Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Tigers Come to Life Late; Pirates Mauled 10-0

Justin Verlander cruised through the first on eight pitches. Ivan Nova was not so smooth; three Tiger singles made it 1-0. The Pirates went down without a peep in the second. Gregory misplayed a leadoff single into a double and error; that run scored on a sac fly. The bobbling became moot when Ian Kinsler parked a baseball in the seats to make it 3-0. Pittsburgh got a couple of runners via a bop (JJ took one on the tootsie) and a walk, but couldn't come up with a hit in the third. Miggy opened with a two-bagger followed by a one-out single, but Nova kept them from plating. Verlander walked a couple more Corsairs in the fourth and they again failed to take any advantage. For the fourth time, the first Cat up reached via a knock, though this time a DP erased the advantage and carried Ivan on his first 1-2-3 frame after a nice grab by Cutch. No hits nor runners in the fifth for the Bucs, though Marte put a charge into his lineout to right. Ivan finally got the first Tiger out and tossed a clean inning.

J-Bell was the only stickman for the Bucs (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

J-Bell doubled with two gone (yay, a hit!) in the sixth and J-Hay went hard the opp way, but his liner found leather. Back to regular programming; Detroit led off with a knock that caused no problems. Pittsburgh returned to 1-2-3 in the seventh. Ivan was gassed; after an out, he issued two five-pitch walks. There was a visit to the mound; Nova stayed. He hit a batter on a 1-2 pitch and still no call to the pen. Then Nicholas Castellanos tripled and and that made Clint wave in Wade LeBlanc. He closed the gate after the horses had left the barn. Verlander had a four-K streak going, broken up by Fraze's inning-ending comebacker in the eighth. Huddy took the ball and walked the first two hitters. Jordy dropped a throw at second to load 'em and a Kinsler double unloaded 'em. After an out and a knock, AJ Schugel climbed the hill and gave a ground ball knock, plating another run before he got back to the dugout. With Shane Green on the bump, a one-out double by J-Bell and pinch-hit knock by Stew puts Bucs on the corners before Gregory's 4-6-3 DP turned out the lights.

Bad day at the office for Ivan, Huddy, Clint and every Pirates starter not named Josh Bell. But this was the match that most favored the Tigers of the four-game home-and-home set, and a win tomorrow will still give the Bucs 3-of-4; what they don't need is another tailspin.

Notes:

  • The Bucs had three hits; two were J-Bell doubles (he also walked).
  • Ivan Nova hasn't made it through the seventh inning since June 22nd.
  • Huddy hadn't given up an earned run since June 23rd and just two unearned runs in his last 13 outings.
  • The Tigers leadoff hitters reached via hit/walk in six of their eight innings tonight. Ian Kinsler and Nick Castellanos combined for six knocks, a walk, four runs and nine RBI. Kinsler was hitting .245 and Castellanos .236 going into the game.
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