Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Pirates Solid In 5-2 Win Over Phils

Ben Lively put the Bucs away 1-2-3 in the first while Gerrit Cole, well, he had a typical opener.Two strikes and a single, two strikes and a homer by Maikel Franco and it was 2-0 from the get-go. Freeser doubled with an out in the second and was left aboard; the Phils got got a knock, wild pitch and walk (ball four caused Amore and ump Larry Vanover to hold an inning-long ongoing discussion over the call on a pitch knee-high and down the middle; the man in blue called a tight, hitter-friendly zone all night) but didn't add on. The Bucs went in order in the third; the Brotherly Love bunch got a one-out triple from Nick Williams, but a Cole reached back and got a whiff and soft comebacker.

Lordy, lordy Jordy (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
Pittsburgh had a fun fourth - JJ's rap, J-Bell's triple (helped by a bit of an OF misadventure) and a deep Freeser sac fly tied it. The Bucs continued to work it with two outs as Gregory singled, Cervy walked and Jordy reached on a boot. The error proved costly when Cole Train rolled a two-run knock up the middle, then followed by tossing a shutdown frame, capped by a diving stop-and-toss by Bell. Adam Morgan took the hill in the fifth and worked a quiet frame. Philly was limited to an opening single. Freeser led off the sixth with a walk and Jordy cashed him in with a two-out, opposite field triple. With two outs and two strikes, Odubel Herrera singled and went to second on a JJ misplay. Cole Train replied with a fan job as he struck out the side, his night over at 113 tosses.

The Pirates had a quick seventh. Huddy got an out, then a double/single combo put Phils on the corners. It was El Coffee to the rescue. He snagged a fly to right, gunned the ball home to catch a tagging Daniel Nava and put another zippo up. Luis Garcia gave up a one-out walk & wild pitch in the eighth. After another out, Amore walked and Jordy drilled a single to left to load 'em up, but pinch-hitter Fraze left them floating on the pond. Juan Nicasio climbed the slope and climbed back down with his job done after just seven pitches. With J-Hay on second and two outs in the ninth, lefty Hoby Milner came on to turn J-Bell around and won when Josh's liner was gloved. Felipe Rivero took the ball and gave up a single and wild pitch (which looked a lot like a Cervy whiff), but celebrated his 26th birthday in style by otherwise striking out the side for his fifth save.

Happy Birthday, Felipe! (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
Neither team was very sharp with runners on; they combined to go 3-of-19 w/RISP. But the Bucs had a couple of big two-out knocks and made several plays behind their pitchers tonight; that was the difference. It was nice to see Cole Train back on track; it'd be nicer to see him come out of the first unscathed. The Pirates have a couple of wins under their belt, but still have miles to go.

Notes:
  • Freeser had a knock & two walks, Jordy had two hits, and Cervy drew a pair of free passes as the Bucs scattered their eight hits throughout the lineup.
  • Jordy Mercer isn't a noted speedster, but he has the team lead in triples now with four; he entered the season with five career three-baggers. Second in triples is another pair of not-so-fleet-of-foot guys, J-Bell and Jose Osuna, with three. Five other Buccos claim a pair, including Stew. Speed is nice; smart base running still often trumps it.
  • Starling smacked a three-run homer in his rehab stint at Indy. He had a good night, with a single and walk too.
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