Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ray Shuts Down Pirates 3-0

Hope you got to your seat in time or you missed the start; Ivan Nova took six pitches to tuck Arizona away while Robbie Ray used up 11 tosses, but then he struck out two Buccos. The second was also well-hurled with Cutch's two-out single the only action. The third was a clean frame, and it was another perfecto for Ivan in the fourth. J-Hay got a gift double to open the fourth when his routine fly was lost by the LF'er and moved to third on a grounder, but Freeser and Amore fanned (Ray's fifth & sixth victims) to douse the flame. Jake Lamb opened the fifth with the Snakes first hit; an out later he was erased via the ol' around-the-horn DP. Ray tucked the Bucs away with another pair of whiffs. The D-Backs drew first blood with a single and two-out Chris Owings' double in the sixth. Nova tried to rally the troops with a leadoff knock, but a Jordy DP calmed the inning down in a hurry.

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.

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