Monday, July 17, 2017

Bucs Take Opener 4-2 From Brew Crew Behind El Coffee, Clutch Hurling

Pretty good start for Chad Kuhl - he struck out the side. Brent Suter didn'r equal that, but he did toss a 1-2-3 opener. The Brew Crew struck first; an infield single, wild pitch and two-out rap into center (Cutch was playing fairly deep and the ball dropped in front of him) made it 1-0 in the second. Joey O drew a two-out walk; didn't lead to much as he was picked off. The nines exchanged singles in the third. A leadoff double in the fourth advanced a base on a grounder and plated when another roller was fielded by J-Bell, who had an out at home but threw the ball way high, allowing Travis Shaw to get under the tag. A steal led to an intentional walk and an unintentional plunk of the pitcher, but Cool Chad had another punchout in him to end the frame. Cervy opened with an infield knock that required a challenge to earn (it wasn't close; the ump must have blinked). The Bucs left him on first.

Chad had the K ball working (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Three bouncers, three sit-downs for the Brew Crew in the fifth. The Bucs went to work. Joey O singled, Gregory doubled him home and went to third on a bad throw. Jordy's fly brought chased him home to tie it. Chad, J-Hay and Cutch all followed with knocks, but Cool Chad was tossed out at home in a big-league collision. At first blush, it looked like a blocking the plate violation, but there was no challenge, so... It was a bad wave by Joey Cora; instead of the bases loaded and one gone for Cutch, Andrew was bypassed and intentionally walked. Freeser got ahead 3-0 but went down looking at three strikes with Rob Scahill on the bump; he never swung in a throw-away at bat. Chad lost a pair of Brewers in the sixth and Daniel Hudson got the nod with two away. He gave up a quick knock, but Gregory gunned down Manny Pina at home to even it out. Josh Hader climbed the bump and gave up two-baggers to J-Bell and Gregory (confirmed by review) and the lead.

Tony Watson was on the hill for the seventh. Two singles and a walk around a couple of outs loaded 'em up, but a big 3-2 pitch was grounded back to the box and the Buccos escaped. Ol' bud Jared Hughes, who has been on fire with Milwaukee (3-1-1, 2.89), sprinted in to replace Scahill with one gone. With two outs, Cutch beat out an infield rap and stole second but Freeser couldn't punch that ticket. Juan Nicasio got two outs in the eighth and had a runner on first when Clint waved in Felipe Rivero to turn around Jonathan Villar. It worked; Villar rolled over on a 3-2 changeup and grounded out to third. Good thing, too, as Orlando Arcia stole second and third during the at-bat. Tyler Webb scaled the slope; three Bucco properties in a row from the Brew Crew pen. With two outs, Gregory and Jordy singled, one on the line and the other on the dribble. Max Moroff threw in a pinch-hit rap and the Pirates had an insurance run. A dozen Felipe deliveries in the ninth nailed it down.

Lefty? I ain't afraid of no stinkin' lefty... (image AT&T Sportsnet)

Nice start to the week; now to get some runs with Ivan, Cole Train and Jamo due next. It's a major project to leapfrog both the Brewers and the Cubs (maybe the Cards; we'll see what they do at the deadline) but at least it'll be interesting.

  • Gregory went 4-for-4 with two runs, shipped two Bucs home and smacked a double. El Coffee is the first Pirates lefty with four hits in a game against LHP since Chris Duffy on Sept 7th, 2006 vs the Cubs at Wrigley. (s/o to @joe_block) Chris, btw, was a little more dramatic, hitting a game-winning homer in the ninth.
  • Cervy had two hits; both Cutch & Joey O had a knock and a walk.
  • Chad whiffed a career-high seven batters tonight.
  • Baseball is a funny game: Huddy pitched to one batter, got drilled for a single, and got the win.
  • Pretty poor crowd for a nice night and a biggish series with just 18,506 warm fannies in the seats.

No comments: