Saturday, May 27, 2017

Bullpen, JJ Overtake the Mets in 10 Frames 5-4

Cole Train wasn't sharp again in the first as Jay Bruce took him deep and he was also touched for a single/double combo that caused no added damage. The Bucs went quietly against Zack Wheeler. It didn't improve a lot in the second; Curtis Granderson's leadoff triple came home to make it 2-0 with NY'ers left at second and third again. The Pirates had an answer this time as Freeser walked and jogged home ahead of Cutch who drilled one into the center field shrubbery. The third was quiet, with J-Hay's two-out two-bagger the only noise for either club. The fourth saw Travis d'Arnaud homer; it could have been worse as Mets were stranded at second and third. The Bucs got two hits and a walk but no runs as Freeser's DP short-circuited their half of the frame. Lucas Duda went long in the fifth, the ball landing on the concourse, and the Metropolitans left runners at second and third for a fourth time, so Gerrit had a tough outing (five IP, four runs, 10 hits, 98 pitches and eight stranded) but kept the club alive. Pittsburgh went down in order.

Cutch happening kept the Bucs in the game early (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Wade LeBlanc took over in the sixth and tossed a clean frame. J-Bell opened with a knock and plated when Andrew drilled a ball up the 3B line for a two-out double. He was nailed at home, tho, when he hit third and headed for the dish on Amore's grounder in the hole to short. Cutch apparently thought the throw would go to first but instead Asdrubal Cabrera flipped to the catcher and cut down Andrew. Wade zipped through the NY gang in the seventh and Neil Ramirez climbed the hill. Jordy led off with a ground-rule double and moved up on a grounder. Fraze was up and the Mets countered with lefty Jerry Blivins whose diet of curves sat Adam down. J-Hay walked but J-Bell's bouncer shut the door. Juan Nicasio answered the eighth inning bell and struck out the side on 12 pitches. Blivins got Gregory on a foul pop and righty Fernando Salas was waved on, getting a Freeser bouncer and Cutch fly-out to the track.

Felipe Rivero entered for the ninth and had an easy time of it with two whiffs and a roller. Addison Reed got Cervy on a warning track fly to center that Juan Lagares ran down; he didn't have that luck when Jordy doubled off the fence. A wild pitch moved pinch-runner Gift up ninety feet and he was chased home by JJ's opposite field knock. Fraze was jammed with two strikes but managed to roll the ball into right, sending JJ to third on the rap. J-Hay froze him tho with a grounder to third. J-Bell barreled up, but his liner was nicely gloved by Lagares to send it into extras. Tony Watson gave up a pair of singles in the 10th but the Mets continued their strand 'em all MO. Tyler Pill, just called up as a long man/spot starter, came in to toss. Lagares grabbed a smoked liner a step short of the fence to deny Gregory. Freeser singled, Cutch was bopped by a pitch and Cervy worked an eight-pitch walk. Gift hit a pop fly to right, icing Freese. Lefty Josh Edgin took over to face JJ. The battle went nine pitches and to a full count; Jaso won the duel by sending the last pitch into right to send Freeser home.

Juan and the Bucco bullpen was lights-out (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Both sides had plenty of chances to put the game away, with the Mets squandering early chances against Cole Train and the Bucs squeezing sawdust in the later rounds. The Pirates are tough when you let them hang around; this was their third walk-off win of the year. They only had four in all of 2016. So the rubber match is tomorrow night on ESPN when Tyler Glasnow takes on Matt Harvey.

  • JJ hadn't had a hit against a lefty all year and had just one last season. He had two knocks in two tries tonight; Cutch, Fran and Jordy also had a pair of raps.
  • This was the first time in Cole Train's career that he's surrendered three homers in a game.
  • The Pirates warning track power was in it's full glory late in the game. In the ninth and 10th innings they hit four balls to fence; only Jordy's double eluded Lagares.
  • With a double and homer tonight, Cutch passed up Bill Mazeroski for eighth place in extra-base hits smacked by a Pirate. ( thx to @JohnDreker )
  • The Mets again stacked the lineup with seven lefties; remember when the Pirates used to have a slew of southpaws in the rotation?
  • Clint said Huddy will return to his set-up role after a couple of strong outings as the seventh-inning bridge. Won't be tonight, tho, as he gets a day of rest after working two frames last night.
  • 31,658 turned out tonight (there were quite a few Met fans in the house) , so the last couple of contests have spun the turnstiles pretty well.
And look who will be back on the bump tomorrow... (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • The Pirates announced that Jameson Taillon will begin a rehab assignment at Altoona tomorrow.

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