|No support for Ivan tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Though only at 52 pitches to start the seventh frame, Nova began to struggle. Paul Goldschmidt doubled off the top off the wall (an ump review confirmed it wasn't a homer) and he was bloop singled to third. After a whiff , Ivan got a grounder but Jordy couldn't do much with it and it became an RBI infield knock. A walk loaded 'em up and a dribbled out up the right side was soft enough to chase home a second tally and make it 3-0. Pittsburgh went down in order. Huddy was back in his eighth inning spot, albeit w/o the lead, and tossed a 1-2-3 frame. The Bucs managed a knock in their half by pinch-hitter Fraze. Wade LeBlanc worked the ninth, giving up a stranded double. Jordy and J-Hay made solid contact off Ray in the ninth, but both lined out to third. J-Bell fanned and that was the ballgame.
Won't win many games without scoring, and Robbie Ray has spun 24-2/3 straight shutout frames during a breakout campaign. But Clint may have given the boys a better chance if he had played Fraze in left and J-Hay at second, especially against a pitcher with no discernible split instead of taking the load-em-up with righties approach. An argument also could be made that the pen should have heated up earlier for the seventh, but the killing knocks were more well-placed than well-hit; Goldschmidt's ball was the only rocket. The bottom line: you can't manage your way into winning with a zero on the board.
|Time to play Adam everyday.(photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
- Ivan Nova was 0-for-28 before his sixth inning single.
- Gregory didn't have his walking boot on today, so he may have lucked out with his ankle sprain.
- It was a big night for Robbie Ray. It was his first complete game and first shutout in the majors, tossing a 116-pitch four-hitter with 10 K and no walks.
- One thing about pitching duels - they're quick. This one took two hours and 10 minutes in front of 14,996 fans and an unknown number of pooches.
- Neil Walker got his 1,000th hit tonight.