Thursday, August 10, 2017

Bucs Score Early, Cole Train Rolls To Take Series 7-5

Good enough first; Fraze tripled of Drew VerHagen and plated on J-Bell's sac fly. Cole Train reverted to his typical first frame - with a runner on and two outs, he gave up a knock and triple to Nick Castellanos, the newest Pirates killer, to give back the lead. The Bucs quickly evened up in the second when Gregory doubled and S-Rod brought him home with a rap. The frame fizzled after that, with Sean getting picked of first by the catcher; he's already in Bucco baserunning mode. Motown went down quietly. The fireworks continued; a Starling two-bagger and J-Bell dinger with two outs was answered by Mikie Mahtook's blast to make it 4-3 after three. Pittsburgh used two-out magic in the fourth; a pair of singles and a Fraze double added two more runs to the scoreboard and brought Warick Saupold to the hill to finish the frame. A single, liner and GIDP made for a quick inning by Gerrit.

It's not how ya start but how ya finish... (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Bucs left a walk and infield knock aboard in the fifth; another single was erased via DP to put up another Tiger zippo. The sixth went 1-2-3 for both clubs. Pittsburgh got a bloop single in the seventh and Detroit went down without a squawk thanks to a successful challenge of a bleeder that originally drew a safe call. Edward Mujica worked the eighth and was greeted by S-Rod's bomb; Cole Train tossed a clean frame. Bruce Rondon toiled in the ninth, and tapped for just a Fraze single. Juan Nicasio came out to finish; Gerrit was at 102 pitches. Juan was greeted by three liners, two of which found grass and Felipe Rivero was ushered in. A double and a grounder made it 7-5 before he got the game-ending punchout.

Nice win; taking 3-of-4 keeps the Bucs in business as they head to Toronto. But the last couple of days have seen some bullpen shenanigans by Clint,. He left Ivan to twist in the wind last night and then burned Juan and Felipe (who doesn't appear 100% back yet from his long outing; his velo was down again after just six pitches) with a four run lead and Frenchy/Joaquin ready to go. Early August isn't the time to be shredding arms helter-skelter, especially with a six-week stretch of divisional games just over the horizon.

S-Rod in a small sample is 4-of-13 (.307) w/two HR so far (image Positively Pittsburgh)
  • Fraze had three hits; Starling, J-Bell, Gregory & S-Rod had a pair of raps and Freeser had a knock and a walk.
  • Cole Train had a two-run, three-hit first inning, but finished giving up three runs on six hits over eight frames. That's comin' home strong.
  • J-Bell continues to grow into first base; he made a couple of Grade A plays today, one in the field and another on a sweet snag for an out at first.
  • Clint Hurdle won game #1100 of manager career. He ranks fifth all-time in Pirates history with 566 wins, behind Fred Clarke (1,422), Danny Murtaugh (1,115), Jim Leyland (851) and Chuck Tanner (711).
  • Pittsburgh is 16-3 all-time when Sean Gone homers.
  • The Texas Rangers claimed RHP Jhan Marinez off waivers from the Pirates. We kinda liked him; seems to us like the Bucs bailed on him prematurely.

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