Sunday, August 13, 2017

Blue Jays Strike Early and Cruise to 7-1 Victory

Nice start: J-Hay, Cutch and Freeser banged out three straight singles off JA Happ to make it 1-0. Didn't last long; Joey Bats worked an eight pitch walk and Josh Donaldson launched a fat heater out of the yard, the first long ball Kuhl has surrendered in eight starts. That was followed by a two-bagger and an out later, another walk and a two-run double. An error put Blue Jays on the corners and they pulled off the ol' delayed double steal, swiping home (you know, the play that never works for the Bucs because it's so bush league) to make it 5-1. The Pirates drew a walk and nada else in the second. Toronto legged out an infield rap followed by a wild pitch but didn't add on. It was a 1-2-3 third for the Pirates; Kuhl Whip walked another guy and left him aboard. In the fourth, the Bucs exchanged a S-Rod single with yep, another Jays walk, in an otherwise  quiet frame.

Cervy may need some voodoo to calm his bum hand (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

By the fifth, Happ had whiffed 6-of-8 Corsairs with the help of a couple of generous ring-ups. And *sigh* another walk by Chad, though a DP and whiff cleaned it up. Pittsburgh got back-to-back two-out walks in the sixth, but with a full count, Jordy swung at ball four - and by a mile - to end the frame. Wade LeBlanc toed the rubber - Chad did keep it together after a horrendous start - and gave up a homer to Darwin Barney. Danny Barnes tossed a clean seventh; Frenchy gave up a Justin Smoak dinger. Leonel Campos answered the eighth inning bell; he walked a couple, but Ryan Tepera tucked the Pirates away. Huddy climbed the hill and what the heck, walked another Jay after Freeser dropped a foul popup to give him life, but it didn't lead to any damage. J. Howell ended it without any ado in the ninth.

The last couple of games have featured walks galore, fielding gaffes and a general listlessness at the plate. With Gregory a good bet to go on the DL again and Cervy nagged by his recurring achy hand, a thin flock is getting thinner. They just finished a very unimpressive stretch against the league's weak sisters and though they have surprised over and over again this year, it's hard to see how they're going to survive the stretch run with a Central Division-heavy schedule looming.

The Pirates need a wake-up call; the clock is ticking...

  • The Bucs had four hits today. Cutch, Freeser and S-Rod each had a walk and a knock. the Pirates, btw, stranded 17 runners in the past two games. Joey O had an especially rough day; three at-bats, three whiffs.
  • On his Sunday radio show, Neil said they're not sure yet if Gregory will have to go back on the DL; they'll see how his hammy feels after a couple of days of rest (tomorrow is an off day) but it doesn't appear promising.
  • Amore took himself out of the game today with hand/wrist pain; he doesn't know if it's related to last year's hamate surgery, but it was triggered when he was caught by a backswing earlier in the week. Sounds like he may need some time off; how much is the question. 
  • Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror has piece on RHP Mitch Keller's game for the Curve and his development as a hurler.
  • Congrats to Giancola Stanton. In eight years and 941 games, he now has 250 homers.
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