Saturday, May 6, 2017

Chad, Wade & Company Lead Bucs to 4-0 Win Over Brewers

The tarp came out about an hour before game time, but was wrapped back up well before the opening pitch was due. The start was inexplicably delayed 10 minutes anyway. Once it got underway, for three innings Chad Kuhl and Jimmy Nelson, two young guys who have had a rough time chucking the ball in their last couple of outings, traded zeroes. Kuhl gave up a pair of harmless two-out singles while Nelson allowed just one Bucco run via a boot. Then it rained... A couple of hours later, the ground crew started fiddling with the tarp and Wade LeBlanc headed to the bullpen to loosen up. In the time between Cool Chad's first pitch and now, the Mon Wharf flooded, PNC Park emptied, and Wade climbed the slippery slope.

Wade put up three zeroes for the win (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

He worked a clean fourth and Rob Scahill took the ball for the Brewers. J-Bell greeted him with the Bucs first hit, a two-bagger. Gregory chased him home an out later, spoiling a few before lining a single to center. Fran followed with knock up the middle and a bad throw on Jose Osuna's grounder plated another Bucco as El Coffee hustled in. A soft roller moved them up a station and Jordy was waved to first to load the sacks for Wade. He surprised himself with a knock to left to send another Bucco across the dish tho a lumbering Osuna was cut down. Still, 3-0 good guys. The Brew Crew went down in order in the fifth. J-Bell stayed hot (he must have taken a nice nap during the storm) and drilled one that left the yard, landed on the River Walk and one-hopped into the Allegheny. Gregory stroked a double but was left on the pond.

Gregory is getting back in the swing of things (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

A leadoff double and two-out infield bleeder put Brewers on the corners in the sixth. Wade left them there to put up another LeBlank. Jared Hughes made his first trip to the PNC hill in a different uni to a nice video welcome and a little noise from the dozens of remaining fans. With two gone, he gave up a walk and a knock then whiffed J-Hay without throwing a strike. Juan Nicasio got the seventh-inning call. With an out, he surrendered an infield rap backed by a Keon Broxton double. With two outs, he walked the bases full, missing badly, and was yanked for Felipe Rivero who closed it down. Jacob Barnes worked a 1-2-3 frame for Milwaukee. Rivero and Jhan Marinez exchanged quiet eights. Huddy put up a zippo in the ninth, and you can raise the rain-soaked Jolly Roger.

Good job by the pitching; the Brew Crew attack has been on fire lately, although it was missing Ryan Braun tonight. J-Bell and Gregory fueled enough offense, the D didn't trip over itself, and the Buccos washed the off the residue from the Reds series. Tomorrow's match features Gerrit Cole and Matt Garza.

  • J-Bell and Gregory had two hits each and Jordy walked a couple of times (once intentionally).
  • The rain delay lasted for two hours and 27 minutes. Guess they really wanted to get tonight's game in.
  • Tick, tick...Fraze was eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday, Antonio Bastardo today and Freeser tomorrow. It doesn't appear any will be ready by their due date. Frazier is slated for rehab when he comes off the list; whether AB/Freese will need MiLB tune-ups is TBD. It'll be interesting to see how the roster shakes out when they're back.
Fraze can come off the DL as soon as his hammy lets him (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • Ryan Braun returned to Milwaukee to see a doctor regarding his recent arm woes; and is expected to rejoin the club tomorrow. 
  • There were 21,129 tickets sold for tonight's game.
  • This set is the last chance to make some headway against the division for a long spell. After the Brewers leave town, the next 35 games are against non-Central foes, stretching into mid-June. Pittsburgh is 6-11 (1-6 v Cincinnati, 4-2 v Chicago, 0-3 v St. Louis, 1-0 v Milwaukee) intra-division.
  • Bucco prospect RHP Mitch Keller put up this line tonight for Bradenton: seven IP, 0 runs, two hits, 0 walks, nine K. The Marauders won 4-0 over Dunedin.

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