Saturday, May 20, 2017

Pirates Even Series With 6-3 Victory; Ivan Backed By Fraze, Freeser & Fran

Ivan Nova got into quick trouble, giving up a single/double combo to open the game. But as usual, he kept the damage to a minimum and just allowed a run to score. The Bucs went down 1-2-3 to Vince Velasquez. All the action for either team in the second was Freeser's single. The Phils got a couple of third-inning knocks, but a DP in the middle defused any threat. The Pirates tied the game when Fraze singled with two outs, J-Hay walked and Cutch's knock plated Adam with a little help from an outfield bobble. A J-Hay boot was erased in the fourth on another DP; Pittsburgh slipped ahead on Freeser's long ball, a hooking golf drive that landed just a couple of rows inside the LF pole. Fran singled but the Bucs didn't add on. All the action in the fifth was a Philly single.

Fraze just keeps hitting the ball (photo Pittsburgh Pirates) 

The sixth was quiet for Ivan but big for the Bucs. With an out, Freeser walked and JJ singled. A pickoff throw from the catcher went astray, moving them up 90', and Amore singled them home. Marl Leiter took over and lost Jordy. With the infield creeping in, Ivan pulled back and took a hack at the ball; his grounder was as good as a bunt, advancing the duo. It helped the cause as Fraze's knock chased them both home. J-Hay walked, but the Pirates settled for the four-spot. A single, grounder ball and another rap brought home a Phil run while the Bucs went quietly in the seventh. An infield single (actually, a bad throw by Nova) and double earned the chipping-away Phillies another tally in the eighth. The Bucs loaded the bases with two outs against Edubray Ramos on a Jordy walk and singles by Fraze and J-Hay to set up Cutch, but Andrew, after dodging a ball whistling at his noggin, went down swinging. Tony Watson worked a clean ninth, and up went the Jolly Roger.

Nice to see Ivan keep on piling up solid starts. It's even nicer to see Fraze keep on smokin' the ball, for Freeser to get comfortable at the dish again and for Cervy to find some grass. Cool Chad will battle Aaron Nola in the series tie-breaker tomorrow afternoon.

  • Fraze led the parade with three hits, Freeser homered with two knocks with a walk and Fran added a pair of hits. J-Hay had a hit and drew two walks (!) while Jordy also worked a couple of free passes.
Freeser snapped a cold spell with a homer today (photo Marty Morrow/Pirates)
  • There were 32,572 in the yard today, finally a nice crowd for the Buccos.
  • Reliever Jhan Marinez reported to the team today. Josh Lindblom was the guy he replaced as Josh went on the 10-day DL with left side discomfort.
  • Dieter Kurtenbach of Fox Sports has a list of the 15 likeliest players to be dealt by the deadline. The names include Cutch, Gerrit Cole and Josh Harrison.
  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe notes that the Astros have big interest in Gerrit Cole and a system deep enough to pay the price. He added that Felipe Rivero is being called "the poor man's Aroldis Chapman" and writes that he won't be making league minimum much longer with the way he's throwing.
  • Max Moroff has been on a home run tear this month at Indy. Sam Dykstra of featured Mad Max in an article and credits the performance to Indy Skipper Andy Barkett's call for aggression.

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