Thursday, June 22, 2017

Anderson, Shaw Too Much For Bucs In 4-2 Loss

Good start against Chase Anderson; J-Hay got bopped, stole second and came around on J-Bell's two-out knock. Bell stole second too, but languished there. Too bad; Ivan had a slow start also - a double & single tied it, and fortunately a GIDP held Travis' Shaw homer to a solo shot as the Brew Crew leapfrogged into a 2-1 lead. An infield knock and HBP followed before Ivan shut the gate, tossing 30 (!) pitches. The Bucs went quietly in the second while Milwaukee slapped out a couple of more hits but left those ducks on the pond. It was 1-2-3 for Pittsburgh in the third and ditto for the Crew. Gregory drilled a leadoff opp field homer in the fourth. Cutch walked with two outs but Mad Max whiffed to end the frame. The Brewers went down in order. The Bucs did the same in the fifth. A two-out single brought up Shaw, who lined a 1-2 pitch into right; he chased home the lead run although thrown out trying to take to third base.

Ivan lost the battle today (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Both sides blew sixth-inning chances. J-Hay walked, moved to second on a grounder and then was tossed out trying to steal third. The Brewers had two on via the knock and walk route with an out, but a DP closed out the frame. The Pirates returned the favor in the seventh; a walk and error set up Jordy with one away; he banged into a 5-3 DP. With two outs and two on, Shaw was up again. Time for a new pitcher? Nah. Bad decision by Clint; Nova was at 106 pitches and was already twice-trumped by Travis, who tore the first pitch off the top of the LF wall. One run scored and Domingo Santana, rounding the bases a bit on the leisurely side (he apparently thought it was a homer) was cut down at home. He wasn't the only Brewer who thought the ball was gone, but the manager's challenge of the call was reviewed and the play upheld.

In the eighth, Fraze singled and went to second on a wild pitch. With two away, Gregory's ball past first was deflected into shallow right field, where 2B Eric Sogard ran it down and made a strong throw home to nail Adam at the plate, and that was that the last hurrah. Jhan Marinez tossed a clean eighth and Corey Knebel did the same in the ninth. A series that started off so well ended up a disappointing split.

Jhan Marinez has been a pleasant pick-me-up so far (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Both side had opportunities knock; DPs and happy feet frustrated both clubs. And while Clint's bullpen use could be defended yesterday, keeping Nova in to pitch to Shaw in the seventh today is harder to swallow, even with Nova leading off the next inning. Shaw has a big lefty-righty split (.227-.313) and if Felipe is the only southpaw reliever the ol' skipper trusts, it's time to find a match-up guy for the pen.

  • Gregory had two knocks and Cutch two walks today while Jordy's 11-game hitting streak went by the boards. Pittsburgh only mustered four hits during the match today.
  • Don't sleep on Brewer closer Corey Knebel, who just set the MLB record for relievers with his 38th consecutive game with a strikeout (he got J-Bell swinging) to start a season, passing Aroldis Chapman.
  • Austin Meadows was placed on the minor-league DL with a right hamstring strain. Gift Ngoepe joined him on the DL with a left hamstring strain.
  • Jim Callis of reports that Tennessee second rounder HS RHP Steven Jennings reached agreement with the Pirates for $1.9M (slot  $1,635,500). Per John Dreker of Pirates Prospects, the Pirates signed 19th round draft pick Jake Webb, prep RHP from Kansas who had a commitment to Kansas State.
  • LHP Tyler Webb, the Rule 5 pick from New York who was returned to the Yankees in the spring, has been called up by the Bronx Bombers.

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