Saturday, June 24, 2017

Felipe, JJ & Freeser Come Up Clutch In Buccos 4-3 Victory.

Great start for Waino - five pitches, three outs. It took Jamo 13 tosses for the same result. The Bucs drew first blood when J-Bell dropped a fly into the right field seats 354' away to make it 1-0 in the second. The Cards jumped ahead two batters later after a walk and Jose Martinez dinger to left. Stew opened the third with a rap followed by three garden-variety outs. Tommy Pham bled a two-out infield single to prolong the frame by three pitches. Freeser walked with one gone in the fourth and a bad toss on a Bell bouncer put Bucs at second and third. A Cutch grounder to second tied the game. St. Louis eked out another infield knock; JT K'ed the side around it. The Bucs went down in order in the fifth; Wainwright has four whiffs and three have been called. Ump Ron Kulpa has called the high strike and pitcher's corner consistently today and we doubt he's gonna adjust, so spoiling borderline pitches should be today's memo to self. The Cards led off with a walk to Eric Fryer; he was bunted up but iced at second.

Josh is growing into a middle-of-the-order hitter (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Wainwright continued to befuddle the Bucs in the sixth, aggravated by Gregory dogging it after rolling an infield ball that he should have beat out. The Cards opened with their third infield knock of the night.With an out, Martinez fought Jamo for 11 pitches before sending a quail into right; Gregory made up for his woofing on the base paths with a diving grab and toss to first for the inning-ending DP. He did grimace afterward; hopefully it's not his ankle barking. Cutch walked with an out in the seventh for the Bucco action. Huddy came on for Jamo. The second batter, Paul DeJong, drilled a fastball over the fence into the bullpen to give the Cards the lead and the next, eight hitter Fryer, walked. A grounder moved him along, but El Coffee kept him there with another tumbling grab of a lob into right to close it down.

Trevor Rosenthal took the ball in the eighth. Fraze singled with an out, then J-Hay had a pro at-bat, drawing a walk. Gregory's force, nicely played by SS Aledmys Diaz to get an out, left runners on the corners. Freeser chopped a 3-2 heater into right to even the tally. Lefty Brett Cecil came in to turn J-Bell around. He had the green light at 3-0 and lined the ball into center where Pham tucked it away. Juan Nicasio toed the slab. A walk and hit-and-run knock with one out put Cards on the corners and brought Felipe Rivero in. He wasn't overwhelming, but an at 'em ball to Freeser and fly nicely corralled by El Coffee on the slide kept the score knotted. Seung Hwan Oh got two quick outs, then hung a 3-2 change over the dish to JJ (in as part of a double-switch) who didn't miss it, banging the mistake over the wall in center. Felipe was in for the five-out save and walked Fryer to open, smh. It's his third free pass from the eight-spot, none intentional as he's hitting .175. But all it cost was a handful of extra tosses as two punch outs and a pop-up later, Rivero had his third win of the campaign.

Felipe - lookin' like Pittsburgh's next great bullpen arm (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Well, maybe Felipe Rivero is the only pitcher they need. At any rate, some big-time at-bats by JJ & Freeser with two outs and two strikes and a nice outing by Jamo, with tons of soft contact and just one early mistake. He and Waino put on a show, shaving corners and keeping balls out of the hitting zone. And give Gregory some credit;he didn't look 100% but made three turf-kissing grabs on sinking shots. Now that bullpen...but hey, one down; time to take a series from the Gateway City gang.


  • The Bucs had just five hits; Freeser was the only guy to reach base twice with a walk and knock. 
  • The Pirates were the only team in the division to win tonight. Somehow, the Bucs at 34-40 are only four games back in the loss column.
  • The Giants DFA'ed ex-Bucco Bryan Morris per Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle. The 30-year-old bridge arm has a lifetime 3.13 ERA but was slashing 2-0/6.43 in 20 outings this campaign.

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