Monday, June 20, 2016

Blue Moon Tonight: Locke Shutout, Kratz Homer Do In Mad Bum, Giants, 1-0

Jeff Locke and Madison Bumgarner were bumpin' heads through three. Both followed the same script - one single per inning, with no one reaching second. No one blinked in the fourth; Jeff gave up a two out ground ball single and Mad Bum tossed a 1-2-3 frame. The SF nine was Locked-down in the fifth. With two outs in the Bucco half, Erik Kratz! hit a bomb off Bumgarner, his first Pirate hit of the year, to make it 1-0. Angel Pagan's leap at the wall got close enough that his glove kissed the ball, but it was a just a peck on the cheek and the cowhide dropped into the seats. Locke even singled before Mad Bum had enough.

Erik Kratz - yep, you got enough (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Giants went down in order in the sixth. Freeser walked with two gone, and par for the night's course was left standing. A two-out double in the seventh put the first Giant in scoring position when Jarrett Parker yanked a change to right. That brought in Neftali Feliz; Jeff gave up just five hits with three whiffs and no walks after 84 tosses while piling up a ton of wormburners. The batter was Mad Bum (short leash indeed on Jeff, tho Bumgarner is a decent hitter), and his grounder kept the Giants at zippo. Gregory walked after Startling was out on a bunt try, but he was picked off on his break and tagged out at second. The Bucs challenged the call, but the law won and the frame finished out quietly.

Tony Watson came in to work the eighth; it took eight pitches to sit down the Golden Gaters. Mad Bum tucked away the Bucs, and it was up to The Shark to nail it down against the meat of the Giant order. Brandon Belt opened with a single and Buster Posey lined one to right; Gregory had the wheels to run it down while Belt was intent on circling the bases, and that baserunning blunder set up an easy DP. Another fly closed the book, and the Bucs had one of their more improbable wins of the season.

Jordy collected a pair of hits off Mad Bum (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

It is all about the pitching, and Jeff went from rags to riches in a heartbeat, effectively keeping the ball down and away from the middle of the dish. Great way to start a series after the Chicago massacre; maybe it'll get the Buccos off their heels and into gear.

  • The two teams combined for just 11 hits; Jordy was the only player on either squad with a pair of raps.
  • Man, when the pitching goes south...Ray Searage was sent home from the ballyard tonight with back spasms and flaring arthritis in his left wrist.
  • Chad Kuhl worked his regular turn tonight for Indy, so it looks like Wilfredo Boscan will take Juan Nicasio's spot tomorrow.
  • In his first rehab start, LHP Steven Brault went four scoreless IP, giving up a hit and whiffing five for Morgantown.
  • Stephen Tarpley threw six shutout innings as the Bradenton Marauders won 1-0 and cinched the first-half Florida State League title and a playoff spot after the season.
  • The Pirates signed fourth-rounder Braeden Ogle, LHP from Jensen Beach HS (Fla). Per Jim Callis, his bonus was $800K (slot value - $425,700), using up most of the pool pad they had amassed. College IF Tyler Leffler (round #27) and LHP Jordan Jess (round #31) also came aboard.

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