Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bucs Jump Ahead Early, Chad & the Pen Nail It Down 6-3

Good start for Chad Kuhl; he whiffed two of the three Tigers he faced. The Pirates also went quietly with Matthew Boyd on the hill for Motown. A two-out infield knock and walk led to nothing in the Tiger second. The Bucs went down in order, as did Detroit in the third. Jordy doubled to open the Bucco half and two outs later, Starling's bloop dropped in right to plate Mercer. Chad piled up a couple of more K's in the fourth. Cutch happened to start off the Buccos, and with two away, Pittsburgh had the bases drunk after two raps and a walk. Chad proved he's paid for more than tossing when he dropped a two-run single into short left. Starling almost made it Partay-time, but his drive to straight center was hauled in on the track. A single, DP and whiff took care of Detroit in the fifth. The Pirates opened with liner and dink knocks. A wild pitch put J-Hay & Cutch at second and third, and a Freeser bouncer up the middle plated a run. It was time for Edward Mujica. J-Bell pinch-hit and reached on a boot to load 'em up; Jordy's sac fly chased home one more to make it 6-0.

Chad pitched and hit his way to a win (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The wheels fell off for Chad in the sixth. A couple of singles, a two-bagger, a wild pitch and sac fly halved the lead to 6-3. Warwick Saupold toed the slab and worked a clean frame. AJ Schugel took over for the Bucs in the seventh and in seven pitches did the same. Saupold worked a 1-2-3 inning aided by a couple of generous strike three calls. George Kontos was waved in for the eighth and spun a six-pitch zippo, helped by a nice grab by Starling. Daniel Stumpf was tagged for a knock but no points. Felipe Rivero, who was doubtful for tonight, got the ninth-inning call; never let it be said Clint passes up a save opp for his closer. But it ended well as his velo was back to normal. Two grounders and a whiff later, the Bucs raised the Jolly Roger.

Putting up a crooked number or two mixed with some solid pitching is a pretty solid recipe; now to see if they can keep up the pace on the road at Detroit, Toronto and Milwaukee. If the Pirates hang around, the Milwaukee set will start showtime with 3-1/2 straight weeks of divisional play.

Cutch is hotter than global warming (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • Cutch and Freeser had two hits tonight; Cervy had a knock and a walk.
  • Felipe Rivero matched Tony Watson with his 10th save tonight, the first time in club history that the Pirates have had two left-handed pitchers earn 10 or more saves in the same season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that's happened only three times before in MLB history: John Rocker (24) & Mike Remlinger (12) with the Braves in 2000, Mitch Williams (16) & Paul Assenmacher (10) with the Cubs in 1990, and Dave Righetti (25) & Lee Guetterman (13) with the Yankees in 1989.
  • Juan Nicasio was not available tonight due to workload; Felipe Rivero's status was TBD (as events unfolded, it was determined he was ready).
  • The Pirates are 56-57 on the season after winning 5-of-6.
  • There were 25,112 in the yard tonight.
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