Saturday, July 29, 2017

Pirates Drop Fourth Straight 4-2

Rookie Dinelson Lamet had his stereotypical inning, with a walk, two whiffs and a lot of pitches. Nova was touched for a leadoff blooper; a stolen base and fly got Manuel Margot to third. No need for all that small ball; San Diego followed with a triple and double. He escaped more damage with a strike 'em out, throw 'em out DP. In the second, two more Bucs fanned. Nova got his groove back and K'ed a couple while he was at it. The third went 1-2-3 with Starling flailing at ball four of a full count; the pitch was in the opposite batter's box. Try to focus, boys. SD got another triple, this one with two outs, and couldn't cash it in. Pittsburgh was shut down again in the fourth. A single/double combo plated another run before Nova bore down and fanned the next trio of Friars.

Fraze has his mojo back (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Pirates showed a pulse opening with back-to-back knocks in the fifth; Cervy then lined a bullet to second that turned into an at 'em ball DP to kill the frame. Margot led off with another at 'em ball to a fan in the LF seats to make it 4-0. It was 1-2-3 for the Pirates in the sixth. Wade LeBlanc took the mound and tossed a clean frame. Pittsburgh had a bit of an inning in the seventh, but shot themselves in the foot nevertheless. A bop, two wild pitches and a walk brought on Craig Stammen who was touched for two singles. A run in, the bases loaded with no outs...yep, a 4-6-3 DP by Fran. Another walk, another pitcher and another whiff (Joey O and the strike zone need introduced) closed it down at 4-2. Tony Watson took the call and sailed through the inning. Phil Maton gave up a bunt single to Starling to open the eighth and nothing else. Juan Nicasio took his turn and served up a walk, whiff and DP. Kirby Yates tucked the Bucs in.

11 K, DP's with runners lined up to score...this road trip has all the earmarks of kicking off Steeler season in Pittsburgh. The Bucs had great pitching matchups in almost every left coast game but couldn't capitalize and with 54 games left, the Pirates are running out of time for a push.

  • Freeser and Fraze had a pair of knocks tonight.
  • Ivan Nova has surrendered 14 long balls in his last 10 games, with just two games without a dinger and five-multi-homer outings during that 10-game span.
  • John Sickels of Minor League Ball has a profile of the newest Bucco, Jordan Luplow.

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