Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Pirates Mail It In to Reds 9-1

Some things never change - Billy Hamilton opened by slapping one into the RF gap; JJ couldn't cut it off (not many 1B can) and it ended up a triple, later tallying on a grounder. The Bucs tried hard to run themselves out of a scoring against Homer Bailey but only partially succeeded. Starling got bopped to open and stole second an out later; Cutch grounded to short and Marte decided to head to third, a no-no even in little league, but he somehow beat the rap. That led to a run when J-Bell singled. Then Andrew got picked off second. A walk followed before JJ made the last out, sending a ball to the wall. Jose Peraza doubled of Jamo with an out in the second, the ball ticking off Cutch's glove and a rap made it 2-1; the outfield isn't giving JT much help so far. Bailey laid down a bunt and the Bucs misplayed it when Taillon went for the lead man, but his throw was late. Billy Hamilton stuck in the dagger with a homer, and yep, it's the usual Reds-Pirates show. The Pirates went down 1-2-3.

Jamo's looking for answers... (photo USAToday Sports)

The Reds started the third with a leg double that Andrew was a bit too leisurely getting in. That was followed by a single; the throw in caught Scooter Gennett off first, but the Pirates snafu-ed the run down (Jordy didn't cover second; Cutch tried to get there but was too late) to put runners at second and third. A sac fly ka-chinged another run. Pittsburgh stranded a pair. After two outs in the fourth, Jamo was touched for a homer, two singles and a double. Clint finally pulled him for AJ Schugel who shut it down after a walk. The Bucs went down without a peep. Schugs walked another in the fifth with no damage, thanks to Starling pulling back a ball Jesse Winker hit above the wall (he hit his first MLB homer an inning before). Fraze singled with two outs for the Pittsburgh action.

Wade LeBlanc came on in the sixth and bopped a batter for his only black mark. The Pirates, yah, down in order. It was a quiet seventh for the Redlegs. Blake Wood took the ball and stranded Jordy, who doubled. LeBlanc survived an error by Jordy and a single in the eighth. Drew Storen came in; Fraze singled, was erased on a GIDP and it became a 1-2-3 frame. Jhan Marinz drew the short straw for the ninth. He was touched for a homer then an infield rap before settling in. Kevin Shackelford gave up an opening knock to Mad Max before driving in the final nail.

Fraze was the show tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Well, the Pirates basically played liked tee-ballers. If the team is reacting to the trade deadline with a white flag, well, the Cards punted too - neither team is a magic bullet away from turning it around. And they have no one to blame but themselves after flailing at the lineup of weak pitching (six of the last seven starters had 5.00+ ERAs) that they've seen; if they had gone 6-3 instead of 3-6 on their last trip, they may have gotten some cavalry called to the rescue. But after that stretch, the FO has to be looking to 2018, and we suspect they wouldn't pull the trigger on a bigger deal w/o controllable assets in return.

But the bigger question is whats up with Jamo? In his last two starts, he's gone 6-2/3 IP, giving up 18 runs (17 earned) on 20 hits. The outings followed his 5-1/3 IP,  eight-K, 116 pitch performance against the Brewers on July 20th and makes you wonder if Clint (who let him go 90 pitches tonight) has either worked him too hard after his layoff or if JT tweaked something. Tough to tell; his velo is still in the 95 range, but his curve has rode into the sunset. Cross fingers that he's working through some dead arm.

  • Pittsburgh had seven hits; Fraze had three of them. J-Bell had a knock and a walk.
  • The Pirates are 51-55, 1-7 against the Reds and 24-31 against sub-.500 teams.
  • John Jaso is hitless in his last 38 PAs dating back to July 5th with eight K and seven BB.
  • Billy Hamilton has two three-run homers in his career; both are off Jameson Taillon.
  • There were 22,403 in the seats tonight.
  • Old Bucco Eddie Volquez, who has been out since early July with a bad knee, will also need TJ surgery. When it rains...

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