Saturday, May 6, 2017

Good News: Bucs Outlast Brew Crew 2-1 in 10 Frames; Bad News: Taillon Goes On DL

The day was rainy, but the night was dry, yay, and the game started on the dot. Gerrit Cole and Matt Garza exchanged quiet first frames. The Brewers got a walk in the second, and the Bucs, well, they brought back the Keystone Kops. Fran doubled with an out and JJ followed with another two-bagger to The Notch. Amore only got to third, tho - apparently he lost or misread the ball. Jordy lined a shot to left that was gloved and would have been a no-doubt sac fly, except Jaso also apparently misread the ball and managed to get doubled off second to end the inning. So stuff that makes little league coaches crazy is back to haunt the Pirates and it cost them a run this frame. The third was calm, with the Brew Crew drawing another walk.

Cole is on a roll (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Gerrit's one bugaboo bit him in the fourth when Hernan Perez took a high heater long to left. A two-out single was wiped clean with a CS. J-Bell opened with a ground-rule double to left. Cutch's flew out, but two Brewer OF'ers ran into each other making the play and that allowed Josh to move up a station. The gaffe was bigly when Bell scored on Gregory's grounder. The pitchers owned the fifth. Cole sailed through the sixth and opened the Bucco half with a sharp single. J-Hay followed with another knock as did J-Bell to fill the bases. Cole had a good chance to score, but was held by coach Cora with no outs and Cutch up...shoulda sent him, Joey. Cutch wasn't clutch; he grounded into a third-to-home DP (step-on-the-base forceout & tag of Cole) and El Coffee grounded out. You can lead a horse to water...

It was a 1-2-3 seventh for Cole Train. He went seven IP giving up a run on two hits with two walks and eight fans, tossing 101 pitches. Fran opened with a bunt single; JJ grounded into a DP. Of course Jordy followed with a knock. No diff; Gift whiffed. Felipe Rivero climbed the bump for the eighth and struck out the side. Corey Knebel took the ball and did the same. Tony Watson worked the ninth and surrendered a harmless opp-field knock to Eric Thames. Neftali Feliz greeted his old mateys. Cutch hit an at 'em ball to third; it's tough to find a hole when you're only using half the field. Gregory followed by jerking a change to right for a two-bagger. Fran's bouncer moved him up. JJ was given a free ride to first to get a righty-righty match with Jordy. After five straight fastballs, Mercer waved at a slider and it's bonus baseball.

J-Hay walked it off for the seventh time in his career (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Tony came out for a second frame and put the Brew Crew to rest in order. Carlos Torres came on and gave up a leadoff knock to Gift. Jose Osuna hit; a wild pitch moved Ngoepe up a notch and he went to third on fly out. From there, he strolled in when J-Hay walked it off by stroking a rap the opposite way over the heads of a drawn-in outfield.

The pitching has been outstanding in this set; the Brewers came into town on a hitting tear. So far it's been enough, even with the Pirates foot-shooting ways. We know there's a lot of offense missing with Freeser and Fraze out to go with Marte and Kang. But that's all the more reason to use the ol' noodle when the chance to score pops up. Still, the gang is hangin' in there in a NL Central race that no one has taken by the throat yet. The five teams are separated by 2-1/2 games and three in the loss column.

  • Well, this came out of the blue. The Pirates placed Jameson Taillon on the 10-day DL with groin discomfort (not associated with his 2015 sports hernia surgery per the team) and called up Josh Lindblom (0-2, 2.50) from Indy. Trevor Williams will take JT's spot Monday against LA, so Josh was the long man tonight after Wade LeBlanc went yesterday.
Josh got the call (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • J-Hay, J-Bell and Cervy had two hits; JJ had a knock and a walk.
  • The Pirates have scored 10 runs for Cole in his seven starts.
  • Jordy smacked a couple of balls on the nose tonight that were gloved; he's another Buc that can't find grass with just a .237 BABIP.
  • Pittsburgh is among the Top 10 MLB teams for GIDP with 28.
  • There were 22,092 in the house tonight.
  •'s podcast "The Show Before The Show" has a interview with John Bormann who details his hectic cross-state drive to get his day in the majors.

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