Sunday, August 6, 2017

Nice To Have Ya Back S-Rod: Sean Gone Walks It Off In 12th 5-4

Holy moly, the game started on time! Jamo walked the first hitter, then Cutch saved his bacon with a leaping grab at the wall. It helped keep the count down after a grounder and two-out single gave the Padres a quick lead over the struggling Taillon. Another knock, on a pretty good pitch, put Friars on the corners, and a wild pitch (with an 0-2 count) plated another run. Ump Tripp Gibson missed a ring-up call on a clean strike, but JT overcame. Clayton Richard tossed a clean frame. SD started the second with a double that caused no further damage. Joey O doubled amidst three whiffs. In the thrid, the Padres got a leadoff walk and then were shut down. The Pirates used a boot and single to put two aboard with an out, but it looked glum after J-Hay's at 'em ball was gloved. But Andrew knocked a run home and Freeser was bopped by a bouncing ball to load 'em; Joey O took a 3-1 pitch the opposite way and rattled it along the line and railing as all three Buc runners touched home, with Freeser just beating the throw home.

Jamo straightened out and flew right (2017 Topps Throwback)

The fourth went quietly; the only action in the fifth was Starling's leadoff two-bagger. The sixth was also clean save Jordy's two-out walk. Jamo retired 12 in a row as he worked the seventh. An opening single broke the string; another followed an out later, bringing on Wade LeBlanc. He left a change upstairs, but it was spanked to Freeser and an around-the-horn DP shut the gate. Jose Torres took the hill and 1-2-3'ed the Pirates. Juan Nicasio worked the eighth, getting a pair of K, then Felipe Rivero took over to get the final out. Torres gave up an opening walk and no more. A walk and a single with one away in the ninth put the Friars in business; with two gone, another walk juiced the sacks. Manuel Margot sent a heater into left and knotted the score. Joaquin Benoit came in - Felipe was at 41 pitches; his control deserted him today - and got a fly out. Craig Stammen hurled the horsehide, getting three bounce-outs. Benoit spun a clean 10th. Starling started off with a double and went to third on a Fraze grounder. Two intentional walks loaded the bases for Joey O, and Brad Hand came in to feed him a DP ball, confirmed by review (Osuna is not happy-footed).

Dovydas Neverauskas got the call for the 11th. He worked out of a bloop single/bunt pickle. The Pirates went down in order. A one-out single fielders choice (Hand's bunt was thrown to second but didn't beat the runner; the Bucs challenged and lost) put Dovy in another jam that he again danced around. And it got him his first MLB win; newly reacquired S-Rod dropped Buddy Baumann's third pitch over the fence in left to walk it off; welcome home, Serpico.

Dovy won his first big league game (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Geez, did we miss Sean Rodriguez. Nice to finally take a series, even if the Bucs had to go back-door to get it. Clint may have gotten a little too cute with the four-out save; Juan wasn't having any issues in the eighth and then Wil Myers, the first Padre batter in the ninth, took 10 pitches for Felipe to retire. To add to the fire, Rivero couldn't get his change over the dish and by the last hitter, his heater had gone from 100 v Myers to 95. But the major issue was with the batters; Richard didn't have much today and the Pirates couldn't make him pay. Let teams hang around long enough...but not today with S-Rod in the house.

Notes:
  • Starling had three hits, Jose Osuna a pair and Cutch a knock with two walks.
  • This was Felipe Rivero's first blown save of the year; he had two last year. It was also the longest outing pitch-wise (41 tosses) of his Pirates tenure.
  • The crowd was announced at 34,175.
Sean Gone (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • After S-Rod arrived in the house, it was announced as expected that Max Moroff had been optioned back to Indy.
  • The Bucs are talking to Austin Meadows about playing winter ball this year; he's missed lots of time to various injuries this season and is on a rookie league rehab stint now.
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