Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bucs Have Night to Forget In 11-3 Thumping by Giants

Red-hot J-Hay singled in the first off Madison Bumgarner, who had no other problems. It was 1-2-3 for Jamo. Joey O doubled in the second and was left aboard while the Giants did some damage with some help. Back-to-back singles opened the frame. J-Bell tried to turn two but tossed the ball away, allowing a run to score. An out later, Hunter Pence stole second, which was big because it turned another potential DP ball into a run-scoring bouncer to make it 2-0. In the third, J-Hay reached on a boot and Freeser doubled with two outs, but no run scored as Pence played the ball to perfection and J-Bell couldn't cash the guys in. JT continued with leadoff problems with a knock off J-Hay's glove and a bop; an out later a double steal set the G-Men up (the Pirates challenged the bang-bang play at third but the safe call stood). Buster Posey doubled in a run on a ball that Joey O played, well, like a large lumbering first baseman. An intentional walk loaded the sacks. With two gone, Joe Panik drilled one to the track in right for a bases-clearing triple to make it 6-0 after three.

Jamo was Wham-O tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Bucs went down w/o a peep in the fourth. Pitchers continued to torture the Pirates as Mad Bum opened with a knock (in fairness, he is one of the better hitting hurlers) and another knock sent him to third. That was followed by back-to-back doubles; the Giants are killing Joey O in right. Seems like a good spot for Stephen Brault about now, but Clint brought in AJ Schugel (the pitcher leads off next inning). He got two outs before another rap made it 10-0. The Bucs got a run on three singles with Freeser chasing Fraze home with two gone in the fifth. Brault came on with Stew catching and Fraze at second as the white flag waved. Mad Bum walked and Brandon Belt doubled two outs later. A Posey bullet hit an ump's foot; it was ruled a dead-ball single to load the bases. A liner to J-Bell ended it; Brault's not gonna save the pen much work at 34 pitches per frame. Chris Stratton climbed the hill (too much time on the bench for Mad Bum while the Giants were up, we'd guess) and set the Pirates down in order; ditto for the G-Men thx to a GIDP after a Fraze error.

Joey O's bat was hot; his glove, not so much (photo Joe Guzy/Pirates)

The Bucs loaded the bases with one out against Stratton in the seventh; Freeser hit into a DP. The Giants went quietly. Pittsburgh is nothing if not persistent; they again loaded the bases with an out in the eighth on three raps. This time a Fraze sac fly and Starling single potted a couple of runs. Wade LeBlanc toed the slab and gave up a pair of two-out doubles. The Bucs went down without a struggle in the ninth.

Of course hours after we praise Jamo he gets beaten up like a little leaguer. He didn't have it tonight; too much stuff over the dish and five-out innings don't help. The Bucs hit on zero cylinders; pitching, defense and hitting (they left 11 runners on) were all rookie-league level tonight. The performance does point out the need for an actual fourth outfielder. The Giants hit everything to right field where Joey O is out of his league, and it's not his fault; you can't turn a big galoot first basemen loose in the outfield and call it versatility rather than wishful thinking. They've gone the whole year without a bench OF'er (although Fraze has made big strides in the pasture). Either get an outfielder or let Adam fill the vacancy while Gregory's out. Otherwise, mama said there'd be games like this; take he series tomorrow and they'll still be on track.

Freeser was swingin' it (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • J-Hay, Freeser, Joey O, and Fraze each had two knocks.
  • This was Jamo's shortest outing of the year; once last year he was also chased after three. It was easily his worst outing; his previous high for runs surrendered was six. JT's ERA jumped nearly a run (from 3.08 to 4.03) in three frames *ouch*
  • Eduardo Nunez was pinch-hit for in the middle of the game and exchanged hugs with his teammates as he was traded to the Red Sox for two minor league pitchers.
  • Keon Broxton, who for many fans had become a poster boy for rash Bucco deals, was demoted to AAA by the Brewers after slashing .218/.294/.430 with a 38 % strikeout rate so far this year.

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