|T-Willy should be glad the month is over (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Pittsburgh came back in the fifth; Cervy got bopped in the arm by a pitch and with two outs, J-Bell finally found a slider he liked and dropped it into the right-center seats to tie the contest. The tie didn't last long - Dexter Fowler, who was hitting .172 coming into the game, got his second hit, a double, and scored on a two-out single. He's driven in a pair and scored twice so far against Willy. Tyler Lyons came in for the sixth and retired his two lefties. Righty John Brebbia came in to face Jordy and walked him. Austin Meadows pinch hit; he put a good swing on a fastball, but it was pulled in at the left field wall...that close. Tyler Glasnow gave up a couple of soft hits (an infield knock and a grounder against the shift) but no points. Brebbia was tapped for a pair of infield knocks that left Bucs on the corner with an out in the seventh; Jordan Hicks came on and walked J-Bell. Hicks has been a ground ball machine, and kept to his MO by getting Corey D on an inning-crushing 6-4-3 DP. Ty tossed a clean frame.
Red Beard singled to begin the eighth and S-Rod came in to run. And run he did, coming all the way around when Gregory doubled. Fraze walked an out later. J-Hay flew out, and the throw in was offline, moving the runners up 90'. Hicks was yanked after 30 pitches and closer Bud Norris took the ball to take on Amore. Mr. Two-Out Money watched five pitches go by to run the count full, then drilled a cutter over the wall to give the Bucs an 8-5 lead and bring on Mike Mayers to close out the frame. Kyle Crick got the Bucco call and tossed a clean inning. Mayers stayed on in the ninth abd cruised. Felipe Vazquez started off by giving up a double, then S-Rod booted a ball. A walk loaded 'em, and a single chased home a pair and left another runner at third on the throw home; Vazquez's velo is again way down tonight. Yario Munoz made it academic; he hit the next pitch, a 96 MPH fastball thrown right through the heart of the plate, out of the park, his second of the year, and the bullpen is letting the season slip away.
|How clutch has Amore been? (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Clint can shoulder some of the blame for this. After the single, he should have pulled Vazquez, who was obviously off and working his third straight game after suffering arm numbness, but Edgar Santana barely had his jacket off before it was all over. As for Vazquez, we can't believe there's not some physical problem, either with his arm or mechanics, that needs to be taken care of; his velocity shouldn't be going like a yo-yo otherwise. Another issue is Trevor Williams; in six May starts, his ERA is 5.51. The team's not playing much differently than it had earlier in the year, but the pitching is often digging holes at one end and blowing leads on the other. Wonder if the FO has any urgency in addressing that issue or is going to use the year as a developmental season? There was a silver lining - Gregory looks like he's snapping out of it, knock on wood.
- Tonight was Gregory Polanco's first three-hit game since Opening Day against Detroit on March 30th; he also chased three runners home. Cervy added a pair of hits and three RBI while Corey D had two raps. J-Bell's homer plated the other two runs.
- In his last six games, Felipe Vazquez has blown four saves and has an ERA of 17.17.
- Hey, vita bella - Fran's homer was his eighth, a career high - at the end of May!
- Tonight was the Pirates 10th loss in 13 games.