Saturday, August 12, 2017

Pirates Walks, Bops and Boots Result In 7-2 Thumping; Gregory Hurts Hammy

The Bucs went quietly in the first to rookie Chris Rowley. Trevor Williams hurt himself by walking the leadoff guy, Joey Bats; a one-out single sent the Blue Jay to third and grounder hit too weakly to turn into a DP plated a run. J-Bell led off with a triple, followed by a K and an at 'em ball, but Jordy came through, rolling a ball up the middle to tie it up. Trevo's command was still off - a beaned batter (on a 1-2 pitch) and then with two outs a single and back-to-back walks forced home another run; the second free pass came with Trevo up 0-2 on Josh Donaldson. Pittsburgh got a single in the third; the Jays sat down in order. Freeser singled in the fourth, but other than Gregory's loud out to center (which was ball four had he let it by; the Bucs aren't showing any plate discipline so far) was all the noise. It was 1-2-3 for Toronto. The Pirates went down without a peep in the fifth.

Trevor couldn't find the strike zone today (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Trevo began with a HBP, then a bloop that should have been caught dropped when Gregory's knee folded under him as he charged in; he had to leave the game. Oy vey, Buc outfield! And oy vey Trevo; another walk loaded 'em and a grounder scored two more Jays; again it was a potential inning-ending DP ball but Fraze threw away the relay on the turn. The Pirates got a walk and knock to chase Rowley in the sixth but Dominic Leone watered down the glowing embers. Trevo gave up a two-out knock that ended up moot.  JJ drilled a one-out two-bagger in the seventh that led to nothing. Joaquin Benoit came in and gave up a pair of one-out singles; the inning fell apart when a bleeder to third was thrown away by J-Hay, allowing two runs to score and leaving a runner on third where a sac fly brought him home. Aaron Loup stranded a pair of Pirates in the eighth with help from Ryan Tepera, who got the last out; AJ Schugel gave up a knock in an otherwise calm frame. Jordy homered of Leonel Campos as a last hurrah in the ninth.

Young Rowley stayed out of the strike zone and the Pirates played his game, fishing instead of showing some patience. Trevor hurt himself with some uncharacteristic control issues aggravated by poor leatherwork. The Bucs were also hurt by their insistence of throwing Fraze in at second with J-Hay and S-Rod both available; the guy can rake but his future is in the OF and they have to know that by now. Still, the series is split, so tomorrow's game will judge if the trip to the Great North was a success or not.

Josh keeps ringing the bell (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • J-Bell had two hits and a walk; Jordy added a pair of raps. Starling and Freeser chipped in with a knock and walk each.
  • Gregory's injury is to his hammy again; no word yet on the severity.
  • Felipe Rivero has not allowed hit to LH batter in 36 ABs. Per Elias, that's longest streak since Tampa Bay's Brad Boxberger served 43 straight hitless ABs to lefties in 2014. Although a RHP, LHBs hit .107 against him that season.
  • At 230 pounds, Josh Bell leads the team in triples with five.
  • IF Phil Gosselin was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers. His role as a multi-purpose IF replacement was hurt by bad stickwork (.150) and inability to play short; S-Rod made him redundant.


WilliamJPellas said...

Gosselin is not a great loss, but I will say that when the Pirates traded for him, I was fairly optimistic he would do alright as a replacement for S-Rod. His body of work prior to coming here wasn't bad and he seemed to have an okay bat if not much power. Unfortunately he spit the bit from the get-go. He was bad in spring training and worse during the regular season. As you say, with Rodriguez being reacquired (and a better player, anyway), Gosselin was expendable. Let's hope for his sake he can put a bad season behind him.

Meanwhile, what do the Pirates have against being .500 or better? Sheesh.

As for Polanco, I've had enough of his never-ending muscle pulls. I know bad hamstrings can be chronic and sometimes there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it, but there is some evidence that poor nutrition and conditioning leads to many of the issues some players have in this regard. Polanco has certainly underachieved considerably in his major league career to date, and neither he nor Austin Meadows can help the Pirates or any other team if they're always in the hot tub.

Ron Ieraci said...

Agreed on both counts, Will. The Goose was a good hitter; maybe he didn't see enough action to get comfortable w/Pittsburgh. I'm not sure that Polanco has a chronic issue. I'm not very sold on the medical guys and wonder if it is just a matter of letting the guys go off on their own during the off season. US players usually have a good PT program & facilities in place since there are a zillion gyms available but I'm not sure that the Latin players aren't left to their own devices a little more, especially the guys that spend the winter at home w/o any sweat boxes nearby.