|Cutch was clutch today - 2016 Topps Fire|
Holy muscle beach - Cutch homered to start the third, Gregory singled, then J-Bell went long. Arizona went quietly. The nines traded fourth inning knocks. Randall Delgado came in for the fifth and worked a 1-2-3 frame, with J-Bell coming that close to his second long tater. The D-backs edged closer when Goldy lost another ball; might be on Mars as he hit it 453'. Also, JJ took over in right for El Coffee with no reason given who had hamstring discomfort, sheesh. Pittsburgh left Gift and Fraze aboard. The Diamondbacks juiced the sacks with an out. With everyone screaming for the bullpen, Ivan calmly served up a third-to-first DP ball, nicely picked and started by J-Hay, to dodge the Arizona raindrops.
Jorge De La Rosa whiffed Cutch to open the seventh, but the ball got away and so did Andrew, who reached first. He stole second and moved to third on a roller where he died. Juan Nicasio gave up a two-out knock but otherwise shut the door. Archie Bradley cruised through the eighth, but Daniel Hudson wouldn't. He has a runner on first with two out via a walk, then lost the next two hitters. Wade LeBlanc came in, got ahead of Jeff Mathis (BA - .154) 1-2, and then missed with three straight pitches to move everyone around and tie the game before he collected the third out, a strikeout of the red hot Goldy. Fernando Rodney put up a zero in the ninth while Tony Watson made his usual dramatic escape. The Snakes opened with a pair of knocks, the second one a bunt that worked when Gift didn't cover first. A popped up bunt try helped the cause, but not as much as the ending-inning 6-4-3 DP turned quite nicely by Gift.
|J-Bell keeps ringing them up (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Tom Wilhelmsen made the two-out, bases empty gaffe of walking the eight hitter, Ngoepe, in the 10th. Jose Osuna, subbing for J-Bell as is Clint's wont, launched a homer to center over the 413' mark (it was estimated to be 450') to make it 6-4 Pirates. Tony Watson stayed on the hill; tomorrow is an off day so he can sleep in. Daniel Descalso singled and moved to second when Cutch misplayed the ball. AJ Pollock's knock put Snakes on the corners. Pollack pulled up gimpy and Zack Greinke had to run for him as Arizona's bench was empty. Pitcher Patrick Corbin pinch hit and whiffed. Clint put the tying run in scoring position when he had Goldy intentionally walked, but it worked. Watson faced Jake Lamb, who already had three hits but presented a lefty matchup, and coaxed a grounder to Gift to earn a hard-fought win.
Give Ivan Nova credit; his fastball wen everywhere except where he aimed it but he kept the game from getting away. And hey, gotta love that desert air - even the Pirates lose baseballs in Phoenix and in a bigly way, not the cheapos of the GABP/Miller Park variety. Add to that some very nice infield defense, especially now that Gift is available to plug in. The Bucs get a day to regroup after grinding out a pair of blood, sweat and tears victories that salvaged a disastrous road trip into just a bad one.
|Ivan's had better days but kept it together (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
- Fraze had three hits and a walk; Cutch, J-Bell and Gift each had a knock and walk.
- Freeser's day off was scheduled. The Bucs didn't want to overload him after his return from the DL and had him on a back-to-back game limit. The Bucs were a man down in the pen, too, as Felipe Rivero had a stiff neck.
- Grounds for non-support: The pitchers with the least run support in the NL going into today were Gerrit Cole (2.50), the Giants' Jeff Samardzija (2.57) and Ivan Nova (2.71) as noted by Adam Berry of MLB.com.
- Chris Iannetta was placed on the 7-day concussion list.
- Senator John McCain was at the ballyard today, but no hearings broke out.
- Farm hands return: OF Barrett Barnes, who has been out since mid-March with a hammy, has reported to Indy. C Jin-De Jhang, who injured his oblique during camp, is finishing off his rehab in Florida and will join Altoona Friday.
- The A’s have released OF/1B Andrew Lambo, who had just been removed from the DL with a wrist injury at AAA Nashville. Lambo is a good guy who could never stay healthy.