Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bucs Win On The Road - This Is Not A Drill!

The Bucs jumped out ahead quickly on Jorge De La Rosa. McCutch doubled to left, and Jose Tabata rolled one up the middle to score him. Neil Walker dropped a bunt hit, and there were runners on first and second, no outs, for Garrett Jones and Pedro.

Jones proved to be a party pooper, banging into a 6-4-3 DP, but De La Rosa aided the cause by uncorking a wild pitch to plate JT, making it 2-0 Pirates before the Rox got to the plate.

Looked like they'd need them, too, as De La Rosa settled down, and at one point in the second and third frames struck out four straight Buccos. But Zach Duke was more than his match during the first three frames, giving up a hit and walk and holding on to that 2-0 lead.

De La Rosa kept throwing change-ups and the Bucs kept swinging and missing them; he struck out the side in the fourth. Eleven straight Buccos went down after five.

For Duke, the Pirate Achilles' heel, the bottom of the order, ruined his goose egg streak. The 7-8 hitters, Brad Hawpe and Cliff Barmes, both dropped balls over the 390' mark in left, back-to-back. Hawpe's was a sinker; Barmes a curve, both down but in the middle of the plate. It was a new game after five, 2-2.

The Rockies tried to hand the Bucs a big inning in the sixth; they turned it down. An error and ball off the third baseman's mitt put runners at first and second; Jones stroked a hustle double to score a run. A run in, runners on second and third, no outs.

A Pedro K - he hasn't solved MLB lefties yet - was followed by a walk to Lastings Milledge to load the sacks. But Ronny Cedeno bounced into 6-4-3 DP, and like in the opening frame, the Pirates shot themselves in the foot.

Duke worked a 1-2-3 sixth, and somewhat surprisingly, was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the seventh after just 76 pitches. He went six innings, giving up two runs on three hits with a pair of walks and four K's.

A couple of balls in the sixth were hit well; JR apparently felt that the Zachster was running on a low tank. It was time for the Three Amigos.

Evan Meek took the hill in the seventh, and had problems finding the plate. He worked out of it, though, leaving runners on the corners by getting Dexter Fowler on a come backer.

De La Rosa left after seven. St. Mary's Joe Biemel worked the eighth, and one mistake pitch - a heater over the middle - was launched over the 390' mark in left by Neil Walker to add an insurance run. All three home runs landed probably with 25' of one another; the fans in that section took home a lot of souvenirs tonight.

The Bucs proved that three wrongs can make a right to lead off the seventh. Joel Hanrahan gave Ryan Spilborghs a 1-2 slider over the heart of the plate that he sliced into left; mistake #1 on JH. Tabata misread the ball and took a bad route, letting it hit and roll to the wall; mistake #2.

Spilborghs tried to get three bases out of it; a great, blind relay throw by Cedeno cut him down. And Spilborghs' mistake was the one that made it right for Pittsburgh. It kept the score 4-2 going into the ninth.

Octavio Dotel closed in the final inning. He avoided giving up a leadoff double like his other Amigos thanks to a running grab by McCutch at the 415' mark in center. OD did eventually give up a two-bagger, with two outs, but got a fly to left to earn his 21st save.

Both teams squandered scoring chances, but tonight the Bucs played a pretty clean all-around game with a handful of defensive gems, and were the more opportunistic nine. It was enough to take a 4-2 win, and at least for one game, toss the road monkey off their back.

Ohlie goes against Aaron Cook tomorrow evening.

-- The Bucs, as expected, brought up a pair of relievers, LH Wil Ledezema and RH Steve Jackson. One will go back to Indy by Saturday, when the Pirates need to find a starter to take Bad Brad's place in the rotation.

Both have done yeoman's work at Indy, but not had much success in the MLB.

-- West Virginia's Phillip Irwin was named Pitcher of the Week in the Sally League, going 1-0 with a seven inning no-hitter and 17 K in 14 IP. Irwin, a RHP, was taken in the 21st round of the 2009 draft from Ol' Miss.

-- State College's Tyler Waldron, this year's fifth round pick, won the POTW honors for the New York-Penn League, throwing 11 scoreless frames. Waldron is a RHP from Oregon State.

-- The Braves sent Nate McLouth to the minors today; when the Morton-for-McLouth trade was made, who would have guessed it was a AAA deal?

No comments: