Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Locke Rocked, Thor Soars As Mets Boogie Down Broadway 11-2

JJ opened the game with a knock against Noah Syndergaard before Thor routinely retired the next trio. Jeff Locke gave up back-to-back singles, one a bloop and the other a liner, followed by a walk. A tapper brought in a run and moved everyone up. After a pop, he looked like he might wiggle out, but a pretty good heater, on the black and under the knees, was turned on by Matt Reynolds. He bounced it off the third base bag for a two run double, and Syndergaard had a 3-0 lead to work with after a frame.

Thor cruised through the second and Jeff stranded a lead off two bagger. The Bucs went down in order in the third. Locke had two down before Kelly Johnson homered 437' to RC, making it 4-0. Syndergaard had an easy time with five K on 49 pitches through four frames. Jeff tossed a clean inning.

JJ had three hits tonight (photo John Roth/USA Today)

Noah ran his streak of consecutive Bucs sat down to 15 in the fifth. The Metropolitans got back-to-back knocks to open, one of them catching Starling in the noggin as he was caught in between a short hop; he had to leave the game to join the MASH unit as Matt Joyce came in. That was followed by a flare single to plate a run, and Arquimedes Caminero was summoned. He gave up another blooper for a tally before whiffing the next pair, walking the pitcher and finally shutting the gate with the score 7-0 NY.

JJ broke Thor's streak at 17 with a two-out knock in the sixth and Gregory followed with another before Cutch fanned. S-Rod, who pinch hit, replaced Andrew in center *sheesh* and Rob Cahill climbed the hill. Wilmer Flores rocked him for a two run shot to left. A single and double plated another Met to run the score to 10-0 before the third out. It was 1-2-3 for Pittsburgh in the seventh. Rob gave up a couple more hits but kept the scoreboard dark.

Yawn...three up, three down in the eighth for the Pirates. Cory Luebke answered the bell and gave up another run; the Pirate bullpen worked four innings and gave up four runs on 10 hits. John Jaso opened with a double off Thor; Freeser doubled him home an out later. Syndergaard left at 115 pitches after the CG shutout was lost; interesting juxtaposition with Clint, who pulled JT after eight innings and 91 pitches in the same situation. Jeurys Familia took over; and error allowed another run before bedtime. A thumping, thank goodness, only counts as one loss, so tomorrow the Bucs can still take the series with a win.

The top news of the day - the Bucs signed #1 pick Will Craig at exactly slot value (photo Pgh Pirates)

Simple game recap - Noah Syndergaard was Thor today; Jeff Locke wasn't. After his last outing and watching Jacob deGrom yesterday, Syndergaard went more off speed with a ton of changes and owned the Bucs. As for Jeff Locke...

We're hard pressed to explain his recent performances. In the past couple of games, opponents have hit both good pitches and meatballs, turning them into bombs, liners, bloops and bleeders. All we know is that whether it's bad luck or bad pitching (or a mix of both) the Pirates aren't in a position to give away games and strain the bullpen; we'll see what the FO has up its sleeve now that the Super Two timeline has come and gone. Our feeling is a trade would be a waste of resources with the arms available at Indy, even if they need seasoned, for rotation help. At worst, they'd have the maiden voyage under their belt before sailing in 2017.  Now the bullpen...

  • The Bucs had five hits; John Jaso had three of them.
  • Stew passed his concussion protocol after being beaned on a follow through and HBP last night. He's available off the bench tonight, with bruises from his feet to his elbow. 
  • The Pirates were two outs away from their first goose egg of the year; Freeser's double kept them alive as the only MLB club not to be shutout this season.
  • Gerrit Cole isn't throwing and is listed as day-by-day.
  • Cripes, he's on fire! Altoona Curve OF Austin Meadows extended his team-record hitting streak to 23 games with a ninth-inning double. Corey Giger of the Altoona Mirror thinks he's on track to be the replacement for Cutch in a couple or three seasons.
  • Trey Haley, DFA'ed off the 40-man roster for Erik Kratz, has cleared waivers and was sent back to Indy.
  • Draft reports continue to come in: Jim Callis tweeted that sixth rounder LHP Cam Vieaux of Michigan State signed for $175K (slot value is $238,600). We knew he had agreed to a deal, and now we know the price tag. The Bucs have done well with the bonuses; they have some $140K in play money to possibly lure in a third day overdraft pick.

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