Thursday, June 9, 2016

Locke Rocked, Bucs Fall 11-5

Chad Bettis came in on a bad roll; Jeff Locke was riding a hot streak. In the first, Bettis' luck continued to run rotten. He gave a single to JJ, but Gregory's possible DP ball was tossed away, and Starling singled him home to make it 1-0. Jeff, tho, ran out of luck - the first Rox singled (on a bloop) then bang - double, single, triple, and ground out made it 4-1 in a hurry. Missing the disht had a lot to do with it; he went to three balls on four batters, and that's too many hitters counts.

Josh singled and Stew was HBP in the second and died on base. The Rox opened with a double. A bunt and two out walk left Rockies on the corners; Nolan Arenado doubled them home. Over two frames and 48 pitches, Jeff has shown zero command. Cutch opened the third with a knock, and an out later, Starling got HBP. The game got a little more interesting when Freeser went yard to the opposite field to make it 6-4. Josh doubled to follow. With two gone and an empty base, Bettis opted to work on Stew. Bad decision; Chris' rap made it a one run game. Locke was touched for another hit, but no runs.

Josh had a two-hit day (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Bettis was shown the door, and Jorge De La Rosa took the ball in the fourth and picked up a pair of whiffs in a clean frame. Jeff had to Jeff; a walk to the pitcher and DJ LaMahieu dinger gave the Rox a three run pad. De La Rosa had a 1-2-3 fifth. A couple of singles, wild pitch, walk and RBI bunt by De La Rosa put up another point. Charlie Blackmon punched out a two run knock on a pitch that was literally an inch or two from bouncing in the dirt. Clint finally waved in the Lobster. Locke took one for the team to be sure, but his performance stuck one to the team too. Kyle finished up without further ado. Jorge spun another easy frame in the sixth; it's been nine up, nine down since he's claimed the hill. The Lobster was dented for a double but kept the plate clean.

The Pirates remained unable to ding De La Rosa in the seventh. Lobstein gave up a knock but was never threatened. Justin Miller took over from Jorge in the eighth and allowed a walk, but that was it. Cory Luebke got the call for Pittsburgh. He was nicked for a hit and walk, but no damage. Chad Qualls looked to finish, and did it in style, fanning two of the final three Pirate hitters.

The Lobster tossed 2-1/3 scoreless on his call back to the show (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

In the long view, the thumping means the Bucs took 3-of-4 from the Rox at Coors, so there's that. And while Jeff was a hot mess, it is only the fourth time in 12 starts that he's given up four+ runs, and in fact, of the 44 runs he's given up runs, 25 of them came in just three games.  Anyway, this was a wacky date to reschedule a game, especially with the bad luck of playing 19 innings of baseball the day before. The Bucs have to catch a red eye back home now and face the Cards for a three game set; hope they can catch some shuteye on the plane. Oh...and let's go Pens!

  • Josh had two of the Pirates seven hits.
  • The Rox bullpen, spearheaded by Jorge De La Rosa, was brilliant, tossing six hitless innings while issuing one walk and whiffing eight.

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