Tuesday, June 14, 2016

JT Brilliant; JHK & Starling Homer As Bucs Snap Losing Streak 4-0

Jacob deGrom had an easy enough first, dinged only by a two-out El Coffee knock. Jameson Taillon took the hill (it was his regularly scheduled day to work, just flipped from Indy to NYC). He stuck to the number one; each first pitch was ball one; each second pitch was a routine out, resulting in a nice, six pitch opening frame. JHK started the second with a walk. An out later, Jordy's seeing-eye single moved him up a station, and that at least turned the order over. 10 pitches, two K and a ground out for JT in his half. deGrom had an easy third. With an out, Jameson plunked the eight hitter with a wayward hook on an 0-2 pitch. He was bunted to second, where a whiff left him standing.

Jung Ho's bomb was the game winner; he was on base three times tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Jung Ho singled with one gone in the fourth, and there he stayed after two fannings.Yoenis Cespedes drew a two out walk to no avail; Josh made a diving grab of a liner to close the frame. No Bucco noise in the fifth; not surprising as deGrom already has eight K. JT zipped through his half; he has four whiffs, but only 54 pitches used up, while deGrom is at 81. Starling singled with two gone in the sixth, and finally, the ice jam broke - JHK got a heater down the middle and lined it 424' into the seats in LC. Josh followed with the polar opposite; a bunt single. He stole second and went to third on a bad toss, but Jordy, who battled through eight pitches, couldn't get him in. JT got three more grounders.

deGrom was gone after 105 pitches and Jim Henderson came in for the seventh. Stew was HBP and bunted up, but the top of the order couldn't cash in some insurance. Curtis Granderson ended the no-no drama with a leadoff knock for the Metropolitans, a well placed grounder through the right side. JT responded the right way, dishing up a quick around-the-horn DP and an easy roller to finish the frame.

JT won his first MLB game, and in grand style (photo MLB Pipeline)

Gregory opened the eighth with a walk and trotted home ahead of Starling, who launched a first-pitch fastball 419' over the CF wall to make it 4-0. James Loney poked a flare into left, but it didn't lead to any problems as nice plays by JHK and Jordy kept things tidy. Taillon got lotsa love in the dugout as his night ended, and it was a good one: eight IP, no runs, two hits one walk, one HBP and five K after 91 pitches. He got 16 ground outs; only three balls had to be corralled by the outfield.

Erik Goeddel tucked the Bucs away in the ninth. It's never easy for the Pirates; Tony Watson gave up a leadoff double, but recovered to serve up three routine outs to end the night.

Well, looks like JT got rid of the butterflies he had in his debut as he was brilliant tonight in earning his first MLB win. It also ended a five game slide for the Bucs, and his performance should serve as a shot in the arm to a club that's been reeling from nothing bad mojo recently. It doesn't get easier with Thor due to claim the bump tomorrow, so taking the opener is a big one on several levels.

  • Jung Ho and Starling not only pounded long balls, but were the only Bucs with two hits tonight. Kang even added a walk as he was on base 3-of-4 appearances, plus he made a couple of very nice plays with his glove.
  • This was the first time JT worked through the eighth inning this season, counting Indy.
  • Josh's bunt single broke an 0-for-14 funk. 
  • Mets manager Terry Collins was back in the dugout after being hospitalized in Milwaukee over the weekend because of an illness. 
  • Alttona OF Austin Meadows' seventh inning double gave him a franchise record 22 game hitting streak.

No comments: