|Back on track tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
The Rox used a little fifth-inning two-out lightning with a walk to Trevor Story; he was off on the pitch and a single to left plus a misadventure by Fraze was enough for him to just beat the rap on a play at the plate to tie the score. Jordy has been ablaze. He led off with a double and was bunted up. Runner on third, less than two outs? Of course Fraze looked at strike three. J-Hay did the same, arrrgh! Plz swing the stick. Gerrit put himself in a sixth-inning jam when he couldn't field a dribbler cleanly, then rushed the throw and skipped it past first. But he got himself into the jackpot and then worked his way out of it, making a nice running grab of a short pop to end the frame. Freeser singled with an out for all the Bucco action. With one gone in the seventh, Cole Train walked back-to-back Rox. Clint kept him in and Gerrit made him look good. A grounder moved the runners into the danger zone but a whiff kept them there.
|The Bucs secret weapon (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
The Pirates half worked out better against Adam Ottavino. Jordy singled with an out and jogged home after JJ banged a pinch-hit long ball into the Colorado bullpen. Juan Nicasio took over in the eighth to face the top of the order and sat them down with a couple of K. Jordan Lyles took the hill and a two-out walk to J-Bell cost him. Cutch had the green light on a 3-0 pitch and caught an inside-edge heater, yanking it over the wall in left to build a 5-1 pad for the Buccos. Clint still brought in Felipe Rivero. He walked the first hitter and it hurt; a ground out and single plated the first run he's surrendered in a month. But that was it - raise it again!
Sweet to see Gerrit back; he went back to his fastball-heavy mix and it worked fine. It was also nice to see that he got a win for a good effort; the Pirates were weak at supporting him when he was on fire earlier in the year. Cutch is happening, too and whether that's due to a switch to the six-hole or his Atlanta sit down is immaterial. Welcome back, boys.
- Cutch had two hits, both which became souvenirs. Jordy and Freeser, of course, had a pair of raps each with Mercer adding a walk. J-Bell also had a knock and a walk.
- Gerrit Cole's line tonight: seven IP, one run, three hits, three walks & three K's on 100 pitches, a nice bounce-back against one of the league's most talented lineups.
- The bench's nuclear option: JJ's last nine at-bats as pinch-hitter have resulted in six hits with two homers, two doubles and seven RBI (thx @joe_block )
- The Pirates four-game win streak is their longest of the year.
- Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston reports that first-rounder Shane Baz has agreed to sign with the Bucs, with no financials released. It's good to settle with him quickly; now they can budget for the other HS guys they drafted.