Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Buc Bats Wake Up Just In Time For 3-2, 10 Inning Win Over Brewers

Gerrit Cole didn't have a miserable first frame but still surrendered a run. He gave up a ground ball double to open and the runner took third when Cervy's pick-off throw was off the mark. J-Hay tried for a grab-and sweep instead of going to the ball and missed. A single off Josh's mitt made it 1-0. Another grounder made it through before Cole stopped the music. Starling and Harrison led off with back-to-back knocks off Zach Davies. A poor throw allowed Marte to reach third and he plated on Cutch's sac fly. Cole breezed through the second. Cervy walked with and out and went to third on a hit-and-run single by Jordy. The Bucs tried a squeeze with Gerrit up, costing them Amore at home. The play was executed fairly well but thwarted by a better play by Davies. The Brew Crew banged a two-out single for their third inning action. J-Hay opened with a rap. A whiff and GIDP put a quick stop to the frame.

Gerrit had his ace stuff going tonight with 10 K (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Milwaukee fourth added another harmless knock to the tote board. Freeser opened with a single and Amore added another an out later. The Bucs had the runners going on a 3-2 pitch to Jordy; he fanned and Freeser was thrown out at third, the call upheld after a challenge; it was bang-bang. Milwaukee got its mandatory single in the fifth; Freeser's glove work prevented another rap. There was nada from the Pirates. Three grounders, three outs for the Brew Crew in the sixth. Freeser banged a two-out rap, but Gregory grounded out on ball four. It was a 1-2-3 seventh for Cole Train. Cervy opened with a knock, Jordy grounded into a DP; it hasn't been one of his better days. J-Bell K'ed looking. Juan Nicasio got the eighth inning call and gave up a homer on his second pitch to Domingo Santana. He then settled in, getting a soft grounder sandwiched around a pair of strikeouts. Jacob Barnes claimed the slab and twirled a clean frame.

AJ Schugel answered the phone for the ninth. A walk to Keon Broxton with two outs was followed by a single that sent him to third, but he went too wide and was run down 9-5-3-2. Corey Knebel came on and his first pitch was sent to the fence in center by JJ, but Broxton made amends with a leaping catch that may be a game-saver. Freeser walked and Mad Max ran for him. Gregory's single sent him to third. Cervy's lob into right dropped to tie it. Jordy continued his icy night with an infield fly, leaving it up to Fraze. Knebel won, getting him to fly out to left to set up some bonus baseball. Tony Watson got the 10th inning nod. J-Hay made a swell bare-handed play to open the frame and then Tony punched out the next two. Jared Hughes came in and gave up a fence-hopping one-out double to J-Hay and an intentional walk to Cutch. JJ's fly to center was deep enough to tag Josh to third, and Andrew took second a couple of pitches later. Mad Max then became the hero of the day, sending a dink into center to walk it off.

Fran kept it alive in the ninth (photo Joe Guzy/Pirates)

Big win; this is the one they had to have with their #1 going against a Brew Crew back-ender. Davies pitched well enough, but the Bucs weren't very disciplined against the soft tosser; it seems like they tightened the hatches once the Brewer big boys climbed the hill. Great Pirates pitching tonight, and Jamo will have the task of completing the sweep against a tough cookie, Jimmy Nelson, tomorrow.

  • Amore had three hits and a walk; J-Hay is breaking out with a three spot of his own. Freeser added two knocks and a walk'.
  • Gerrit's 10 K's are not only his season high, but the first time a Pirates pitcher has tossed for double-digit whiffs thus season. They had been one of two MLB teams without a 10+K day, along with Seattle.
  • Huddy was off tonight after working three straight outings while Felipe is on standby (save situation only; so much for Clint and leverage) after tossing 35 pitches the last two nights. The Brewers sat Ryan Braun who has a couple of nagging aches; he was available to pinch hit.
  • Corey Knebel's MLB-record streak of 45 games with a K since the season started ended tonight.
  • There were 24,401 in the yard tonight, another pretty teensy crowd for a club that's suddenly afire.
  • SS Kevin Newman (.262) was promoted to Indy; he was replaced in Altoona by SS Cole Tucker (.289 - Bradenton).
  • Adam Bittner of the Post Gazette has been eyeballing some numbers, and the TV ratings stick out - they've dropped over 20% in both 2016 and '17, not a very good omen with a new television deal to be struck in 2019.

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