home on Jordy's dink, bringing Tyler Clippard into the game. He bopped Jose Osuna and it cost him as Fraze followed with an RBI knock. Bell was caught looking but it's tied again. Felipe Rivero took his turn; the last two nights have been brutal on the bullpens.

Antonio Bastardo is a lost soul right now (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Felipe tossed a clean seventh. Andrew opened with a walk and stole second. A hard grounder moved him up a station; the Yanks had Gregory shifted perfectly. Dellin Betances took the ball as Freeser stepped into the box; Betances won the battle, getting a short fly to ice Cutch and a grounder to keep it knotted. With two gone in the eighth, a Fraze boot and single put Rivero in hot water. It was boiling when Chris Carter pinch hit and launched a no-doubt three-run shot. Then Cutch missed a fly (he called off Polanco, whose ball it appeared to be) to put a runner at third, bringing Antonio Bastardo in from the deep freeze. His wild pitch brought in another tally, tho the ground rule double following would have worked just as well. Another two-bagger made it 10-5 before the third out came.

Bryan Mitchell took the bump and tucked the Bucs away. Aaron Judge hit a ball halfway to the moon off AB and for some reason Aroldis Chapman came in, for the work we suppose. He didn't plunk Cutch as is his MO, tho he did walk him. No diff; 11-5 was how it ended. Not catching the ball usually bites ya; so does giving up four doubles and three homers, so it was a bad day all around at the ranch. At least the sweep thingie has run its course; now a series win would be sweet.


  • Fraze reached three times with two hits and a walk; Cutch also, with one dinger and two free passes. J-Bell had a knock and a walk. We'd suggest the Bucs make up their mind about Frazier; he has 37 starts at second and 63 in the outfield across all levels of pro ball; doesn't seem like they're doing him or the team any favors by plopping him all over the field.
Find the kid a spot already (photo via MLB Pipeline)
  • Good crowd for a fifty-ish afternoon - 36,140 filled the yard.
  • The Pirates got into Earth Day by partnering its "Let's Go Bucs. Let's Go Green" program with the Western PA Conservancy to provide funding for a season-long tree-planting program. The Bucs will donate $250 for each home run hit at PNC Park by the team throughout the season to the cause, providing some long green for leafy green.

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