Thursday, June 30, 2016

It All Comes Together As Bucs Close Out June With 8-1 Romp

The Bucs went quietly in the first against Wade Miley while Seattle looked like it was going to keep up the offensive drumbeat against against Jameson Taillion. After an out, the M's banged out back to back singles to bring up big bopper Nelson Cruz, but JT was equal to the task, getting a heater banged to JHK, who started an around the horn DP to bank the fire. After that, it was a cakewalk.

Freeser opened the second by dumping an 88 MPH fastball into the seats to draw first blood. An out later, the Pirates added when Starling singled, S-Rod got bopped with a pitch and Josh chased them home with a double. The third went without drama, with Gregory's knock the only action. In the fourth, the Buccos built on their cushion.

JT was all that and a bag of chips v Seattle (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Starling bunted his way on and stole second, plating on S-Rod's two bagger off the RF wall. Two outs later, Jordy's roller to left made it 5-0. Taillon was still dealing, and was working on 10 consecutive Mariners set down. In the fifth, Pittsburgh put the game on ice against Donn Roach. Freeser blooped a single and JHK followed with another knock. Starling walked, and they all came home on S-Rod's first pitch double, drilled up the 3B line. An error left Buc on the corners with two gone, but Jordy couldn't cash in. Seattle finally got to JT when a lead-off double came home after a dying quail single, and that would be the day's final damage.

Nathan Karns came on in the sixth and struck out the side; JT fanned a pair (one an impressive whiff of Cruz, getting him on a pair on nasty sinkers after falling behind 3-1) and stranded a pair in what would be his last inning. The Buccos loaded the bases in the seventh thx to a booted DP ball, but Karns pumped third strikes past Erik Kratz and Jordy. AJ Schugel answered with a clean frame. David Rollins left a pair of Pirates aboard in the eighth while Neftali Feliz 1-2-3'ed the Mariners. Rollins and Tony Watson exchanged clean ninth innings, and the Pirates evened up their Coast road trip with an 8-1 win.

Starling is banging the ball at a .331 clip after three knocks tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

JT did a good job locating rather than spraying his fastball and kept his sinker down in the zone to go with a nasty hammer. In his six IP, he gave up a run on six hits with six K and nary a walk after 95 pitches, a very nice outing after a couple of clinkers. The back end did what it does, and so a miserable June ended with a high note, with the Bucs rallying to take 4-of-6 in the last week. The Pirates are off today, then play in the California sun against the Oakland A's on Friday.

  • Starling and S-Rod, batting 6-7, had themselves a day. They went 5-for-7 ensemble, with two walks and a HBP, five runs scored and four driven home. Freeser added a pair of knocks, runs and RBI. 
  • How to close out a game: AJ Schugel, Neftali Feliz & Tony Watson worked three perfect innings, using up just 28 pitches total.
  • Even with tonight's loss, the Mariners are 9-3 in interleague games this season and have outscored NL opponents by +16 runs per ESPN Stats.
  • Bob Walk added a little more fun to the night when he tumbled out of his seat during the Root broadcast, which was of course caught in film and replayed through the night. 
  • Pedro Alvarez was in the clubhouse tonight. No, the Bucs haven't brought him back; the O's were in town before their series tomorrow against Seattle, so Petey stopped by.
  • The Pirates promoted Curve 1B/OF Jose Osuna to Indy per the Altoona Mirror's Cory Giger. Osuna's slashing .269/6/38, and can play the position, so it's a well deserved boot upstairs. We wonder if that means Josh Bell's arrival in Pittsburgh will be sooner rather than later...


WilliamJPellas said...

Yes, I would think Josh Bell will be arriving sooner rather than later. As for Osuna, he looks alright overall and according to Giger's tweet he is a very good defensive first baseman. I think the best thing you can say about his hitting is that he doesn't strike out a great deal; his resume is a little bit on the thin side for a corner outfielder in terms of his stickwork. Looks like he hits for a high .200s average with probably mid-teens home runs. Maybe a James Loney type. That's okay, but also not something to jump up and down over.

WilliamJPellas said...

Woops, forgot to add a link to Osuna's career stats. Here they are:

Ron Ieraci said...

He's 23, Will, a nice age to get some AAA seasoning. He's supposed to be growing into a power guy with a decent contact rate and good glove. Whether he pans out or not, it's refreshing to see that the Pirates have a couple of home grown first basemen in the upper levels instead of their usual journeymen 4-A stand ins.