Sunday, July 9, 2017

Pirates Put Up 10-Spot In First, Cruise to 14-3 Cub Clobbering Behind Tag-Team Pitching

The Bucs switched pitchers a half hour before the game. Jamo had the flu and they pumped him with fluids, apparently with no success (It was so severe that the Pirates trainer had Chicago EMT crew check him out). So they went to Chad Kuhl. It was very much a move that went against the usual Pittsburgh grain; Kuhl is working on two days' rest after throwing 95 pitches in seven innings in his last outing, plus Chad and lefties don't mix and Chicago bats a bunch of them. Anyway, the guys in the field made it an easier chore by giving him a pretty nice first inning pad. Nothin' like being up 10-0 before you take the field.

Jamo's bug cost him an easy win today (photo MLB Pipeline) 

The Buc loaded the bases with one out thx to a knock, walk and boot. J-Bell singled in a pair, Jose Osuna doubled in another and Jordy singled home two more. Two more walks loaded the bags and Cervy drilled a grand salami. Cutch followed with another dinger and Jon Lester was yanked 53 pitches later with the count 10-0. Mike Montgomery ended it 35 minutes after it began. Chad gave up a walk (he did sit for quite a spell) but that was all. Pittsburgh went quietly in the second; two raps and a bouncer scored a Chicago point. The Pirates stranded a walk and a bop in the third. Chad walked back-to-back Cubs, but a visit from Uncle Ray was followed by a GIDP and K, just like Searage ordered. Joey O and Jordy banged consecutive doubles for another tally in the fourth. A couple of batters later, Dylan Flora came on with two on and two outs after Montgomery had hit 65 pitches; Amore tapped him for an RBI single. Cool Chad was also gone after 58 pitches and Wade LeBlanc climbed the hill. With an out, consecutive singles and a walk set up the Cubs. Fortunately for the Bucs, Maddon let his pitcher bat (White flag? We think so) and he rolled into a DP.

A day off did J-Hay a world of good (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Flora tossed better than he hit, claiming a clean fifth. AJ Schugel got the call and a single-double-grounder resulted in a Cubbie run. Jordy walked and eventually came in on J-Hay's infield knock in the sixth, a liner that was knocked down but left no play available. The Cubs got a single that caused no damage. Fraze was plunked with an out in the seventh and promptly erased on a DP. Schug gave up a two-out rap, again leaving no mark. Eddie Butler worked a quiet eighth. Jhan Marinez took over, also giving up a harmless two-down knock. J-Hay must have enjoyed his birthday off time; he homered in the ninth. Marinez has come back to earth; a pair of doubles, walk, and wild pitch fortunately had a DP in the middle, so he escaped giving up just a run and closed the book on a 14-3 romp.

Okay, the Bucs have one big NL Central series under their belts. Now if they can do the same after the break... They are going into mini-vacation week at 5-2, and have the Cards and Brewers at home, then the Giants and Padres on the coast (and the tough Rox). If they want to make hay, now's the time.

Notes:
  • J-Hay had three knocks; Jordy, J-Bell, Fran and Joey O each had a pair. Fran touched home once & drove in five runs, Jordy notched three runs scored & three RBI, J-Hay scored three times & chased home a pair while Joey O had two platings & two Bucs sent home. Fran's five RBI tied his career-best for a single game. Every Pirates starter reached base safely and scored and/or had RBI as Pittsburgh collected 14 hits, seven walks and a pair *ouch* of plunks to go with two Cubbie errors.
Jordy quietly had another big day (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • The last time the Pirates had a 10-spot in an inning was in the seventh against the Rox in 2007 during an 11-4 win. The last time they plated 10 in the first frame was in 1989 against the Phils; that's the game that Jim Rooker said he'd walk home if they lost, and they did, 15-11. He did, too, going on a charity walk-a-thon between Pittsburgh and Philly after the season. Today topped the Bucs' previous first-inning mark against the Cubs of nine runs in 1975, the contest that Rennie Stennett collected seven hits during a 22-0 romp.
  • Over 12 years and 334 starts, this was the first time Jon Lester didn't make it through the first inning. He was just the fourth pitcher in the last 100 years to allow 10+ runs and not make it out of the first inning.
  • The Pirates are 5-1 at Wrigley Field this year.
  • Jeff Locke cleared waivers and Miami sent him to AAA New Orleans.
  • The Pirates spent $11,889,800 in the 2017 draft, per Jim Callis of MLB.com.
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