Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Nats Pound Pirates 8-4

Not the greatest start for Chad Kuhl; a leadoff double followed by a single made it 1-0 in a hurry. J-Hay even the count with a long ball of Stephen Strasburg. JJ, not exactly the peoples choice to hit cleanup, shushed the nay-sayers with a double but was left aboard. Cool Chad gave up another leadoff double but this time left it on the pond in the second. The Bucs went down quietly. Strasburg opened the third with a knock to right; Chad isn't having much luck with nailing that first out. It bit him after a bloop single and a two-out, opposite field double by Ryan Zimmerman made it 3-1. Pittsburgh went down in order. The first Nat fell in the fourth, but the next banged a triple as JJ played RF, well, like a 1B. Wilmer Difo homered and Washington was cruising. The Pirates got a walk for all their effort. A walk and an infield single started the fifth and ended Chad's night as Huddy got the call to work in a low leverage spot. An out followed by a knock plated another Nat before a DP put it to bed.

Chad was bad tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

John Barbato worked a clean sixth; the Bucs stranded a leadoff double by J-Hay (the throw beat Josh, but his trademark footwork saved the day). The Nats were held to a single in the seventh. The Bucs rallied - J-Bell, Amore & Jordy loaded the sacks, then Jose Osuna pinch hit and rolled a wanna-be DP ball to Zimmerman at first. His throw was of the Garrett Jones variety and scooted into the outfield; the Pirates plated a pair and added one more on Fraze's knock to make it 6-4. The Nats burned four pitchers without getting an out, but Blake Treinen was the answer, getting a hard-hit DP ball from J-Hay and whiffing Cutch to shut it down at 6-4. Wade LeBlanc and Enny Romero traded eighth inning zippos. A soft single and a MOAB by Bryce Harper took the edge off the Pirates come-back in the ninth. Koda Glover found out there was a little fire left when Jose Osuna singled and Fraze doubled with two gone. He reached back and fanned J-Hay to wrap it up.

Adam wasn't (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Not much to parse here; the Nats can hit the baseball hard and often and Pirates pitching couldn't answer the bell, giving up 14 hits of which six went for extra bases. If the back end of the rotation can't give the Bucs some creditable innings of work, it's gonna be a long, long season.


  • J-Hay and Fraze had a pair of hits. Josh had a homer and double while Adam added a two-bagger and single.
  • For maybe the first time in his career, Cutch (.206 BA) was pulled from the lineup in a double-switch. 
  • By the end of the fifth inning, every Nat starter including Strasburg had reached base safely. Eight DC'ers hit their way aboard; Bryce Harper drew a walk (and got a hit later).
  • The Pirates drew 16,992 on a beautiful night for baseball. The team is 28-44 (.389) since late August of last year and as the attendance shows, it's kinda tough to pump up enthusiasm with that kind of performance. 
  • Bradenton's Mitch Keller was yanked from tonight's start after one inning due to back tightness. It may be nothing but it does bears watching as the righty is, per Baseball America, Pittsburgh's #2 minor-league prospect behind only Austin Meadows.

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