Thursday, May 11, 2017

LA In Control From Start To Finish, Sweep Pirates 5-2

The Bucs got a J-Hay double to open off Keanta Maeda; he was stranded. LA waited until two outs to get a runner aboard Chad Kuhl. It was a walk, and he paid when Cody Bellinger took him long. They weren't done; two more singles around another walk made it 3-0. The sides exchanged singles in the second and went quietly in the third. Nada for Pittsburgh in the fourth while the Blue Crew added on with a knock and RBI double by Chase Utley. The fifth frame was clean both ways and the last one for Cool Chad, who gave up four runs on six hits with two walks and four K. Cervy kept his hitting streak alive at six with a knock that proved harmless and Wade LeBlanc climbed the hill to toss a 1-2-3 inning - whiff, walk, DP liner. Both sides went down in order in the seventh.

Josh had three knocks at leadoff tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Maeda must be tiring; he gave up two loud outs in the eighth, although at 89 pitches he should be fresh as a daisy. Johnny Barbato took his turn. A double and a walk put him in a pickle and a double by Yasmani Grandal on a two-out, 0-2 pitch chased another Dodger home; Grandal has been wearing out the Buc staff. The Bucs showed late life when J-Hay worked hard and was rewarded with a knock, then trotted home ahead of Amore's long ball. After a Cutch K, lefty Grant Dayton came in to finish off Gregory and J-Bell and broomed the Bucs out of the City of Angels.

Hopefully, Chad took to heart the lesson that a bases-empty, two-out walk can be a killer. Outside of that five-batter bump in the first, fueled by a pair of free passes, he tossed a creditable game. Not that it makes that much diff without some semblance of an offense. The Bucs can't get their injured sticks back quickly enough and need to kick start a couple of the everyday guys to compete.

  • J-Hay had three hits at leadoff and Fran, sitting in the two hole, had two more. Nobody else in the lineup reached base. J-Bell's hitless streak climbed to 14 at-bats. Cutch has also been icy; he's in a 5-for-41 (.122) funk in his last 11 games, dropping his BA from .263 to .215. Four of those five hits have been for extra bases (2-2B, 2-HR) so he appears to be stuck in an extended swing-from-the-heels rut which we see a couple of times every season.
Cutch may be trying to muscle up too much (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • The Pirates will travel to Arizona for four games against the Diamondbacks after tonight; it's likely that Fraze and Freeser will join them sometime during the series.

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