Friday, June 3, 2016

Angels Bedevil Frankie, Bucs 9-2 As Skid Continues

Bad Frankie at the start - a single, walk, and single plated a run; that was followed by another walk. Sheesh! Then another knock made it 3-0. Finally, an out - and a very timely DP at that, 4-6-3. An intentional walk (after falling behind 3-1) brought up the pitcher, who K'ed; gotta love those AL hurlers at the dish. Still, three runs on 31 pitches (18 balls) does not auger well. Jered Weaver, showing an 84 MPH heater and 67 MPH curve, struck out a pair in a clean frame.

A single and error put the leadoff runner at second in the second; a fly and grounder brought him home while a two out walk was left aboard. Starling made up for his throwing error in the top half by lining the folk in the second row of the LF seats a souvenir, and JHK followed with another bomb; same spot, but with a second balcony landing, a 436' shot. S-Rod added a single and steal, but was stranded. If your child aspires to pitch, turn off the TV now before your lil' darling is scarred for life.

Frankie was rocked tonight (photo Associated Press)

After an out in the third, a Halo single and double (on an 0-2 pitch) made it 5-2. Another double, another run. The Bucs challenged the call at second, and won (don't run on Marte), stopping the carnage temporarily at 6-2. El Coffee walked with two down, but was caught stealing after an Angel challenge of the original safe call. With an out in the fourth, Kole Calhoun went deep, followed by back-to-back singles. That ended Frankie's night (wonder how long until he ends up on the DL with some discomforted body part?) and brought in Rob Scahill, who shut it down. Jung Ho doubled with an out and was stranded at third.

LA got a two out walk/stolen base combo in the fifth off Scahill, but that was it. The Bucs went down 1-2-3. Rob surrendered another two out walk in the sixth, followed by a bloop to right.That brought Wilfredo Boscan to the hill for the last out; it was a good outing for Rob, who hadn't worked longer than an inning during the campaign before tonight. Cutch and Marte singled, but an at 'em ball by JHK and a K by Josh ended the fun.

The Halos got back-to-back walks in the seventh (one was on blue for missing a third strike, the other on Wilfredo for missing the dish) and they were bunted up. A single brought them both home; score one for small ball. A wild pitch and two walks put Boscan in hot water, but he coaxed a DP ball out of Sir Albert to calm the turbulent waters. Cam Bedrosian took the ball and tucked the Bucs away.

JHK banged his seventh HR (photo Dan Kubis/Pirates)

Wil stranded a one out double, and Greg Mahle gave up a two out single to Gregory and a double to Starling, but JHK went down looking at a change up. The Angels picked up a couple more singles in the ninth but left them aboard while the Bucs went quietly in their last at bats.

Frankie has tossed five strong games for the Pirates, and four were at home. Even PNC didn't help tonight, and there's no answer other than being able to locate his fastball; his slider plays off it like love and marriage. And the Bucco bats are still too quiet; Weaver left a number of pitches hanging over the plate and largely got away with it. Tonight was Pittsburgh's sixth loss in seven games and fourth in a row; it's time to batten the hatches and right the ship.

  • Starling had three hits (homer, double, single) and JHK a pair (homer, double) ; the rest of the team had three singles.
  • This was the third time this year that the Bucs have gone long back-to-back.
  • The Pirates walked 10 batters tonight - Frankie (4), Scahill (2), and Wilfredo (4). They also gave up 15 hits (10 off Frankie) and the Halos stranded 13 runners.
  • Tonight drew 27,643 fans to the ballyard.
  • Ya think your work sked is screwy? The Pirates didn't land until after 3AM from Miami, and Clint didn't even have a lineup until after 6PM.  
  • Ugh. John Dreker of Pirates Prospects reported that "Arquimedes Caminero made his rehab debut w/ Indy and gave up three walks before allowing a game-tying grand slam with two outs in the 9th."


WilliamJPellas said...

I don't think Liriano has been right all season. It bears mentioning that only once in his career has he had back to back healthy seasons, and that wasn't until he came to Pittsburgh. Even then, he was a bit banged up in the early going of the second season. In other words he's been injured quite a lot.

Ron Ieraci said...

Not sure about that, Will; according to Frankie after the game, he said he's 100% healthy and his bullpens go according to plan, but games... Maybe he is just whistling past the graveyard or putting on a brave face. Also, I think u mentioned something about Cutch being hurt b4; it did come out just a couple of days ago that he has a thumb that needs iced after every game because of swelling, so maybe that's his injury de jour. I've seen gloves with an insert that help calm that jarring; maybe he's not comfortable with it.

WilliamJPellas said...

Thanks for the info about Cutch, though I am 100% convinced that he also has something wrong with one of his wheels, if not both of them. Where has his stolen base game gone? He was never a great thief on the basepaths, mind you, especially not for someone as fast as he is, but to go from, what, 30 to almost zero in two years? And he's not yet 30 years old and otherwise still looks like he is in very good shape? Not buyin' it, Ron. As for the thumb, that makes sense in terms of his subpar-by-his-standards production to this point in 2016.

Ron Ieraci said...

He runs the bases and covers CF as well as ever, Will. I'm thinking (no confirmation, just a poke in the dark) he prob has a chronic knee condition - arthritis, tendonitis, something like that - which flared last year and he's just taking the stress of stealing - which he has, as noted, is an art he's never really mastered - out of the equation as a precautionary deal.

WilliamJPellas said...

That all makes sense to me. I just hope his knee injury / condition isn't to the point that it is literally knocking him off stride in his approach to the ball.