Saturday, June 10, 2017

Bullpen & Grindin' It Out Pay Off For Pirates In 7-6 Win

Well, sure not a shut-down first for Trevor Williams. He smacked Giancarlo Stanton in the forearm/wrist, causing him to leave the game (and slam his helmet upon exiting). That was followed by a garden-variety ground ball single and a pair of smoked doubles to make it 3-0 in a poof. Dan Straily 1-2-3'ed the Bucs. Trevor was back on track in the second frame, and so were the Pirates. J-Bell tripled with an out, the ball just eluding Christian Yelich's efforts to haul it in at the CF wall, and Cutch doubled. An infield knock put Buccos at the corners, but Jordy's pop fly to right was too shallow and Trevor couldn't help his own cause as the runner-on-third-less-than-two-out blues bit the Bucs. An infield single by Miami in the third was negated by a strike 'em out, toss 'em out DP to make for a quiet set of at-bats. Fraze opened the third with a rap and Freeser was bopped two outs later. J-Bell cashed in a run when he fought off a high 0-2 heater and shot it into left. Cutch tied it with a double. Bell was rung up try to score (it was either an aggressive or suicidal send by Rick, Joey Cora) behind David but it's a fresh start after three.

Andrew seems to be liking his new spot; he's up to .247 w/.751 OPS
(photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The lead didn't last long as JT Realmuto drove one into the batter’s eye shrubbery in the fourth. Derek Dietrich took one long to right center, and geez, Bucco pitching. An error followed and was bunted up but it stayed 5-3. Eli and Jordy opened with knocks to put Bucs on the corners. Jose Osuna hit for Trevor and swung at ball four, rolling into a DP though plating a run. The Fish gave back an out with another boot and J-Hay walked, but Gregory's liner found leather. Edgar Santana got his first MLB call in the fifth and whiffed the second batter he faced, Yelich. Marcell Ozuna welcomed Eddie into the league with a double and he gave up his first run when Freeser, who's been fighting the ball today, let a playable-looking chopper go by for a double. An infield single put Fish on the corners - he probably misses Indy's D about now - but another strikeout carried him home. Nick Wittgren took over and stranded a pair.

Jhan Marinez tossed the sixth with just a walk. Brad Ziegler gave up consecutive two-out knocks but came back to fan Freeser; the Pirates have nine LOB. Huddy worked a clean seventh while David Phelps gave up a knock and a walk with an out. Jordy drilled one to the track, where it popped out of Yelich's glove as he kissed the bullpen fence and fell in for a game-tying triple. JJ followed with a dust-splattering double up the right field line that hopped into the seats to give the Pirates the lead. The new-look pen made its first appearance with Juan Nicasio on the hill in the eighth. After a whiff, he gave up an infield knock, followed by another whiff, a ground ball single, Felipe Rivero and yet another whiff. Jarlin Garcia kept it a one-tun game. So did Felipe with two more punch outs and a grounder. Seems like a long time but Raise It!

We think we're gonna like Felipe closing (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The shake, rattle and roll of the bullpen seems to settled now that Felipe and Juan are back-enders and Edgar and AJ are in the mix. Now if that pitching just keep the ball in the dang park (11 HR in the last five games); the offense seems to have come together nicely lately with the "wall of runners" MO.

  • J-Bell, Cutch and Eli had three hits today (Diaz also walked) while Jordy & Fraze had two raps. J-Hay added a knock and a walk.
For a glove-first rep guy, Eli has been handling the stick pretty well in the early going
(photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • The four-out save was Felipe's first as a Pirate; he had three with the Nats.
  • Rivero, Juan Nicasio and Edgar Santana fanned seven hitters in three IP.
  • Cutch became the eighth player in franchise history with 500 extra base hits today, joining Willie Stargell (953), Honus Wagner (865), Paul Waner (852), Roberto Clemente (846), Pie Traynor (593), Max Carey (590) and Dave Parker (524). Pretty special crew on that list.
  • Though we bemoan stranded runners at third as a mortal sin per our Doubleday Sunday School classes, the Pirates generally do pretty well in that situation. With a runner on third and less than two outs, they hit .272 with a 127 OPS+. 
  • Fortunately, Giancarlo Stanton's X-ray came back negative. He has a wrist contusion and is day-to-day.
  • The Pirates drew 27,275 today.
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