Thursday, May 25, 2017

Heroes Galore In Pirates 10-Inning 12-5 Victory; Fraze and Jose Osuna With Five-Star Performances

Good start against Julio Teheran; Fraze walked and J-Hay singled. But the accursed #3 spot claimed another victim as J-Bell fanned and ditto for Freeser. JJ popped out and the LOB mode remains intact. Trevor Williams worked a quick 1-2-3 opener. Jordy singled to start the second, and an out later Stew reached on a boot that would bite the Bravos. They were bunted up, and no stranded runners this frame as Fraze lined a three-run shot (on an 0-2 pitch) off the Chop House behind the right field bleachers. Tyler Flowers got plunked on a two-out, 3-2 pitch but it lead to no harm. The Pirates went quietly in the third. Trevor again got two outs before Ender Inciarte (!) and Brandon Phillips (!) singled to put Braves on the corners. They stayed there as Williams punched out Nick Markakis. The Bucs went without a peep in the fourth; the Braves got a one-out Matt Adams (!) triple, assisted by JJ, but he was left aboard as Trevor reared back for a pair of swinging whiffs. Fraze walked for all the fifth inning Bucco action; that was busier than the Atlanta half.

Trevor pitched five strong innings before wearing down (photo via Baseball America)

The Pirates were quiet in the sixth save a Jordy knock. The Braves opened with three straight singles, scoring a run and moving a runner to thirf on Danny Ortiz's bobble in the outfield. In came Juan Nicasio. Fater two pop outs, he couldn't find that third out. He gave up a two-out, two-strike knock to make it 3-2. Jace Peterson got a heater down the middle and lined a double over Ortiz's head (he initially froze) cleared the sacks to put Atlanta in the lead before Juan closed it out. Jason Motte took over in the seventh. He walked Stew and Fraze an out later, but Ian Krol answered the bell with two gone and shut it down. Huddy gave up a leadoff Inciarte knock, erased when he was caught stealing after a fly out, so the ensuing walk and knock didn't leave any blood. Jordy drew a two-out walk in the eighth and Luke Jackson came on to face Cervy, hitting for Ortiz. Amore singled and Tyler Glasnow came in to run for him (Amore was not in love with being replaced) but no madcap antics followed as Stew flew out on the first pitch.

J-Hay went to left, Fraze to center, Jose Osuna to right, and Gift to second. Might have been easier to just put Cutch in center, but hey... Johnny Barbato climbed the bump and gave up a one-out double, awarded after a fan scooped up the ball (and unlike at PNC, he was given the bum's rush out of Sun Trust Park). An out later, Danny Santana went the opposite way and hopped a ground rule double, breaking an 0-for-18 streak and making it 5-3. Jose Ramirez toed the pitching plate in the ninth. Gift looked like he beat out a roller to short despite a great effort by Dansby Swanson. The ump disagreed but was overruled on review. Fraze singled. Inciarte remained a pest; he leapt at the wall and pulled in J-Hay's extra-base bid; it was a Sports Center grab. J-Bell took strike three; Freeser looked at ball four and it was up to Jose Osuna. And he came through, singling home a pair to knot the game. Jordy swung through a heater and Felipe Rivero stepped to the mound. Markakis walked with an out and Felipe responded with a pair of whiffs.

Jose Osuna was clutch (photo Joe Guzy/Pittsburgh Pirates)

Josh Collmenter was tapped for a leadoff single by Cutch in the 10th. Stew bunted him up for Gift. Ngoepe fell behind 0-2, took a ball and then went the opposite way for a two-bagger and the lead. Fraze was intentionally walked. A wild pitch moved them up a station and J-Hay took advantage, ripping a two-run knock to left center. And wow - Freeser, Joey-O and Jordy followed with back-to-back-to-back homers until the mercy yanking. Wade LeBlanc picked up a pair of K's in tucking the disheartened Bravos into bed.

Fraze is a madman right now. And give Jose Osuna his props; for a guy with 11 MLB games under his belt, he was clutch at crunch time. Cutch ignited the 10th inning fireworks when light-hitting Gift chased him home. It's always nice to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, and when you're down to your last batter, it's even sweeter. Trevor did a nice job; he's shown the ability to navigate a lineup two times through and now has to figure out how to mix it up enough to get through the third cycle.

Fraze is filthy (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • Adam Frazier is the first Pirates leadoff man with at least three walks (he drew four, one intentional) and two hits that included a homer since Barry Bonds did it (2-for-2, three walks) on May 28th, 1988, against the Reds at Riverfront Stadium. Pretty fast company there. He also is the first Buc to reach base six times in a game via hit/walks since Neil Walker (5-for-5, walk) on August 12th, 2012, v the Padres at PNC Park.
  • Fraze wasn't the only hot bat - Jordy had three knocks w/walk while J-Hay had a pair (and a couple of scorched outs) as did Jose Osuna and Gift Ngoepe.
  • ESPN Stats never sleeps: The Pirates are the first team to hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in extra innings since the Royals (Beltran, Sweeney, Randa.) v Rangers in 2002.
  • The three blind mice act behind the plate continued tonight with Vic Carapazzi behind the dish; this crew is pretty bad at balls and strikes for both clubs.
  • The injury updates are promising. El Coffee ran the bases today and may be ready to return in a day or two (he's eligible to come off the DL tomorrow) while Jameson Taillon is tossing another bullpen session Thursday after his first 25-pitch outing went off without a hitch. Antonio Bastardo is pitching in Pirate City where he's stationed with the extended training/rehab gang. The pitching depth is filling in, too - Nick Kingham is in Indy's rotation, Casey Sadler is tossing in Bradenton and Brandon Cumpton is in Florida and near to getting a minor-league assignment.

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