|JT was a stopper today (image AT&T SportsNet)|
The Pirates tried to conjure some two-out magic in the fifth with a Starling double followed by back-to-back walks. That brought in lefty TJ McFarlane, who got J-Bell swinging to escape. The Diamondbacks got a two-out single but caused no further damage. Gregory beat out an infield bleeder to start the sixth and was promptly erased on a 3-6-3 Jordy DP roller, followed by a Jamo whiff. He's paid to pitch, though, and spun another clean frame. The seventh had a tough start for the Bucs - J-Hay hit a laser shot at 'em ball to right and AM was rung up on a pitch at the shins. Starling did walk with two outs before Red Beard fanned. All you need to know about the pen is that JT stayed on the hill at 98 pitches. The calls stayed brutal as the Snakes started with an ump-aided walk, but a line-drive 4-3 DP evened it out (thank u karma) and a bouncer put the frame to bed. JT was a catch away from a shutout, but hung tough - two runs on six hits, two walks and four K after 108 tosses.
Andrew Chafin took over in the eighth, and Cervy almost greeted him with a long fly, but his drive to center instead was just a loud out. The rest of the inning was garden-variety calm. Fasten your seat belts; it's bullpen time as Edgar Santana toed the slab, but no sweat as he twirled a clean frame. Silvino Bracho climbed the hill for the ninth and used five pitches to set the Pirates down. Felipe Vazquez was waved in to close it out. He gave up a leadoff knock followed by a walk. Colin took a force at third on a ball that was ticketed to be an around the horn DP; you're up by three, not one, Red Beard. A wild pitch moved the runners up after a whiff, and another free pass packed the sacks with Bucco bane Jon Jay at the dish. He singled in a pair and the runners went to second and third on the throw; the defense forgot their thinking caps this frame. Goldy was walked to get to Jake Lamb, and it was the right call as Felipe fanned him on his 36th pitch. RTJR, barely.
|Jordy brought the thunder with a homer and double (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Well, the current rash of defensive shenanigans and bullpen bloopers didn't do in the Bucs today, although it did add quite a bit of drama to the finish. Jamo was the man and Jordy plated three runners from the eight-hole to give the club just enough to slip by. A squeeze of the glove in the first and taking the DP in the ninth could have resulted in a shutout, but... As for Felipe, he's turning into a one-trick pony with the fastball. He didn't command that very well, but better than he did with his almost-forgotten slider and other off speed stuff. His velocity is back, but his command is still wandering the countryside.
- The Bucs had just six hits (although four were for extra bases); Jordy had a pair of them.
- Sunshine Superman: In 17 career starts during the afternoon, Jameson Taillon has gone 9-2 and the Pirates have won 13 of the starts.
- Clint said Gregory didn't loaf on the baselines yesterday, but was just being cautious as to not test his hammy, which has been a recurring injury nightmare and is the focus of a regular off-season & clubhouse PT program. That's undoubtedly so, but after yesterday's sour fan reaction, we note that El Coffee was on his horse today.
- Today was the seventh time this season the Mets' Jacob deGrom has allowed one or fewer runs and his team lost. That ties the most in a season since 1893 per ESPN Stats and Info.