Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Soft Knocks & Lost Opps Key Colorado's 5-1 Win

Good starts for Chad Kuhl and German Marquez as both tossed 1-2-3 opening frames. In the second, Cool Chad got unlikely; Ian Desmond caught a curve that left the yard, almost kissing the fence top as it dropped into the seats. That was followed bu a single, quickly erased by Amore on a swipe try. The Bucs again went in order, though with a couple of well-struck outs. It was an easy third for Chad and also for Marquez. After a leadoff single to Mad Max, Kuhl bunted into a DP to deflate the frame. It was another three up, three down inning in the fourth for the Rox and ditto for the Buccos. A walk and an infield single to open the fifth left Chad in hot water. A single into left that Moroff couldn't get to made the tally 2-0; the knocks were both routine grounders well-placed in the hole. The Bucs couldn't turn a DP on a grounder to second and that allowed Marquez to squeeze a third run home when J-Bell booted his bunt. Chad escaped w/o any more damage.

Chad pitched well but without a lot of support (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Cutch rolled a one-out single up the middle and Amore was plunked. After some jawing between Cervy and catcher Tony Wolters, the benches emptied but it turned into a Senate hearing rather than a baseball brawl with only Cole Train in an actual rage. An out later, a wild pitch set up pinch-hitter Jose Osuna but his bouncer ended the music. Edgar Santana took the hill in the sixth after Chad had pitched well but without much luck. He picked up a couple of whiffs in a quiet inning. Fraze opened with a two-bagger and J-Hays knock put Bucs on the corners. Lefty Chris Rusin came on to face El Coffee and got the trade he wanted on the first pitch - a run for a 3-6-1 DP. Santana was touched for an opening double in the seventh. Gregory made a leaping catch of a ball at the RF wall and the runner tagged. A walk followed and an 0-2 change that hung over the middle of the plate was lined into right, bringing in a run and Daniel Hudson. Huddy kept the runner at third with a pop and K and  kept the score at 4-1.

Adam Ottavino took the ball in the Pirates seventh. Fran singled with an out, Max was HBP and Freeser walked. Southpaw Jake McGee was waved in with Fraze up and got him on a short fly to center. J-Hay went down on three pitches and another opportunity was missed. Tony Watson claimed the hill in the eighth and tossed a clean frame, fanning a pair. The Bucs got a two-out walk and made no more noise. Jhan Marinez took the hill for the ninth. He gave up a pair of opening infield hits. A bunt moved the runners along and a sac fly cashed in one.
Greg Holland has been money in the bank and cashed out the Bucs.

Tony is regaining his mojo (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Well, they did take the series against the NL's top team. Tonight's loss can be notched up to a couple of missed chances both in the box and the field mixed in with some well-timed soft hits by a team that can pound the ball. Can't blame Clint for using tonight to give Jordy and Freeser a two-day break going into the Cub series though it did hurt the club in this contest.

  • Fraze had a knock and a walk; he was the only Buc to reach base twice as the team managed just six hits.
  • We're wondering if it's not about time to move El Coffee from the three-hole. Gregory has just 14 RBI in mid-June, fewer than John Jaso (17) and Jose Osuna (15) who have 50 and 83 fewer PAs respectively. The third spot has generated a slash of .198/.263/.312 with a 60 OPS+ going into tonight's match.
  • The game drew 17,308 fans to the yard.
  • RHP Yeudy Garcia was removed from tonight's Curve game with a back injury. Yeudy was an on-the-radar arm in A ball, but has had trouble adjusting at AA with a 2-4/5.80 slash. Additionally, Altoona LHP Brandon Waddell may be done for the year; he's out for 6-8 weeks after a PRP treatment on his arm. It's been a wasted year for the southpaw with just 27-2/3 IP.

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