Monday, May 29, 2017

Bucs Win Ninth Inning Home Run Contest, Take Opener From Arizona 4-3

Bah, first inning. Dave Peralta was ruled hit by a pitch via review, and with two outs a pair of ground ball singles off Trevor Williams made it 1-0. Jordy singled with an out and was the back end of a strike 'em out, throw 'em DP with J-Bell up to make an easy start for Randall Delgado. Trevor bopped another batter in the second, this one leading to no damage, and the Bucs went down quietly. The third was quiet; no bopped batters for Williams and Alen Hanson's single was erased on a caught stealing that he slowed down on, maybe a hit-and-run gone bad. Well, at least the Pirates aren't stranding runners so far. The Snakes got a two-out single in the fourth and the Pirates evened up on Jordy's triple and J-Bell's sac fly. Arizona stranded a two-out double in the fifth while Delgado K'ed the Bucco side.

This was Trevor's best start of the campaign (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

It was a 1-2-3 sixth for Trevor, but the Bucs got a worrisome red flag when Gregory left with a gimpy leg when he jammed it into the wall chasing a foul, causing "right ankle discomfort." The Pirates got a two-out knock from Jordy that chased Delgado. Andrew Chafin came in to fan J-Bell. Juan Nicasio pitched a strong seventh and JJ Hoover took the hill. Jose Osuna doubled when his shot caromed off the SS's glove and died in the short outfield. Cutch walked an out later, and Stew came through with a two-out three-bagger to The Notch to put the Bucs ahead 3-1. Stewie appeared to "discomfort" his hammy on his trek around the bases (on the slide, actually) and left the game. *holy MASH Unit* Ty Glasnow pinch-ran, Fraze pinch-hit and lefty Jorge De La Rosa came on. All the brain churn resulted in a ground out.

And yet more brain churn: Clint made these changes in the eighth - Felipe is on the bump, Fran's catching, Fraze is in left, Gift at second, JJ at first and Juan, J-Bell and Hanson went to the pine. Rivero walked the first guy and the second dribbled a single up the left side to bring up Paul Goldschmidt. Felipe got a DP ball hit to Jordy, but JJ dropped Gift's relay to leave Snakes on the corners. Rivero picked him up, getting a pop into short left and a roll-over grounder to third to hose out the flames. That's some big-time twirling. Tom Wilhelmsen climbed the hill. With two outs, a walk, knock and wild pitch set up JJ, but he was late on heater down the middle and flew out to left. Tony Watson buzz-killed the ninth. With two outs, Daniel Descalso singled and Chris Iannetta yanked a 3-2 changeup over the fence in the left field corner to knot the score. Archie Bradley took the ball and sent the crowd home happy when his third pitch, a 97 MPH fastball up and away, was drilled over The Clemente Wall by Cutch.

Felipe waded through the hot water (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Nice finish with Cutch's sixth career walk-off homer and what appears to be a more patient batting plan with a nice start by Trevor Williams (six IP, one run, four hits, two HBP, three K on 67 tosses). Not so nice that the Bucco string of players down continue; we'll have to see how badly banged up Stew and Gregory are. And today's question - why does the guy who is carrying a 4.03 ERA close and the guy with a 0.68 ERA set-up?

  • The Snakes shut down J-Hay but not Jordy, who had three hits today. Jose Osuna added a pair while Cutch had a knock and a walk.
  • Stew has two triples in his 11-year MLB career, both spanked in the last five weeks.
  • 16,939 showed up on a Bucs and Pucks holiday in Pittsburgh.
  • Long time Sports Illustrated writer and NPR commentator Frank Deford passed away today at age 78. Locals should remember his 1985 SI piece "The Boxer and the Blonde" about Billy Conn the boxer and Greenfield Jimmy Smith, the blonde's father.

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