Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Rain, The Park & Other Things: Buc Bullpen Battered in 6-5 Loss

The Bucs got something off RA Dickey in the first. Fraze walked and J-Hay singled. Cutch continued his very bad, no good start by bouncing into a first-pitch DP, but J-Bell picked him up with a opposite field bloop double to make it 1-0. Cervy singled to put Pirates on the corners, but JJ's bouncer cut down J-Bell at home. Josh was pretty far out of the baseline sliding home and Clint came out to bark, maybe about blocking the plate. It didn't get him a run but did succeed in getting him tossed for a second straight game; we hope Tom Prince is drawing acting pay this series. Atlanta copy-catted. They got a leadoff walk followed by a DP, then a double before Tyler Glasnow said no more. Pittsburgh got a Ty leg single in the second; the Bravos left a pair of ducks on the pond.

A promising outing by Tyler (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

With two gone in the third, J-Hay looked startled when the stadium alarm system went off as he stepped into the box; must have surprised Dickey, too, who walked him on four pitches and then plunked Amore. The wild streak hurt when JJ singled home a run before the party ended. Inciarte legged out an infield knock; he's been aboard seven straight times this series but failed to ignite anything. Glasnow blooped his second hit in the fourth, Fraze drew a walk and J-Hay's knock juiced the bags with one gone. And yep, Cutch grounded into another DP. Matt Adams opened with a two-bagger that Andrew misread and a single made it 2-1. With two outs, Dickey rolled one up the middle but Ty finally coaxed Inciarte to find leather. JJ doubled with two outs in the fifth but was iced at second. Brandon Phillips opened with a single; an out later, a swinging K and snap-throw pick-off by Cervy from his knees made it a 1-2-3 inning.

Jordy opened the sixth with a shot over the RF wall, tucked neatly a few feet inside the pole. Tyler collected his third hit and an out later, J-Hay added his second but they were stranded. Matt Adams got the run back in a hurry with a leadoff homer of his own, followed by dink into right but Ty worked out of it with help from another DP. Then the rain came and the tarp was rolled on the field. At 12:30, the tarps were removed; guess the umps didn't have any plans for the night. The game resumed at 12:50 AM or so, three hours and 12 minutes after the drops first fell.

The teams spent more time in the clubhouse than on the field.

Sam Freeman climbed the slippery slope for the seventh and had a quiet frame interrupted only by an Alen Hanson knock. Wade LeBlanc took over for Ty and Gift went to second base. With an out, Inciarte single on a pitch that was at his belt buckle, inside-outing the ball into shallow left, then went to second on a wild pitch. It cost when Brandon Phillips (who else?) singled. Wade was given a quick hook for Felipe Rivero. The rain began again and Amore celebrated with a passed ball. That hurt, too when Matt Kemp singled him home with two outs. Arodys Vizcaino got the eighth inning call and his nasty slider tucked the Bucs away. Johnny Barbato worked a clean frame.

Jim Johnson took the ball in the ninth. J-Bell & Fran singled with an out. JJ went down swinging before Freeser walked to fill the bases with Buccos. Jordy came through, dumping a two-strike curve softly into left to chase home a pair of Pirates. Luke Jackson sloshed to the bump to shut the gate. Tony Watson answered the phone and Jose Osuna likewise, who went in to play first for J-Bell. After an out, of course Inciarte legged out an infield hit. And of course it hurt when Markakis lined a two-out two-bagger into center to plate him. Kemp got an intentional walk to bring up lefty Adams, and his single ended the contest.

Tony blew his second save of the season and took the loss.

The bullpen had been solid; not tonight. Stranding 13 runners (10 in the first six innings) didn't help, and fielding gaffes bit the Bucs, too. There were a couple of bright spots. Tyler could lean on that first batter a little harder; he allowed the leadoff man on in five of the first six frames, and the second guy reached in the odd inning. But it was a big step up - he went six frames on 91 pitches, only walked a pair and didn't allow a big inning even though often surrounded by Bravos. And Jordy had a day with a homer and three RBI while starting a DP, pretty solid for a guy nursing a bruised paw.

  • Jay-Hay had three hits; J-Bell, Cervy, JJ and Jordy each added a pair of knocks. Fraze was hitless but walked twice.
  • JJ has a nine-game on-base streak after tonight.
  • Tyler Glasnow became the first Bucco pitcher with three hits in a game since Doug Drabek on May 27th, 1991 v the Cards.
  • Ender Inciarte is 8-of-9 with a walk in the first two games of this set.
  • Slippery Rock grad Matt Adams, newly acquired by the Bravos after Freddie Freeman's injury, has two homers and a double in the series against his home town crew. He's 5-of-9 with four RBI and three runs.
  • Luke Jackson won his first MLB game tonight; it took one pitch. Piece of cake, big league ball.
  • If robots ever start calling balls and strikes, this blue crew will be one of the reasons - Phil Cuzzi yesterday and Nic Lentz today missed a ton of pitches for both clubs. Could probably use a robot weatherman, too.
And hey - guess who tossing off a mound today? (photo Elsa/Getty)
  • Want some good news? How about Jameson Taillon threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session this afternoon and El Coffee took BP.

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