Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Reds Continue Their PNC Ramble 9-2

Pretty smooth sailing for Ivan Nova and Amir Garrett in the early going. No real threats, some nice displays of glove work by both sides and a couple of DP balls kept the score at zero for the first four frames.

Bucco nemesis Zack Cozart, just returned to lineup after nursing a wrist injury, doubled. Another two-bagger brought him home. Garrett laid down a bunt; Fran went to Freeser to cut down the lead man but David couldn't handle the toss. Then Billy Hamilton singled, Jose Peraza doubled, and it was 4-0 before the Bucs could get back to the dugout. Ivan was hit pretty hard (Hamilton's single was grounder, the rest were barreled up) and the Pirates defense added a dash of petrol to the blaze. The Pirates had no response in their half other than a two-out knock by Harrison.

At leats Freeser remembers what a bat's for (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Ivan bounced back with a clean sixth. Goose hit for Nova, ending his night (four runs, three earned, eight hits, one K) and starting a 1-2-3 frame against Garrett.
Antonio Bastardo, who started the day by rescuing a bird that he found injured during warm-ups, took the hill in the seventh. After two outs, an infield single and pair of free passes filled the sack with Reds. They all scampered home on Eugenio Suarez's double; guess Good Samaritan karma doesn't carry over to the hill. He was yanked for Felipe Rivero, who gave up another double before dousing the fire. Cutch opened with a leg hit and then trotted home ahead of Freeser, who lifted one the opposite way for his second dinger of the year. With two outs, he plunked J-Hay and Blake Wood finished up the frame.

Daniel Hudson worked the eighth and gave up a run on three singles, using 31 pitches to get three outs. Robert Stephenson got the call for the Reds and put up another another zippo. Tony Watson tossed a quiet ninth with a walk erased by a DP. The Bucs put a couple of guys on and left them there to call it a night.

At least Tony tossed a calm ninth (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

The Bucs were thumped this series, but still in all, 3-5 isn't a death notice. What remains to be seen is if the Pirates ran into a hot team while they were cold or if the team is really offensively challenged with a nickle-and-dime attack. We'll also see what tweaks they have for the bullpen, which was shaky (here's lookin' at you, AB) and how a young staff settles in during the season. They have a trying schedule ahead of them, starting with Boston tomorrow afternoon, but maybe a road trip is what the doctor ordered.

  • Cutch and Freeser each had a pair of hits tonight while J-Hay had a knock, a walk and a plunk.
  • Jordy is not only having a frustrating first two weeks at the dish, but he couldn't buy a break tonight - he smoked three at 'em balls before finally finding grass by drilling an eighth-inning double.
  • Antonio Bastardo has made four outings and been scored upon in all of them, giving up nine runs on eight hits (three HR) and five walks in four IP. Bet the FO would like a redo on Tyler Webb's return.
  • In stark contrast, Amir Garrett started his MLB career with 12 scoreless frames before Freeser's HR broke the spell.
  • Like yesterday, the Reds proved clutch - five of their nine runs crossed after two outs and a 3-2 count on the hitter.
  • Not much action on the base paths tonight, but this will get your attention - against the Reds, the Pirates went 0-for-24 w/RISP and stranded 25 runners.
  • A slim gate again - 12,327 spun the turnstiles tonight.


michael kaczmarek said...

Yes another sad offensive no show. I said well before the season started this team will really struggle to score runs, especially in key situations. But this is pathetic as it gets. Bastardo should've never been brought back, he's never been any good & below average reliever at best. Horrible move by N.H. Zero for 24 with/RISP. That sums everything up for me. N.H.'s lack of addressing that and keeping Bastardo should be his downfall, Hurdles hands I believe are tied, but his use of the bullpen in this series makes absolutely no sense to me. Wish I could post some positives, but I saw this train wreck coming far away

michael kaczmarek said...

Plus add the fact that the Braves handed them all 3 games with a bunch of unearned runs and this team really should be 0-8 or 1-7 at best. Unfortunately they are really lucky to even have 3 wins. Maybe the 0-8 would've forced N.H. to do something before July 4th Holiday, cause by July 1st, I regretfully predicted that the Bucs will be way out of the race. They cannot score and the bullpen will be done by then

Ron Ieraci said...

We'll see if lefties are their kryptonite, Mike. The hit Finnegan OK except in the clutch, and even then he got a couple of at 'em balls to save his outing. Garrett owned them; we'll see what happens with Rodriguez who they should be able to handle. Southpaws take Bell, Fraze, Jaso and Gregory out of the equation, tho Mercer, Starling, Cutch, Freeser and J-Hay love 'em.

Then again, it may not be all about southpaws, as Rookie Davis proved. You are right; until they man up and drive home some runs, it's gonna be ugly. I think they can rearrange the bullpen OK (although last year they fiddled around too long before finding a good combo). The innings it takes Kuhl, Glasnow & even Williams to figure out the league will have a big impact on the record, too, especially with Kingham on ice until May.