Friday, August 19, 2016

Bullpen's Back End Beat Up; Bucs Drop Wild & Wooly 6-5 Decision To Fish

It was a frustrating opening frame for Gerrit Cole, who gave up a pair of 0-2 infield raps (one a deflected bullet to the box) but avoided his usual first-time-around blues by getting an inning-ending DP. Josh greeted Tom Koehler with a single, but was caught stealing (it looked like he beat the tag, but review upheld it) and the other Bucs went down quietly. Same ol' for the Fish in the second - a bloop single followed by a DP and another grounder. The Pirates went down in order.

The Marlins got to Cole Train in the third. A couple of singles plated a run, with the RBI coming on a two-out, 1-2 pitch, followed by a walk. A whiff stopped the damage from growing. It must be ground ball day; a Fran single was erased on a Jordy DP. That was followed by a Cole single, ending on a Josh force-out.

Gerrit had a rough outing but limited the damage (photo Pgh Pirates)

Miami led off the fourth with an infield knock, followed by a walk. Another single led to a Starling assist as he easily cut down a run at the dish; we'd generally advise against sending a slow runner (JT Realmuto) with no outs on a ball to left. Gerrit reared back for a pair of whiffs to leave runners at second and third. Starling led off with an infield hit (lotta that going around today). Gregory followed with a knock to right and Marte got a taste of his own medicine, gunned down at third by Marcell Ozuna. Freeser took out a bit of the sting when he whacked a hook 409' over the right center wall to make it 2-1 Pittsburgh.

Cole Train fanned a couple more in a clean fifth, and it was 1-2-3 for the Pirates. JT Realmuto tied it with a long ball (way long; he bombed it into center) in the sixth. Cole-dini had another escape coming; he gave a single, wild pitch, intentional walk and another single to the pitcher. This time El Coffee came to rescue by tossing out Xavier Scruggs at the dish. Six innings and two runs aren't bad; 10 hits are.  The Bucs left runners on the corners after Freeser's at 'em ball liner to left.

Clint kept Gerrit in for the seventh and almost got away with it; Christian Yelich took a two-out, first-pitch heater and drilled it into the seats. Another single got Cole the hook an inning late. Jared Hughes came on and hit the first batter, but Cutch dove to haul in a liner and stop the dance. Dustin McGowan took the ball and put runners on first and second. He corraled a tapper from Jordy and went to third, but the ball got away, allowing a run to score and putting runners at second and third. Hunter Cervenka came in to face Matt Joyce and won the southpaw matchup with a comebacker that froze the runners. Kyle Barraclough was waved in to face Josh, and J-Hay won this bout with a sac fly. Starling drilled a two-out double to plate another. Cutch walked before the chapter concluded with the Bucs up 5-3.

Freeser went yard tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Here Clint departed from his usual recipe. Felipe Rivero climbed the hill in the eighth and gave up his first earned Pirate run on a dinger to Miguel Rojas. With two gone, an error by JHK and an intentional walk to Martin Prado raised a red flag; it snapped in the breeze when Yelich singled to tie the game before the fire was out. Nick Wittgren answered the Fish phone. Kang banged a one-out a single but was thrown out easily trying to stretch it (JHK memo to self: I'm not fast) and the frame petered out when Fran's 395' drive stayed in the yard for a loud third out.

Neftali Feliz took over in the ninth. A walk, bunt, and single put the Bucs on the wrong side of the ledger. Another knock put Marlins on the corners and a walk loaded them, but a liner and a great grab by Gregory kept them there. Fernando Rodney came in to close it out and walked Jordy to start it out. JJ's pinch hit single moved him up a station, and Josh's roller put them on second and third. Starling was walked intentionally to get to Cutch (this is not a drill!). he banged one to third, and the around-the-horn DP brought a finish to the game no one wanted to win.

Well, it offered about everything a game has to offer - 11 runs, 28 hits, three errors, nine walks both intentional & otherwise, a balk, HBP, wild pitch, bunts, sac fly, four DPs, four runners thrown out on the bases, great grabs, managerial decisions that befuddled... The bottom line is that the bullpen has to shut it down when you have a two-run lead and six outs to get. They usually do, but tonight they didn't. It's a brutal loss to a team the Bucs are trying to leave in the rear view mirror.

Starling had three more knocks (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • Starling had three hits and a walk, while Gregory and  JHK had a pair of knocks.
  • The Fish have won 4-of-5 v the Pirates, with three one-run decisions and another by two.
  • The Bucs have homered in seven straight games, tying their season high. 
  • JT Realmuto ended Gerrit Cole's homerless innings streak at 60.
  • Some Central Division news: The Cubs placed John Lackey (right shoulder strain) on the DL, retro to 8/15; ditto for Hector Rondon (right triceps strain), retro to 8/17.
Post a Comment