Friday, August 11, 2017

One Inning Is Enough As Bucs Take the Opener From Toronto 4-2; Cutch Leaves w/Sore Knee

Marcus Stroman did his thing and three ground ball outs in the first. Jamo was tough too, with a pair of whiffs. The Bucs had a quiet second and the Blue Jays dented JT, using two singles, a walk and sac fly to take a 1-0 lead. The Pirates more than answered in the third thanks to a couple of happy bounces. A bop, a couple of errors, and a couple of challenged calls that the Bucs won pushed a run home. A J-Hay single, Cutch double that ticked off a mitt, and J-Bell sac fly made it 4-1 with all the scores unearned. But some gloom and doom; Andrew grabbed his left knee while pushing off for a lead and left the game limping, with Starling taking his place. Joey Bats led off with his 20th dinger to get a score back. The Pirates returned to three ground balls mode in the fourth while JT fanned a couple more in a clean frame. The Bucs hit four worm-burners in the fifth; J-Hay's found the outfield, the others gloves. Taillon kept dealing, K'ing another pair.

Jamo back on track (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

J-Bell opened with a walk in the sixth; two grounders produced a force and DP. Toronto went down in order. Stroman muscled up with a couple of seventh-inning whiffs. George Kontos took the ball after Jamo gave up a double and single, leaving Jays on the corners with no outs and breaking a string of 12 straight outs. George kept them on ice with a pop, K and bouncer. Fraze singled in the eighth; an out later another GIDP spoiled the fun. Stroman should finally be done, though, at 109 tosses. Juan Nicasio took the ball and stranded a two-out single. Danny Barnes worked the ninth without a dent. Felipe Rivero gave up a two-out knock on an 0-2 pitch, then finished with a K. His velocity was close to normal, but still a tick or two shy at 98 max, which still ain't too bad.

Jamo was back to snuff again and give George Kontos big props for stopping Toronto in its tracks when they were set up for business; the bullpen was top-notch. Four hits won't win many games, but tonight it was just enough for a big win. The Pirates are 58-58 and should be tied with Milwaukee for third in the morning. Now knock on wood that Cutch has an ouchie and nothing worse.

Hopin' Cutch is back in the saddle soon (photo USAToday Sports)
  • No one reached on his own merits more than once tonight for the Bucs. Pittsburgh had eight baserunners - four scored, two were erased on DPs and two just hung out.
  • Per the Pirates: "Andrew McCutchen was removed from the game due to left patellofemoral discomfort. His status is day to day." For the layman, that's pain in the front of the knee cap, most often associated with cartilage wear.
  • Russ Martin left the game while warming up Stroman in the second inning; it was later reported he strained his left oblique. His replacement, Raffy Lopez, got his first MLB hit against Jamo.
  • BTW,Tyler Glasnow has a 8-0/1.57 slash with 103 strikeouts and 27 walks in 68-2/3 innings at Indy.

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