Saturday, July 29, 2017

Bucs Continue Tailspin, Drop 3-2 Decision to Friars

Travis Wood ran into a little two-out trouble when Cutch walked and Freeser singled, but he fanned J-Bell to ease the pressure. Chad Kuhl got a walk and a pair of whiffs in his turn. Pittsburgh went quietly in the second; the Friars got a double and intentional walk that they stranded when Wood popped out. J-Hay got bopped - seems like awhile since he's worn one (July 7th) - with two outs in the third and it was opportune as Cutch happened, walloping his 19th dinger of the campaign. The Padres went down in order. The Pirates did the same in the fourth. A one-out knock and walk put Chad in a hole, and a walk an out later jammed the sacks for Wood, who singled in a run. More damage was prevented when the Padre runners channeled the Keystone Kops (the guy at second headed toward third, which was occupied, oops) and got tagged out in a quick rundown.

Chad had a nice outing (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Wood got through the fifth inning for the first time this year, capping it by whiffing Marte who never bothered to take a swing. Kuhl lost a Friar with an out but Wil Myers came to the rescue and bounced into a first pitch DP. The Bucs remained baffled in the sixth; Wood has set down 10 in-a-row. SD got a single to right with an out, bringing on Daniel Hudson (Chad was at 97 pitches). Huddy promptly gave  up a game-tying triple (prob a double until Luplow fumbled the ball). With two outs, a ball four slider in the dirt that got through Cervy gave San Diego the lead. An infield single and throwing error by J-Hay (J-Bell tried to hold the bag rather then go to the ball) put runners on the corners, but Huddy finally escaped. Craig Stammen came on in the seventh and struck out the side with some help from plate ump Chris Guccione, who has been calling some wide strikes both ways tonight. AJ Schugel got the call. A leadoff single was erased via a GIDP and a fly ended the frame.

Kirby Yates got the ball in the eighth. Jordy almost got it all, but the ball settled landed in Manuel Margot's mitt in deep center. Starling was plunked in the knee an out later (Fraze also hit a loud out to right), but J-Hay K'ed despite a bundle of balls served down the middle. In fact, it was the second time he whiffed during the at-bat; two pitches prior he went down swinging but a balk call saved his bacon temporarily. Jhan Marinez took the ball, and except for a two-out plunking (karma?) tossed a clean frame. Brad Hand kicked the rubber looking for the close. Cutch opened with a single to right. A Freeser strikeout and J-Bell DP took care of that in a hurry.

At least Cutch remembered his stick tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Let's see - two hits off a guy with an ERA approaching seven who served up a lot of hittable balls, walking the eight hitter unintentionally then giving up an RBI knock to the pitcher, blah fielding, bullpen blowup, losing to a team 12 games under .500 - yep, sounds like the story of the season. The Bucs play nice ball against the better teams but dumpster dive against the have-nots. Makes you wonder if it's the talent level or the focus/preparation level.


  • The Pirates had three hits; Andrew had two of them plus a walk. Cutch's homer brought him to exactly 700 RBIs during his Bucco career. He's 13th on the franchise list, closing in on Al Oliver's 717 mark.
  • If you were wondering, Jordan Luplow needed to be placed on the 40-man roster after his call-up and was slid into the spot the team had kept open for Jung-Ho Kang.
  • The Buccos have lost 5-of-6. They're 50-53 and 4-1/2 out of first. The tailspin makes it likely they'll end up sellers of guys in their walk year - Juan Nicasio, Tony Watson, John Jaso - if there are takers.

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