Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Bucs Get Just Enough Behind Musgrove, Crick & Feliz, Salvage Game Three 2-1

Well, the second outing is starting off a little differently for Joe Musgrove; a double/single combo to lead off made it 1-0; he kept it there, but at a cost of 27 pitches, getting two whiffs after two walks (one intentional) to leave the bases juiced. J-Hay got it back in one swing off Kyle Hendricks, knocking one the opp way into the Clemente Wall crowd. A Cubbie leadoff single did no damage in the second. Corey D opened with a three-bagger, also going opp up the third base line, and Gregory's sac fly cashed him in. J-Grove gave up a two-out knock in the third. Musgrove opened with a knock and was forced at second, sliding into Javy Baez, who took exception. The benches and bullpens rushed the field and an umpire review was burned for naught as they decided it was non-reviewable after all; Baez never tried to make a throw to first, so there was nothing to interfere with. Joe just cemented his relationships with his mateys in the Bucco dugout while making Joe Maddon sputter like a snowflake. The rest of the inning went quietly.

J-Grove got some dirt on his uniform tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Chi-town opened the fourth with a knock and a walk; J-Grove picked off Addison Russell at second to ease the pressure; he cruised to the next two outs. J-Bell opened with a rap and was forced by Corey D, who moved to second on a misthrow. He was cut down at the plate trying to score on Red Beard's knock to right, a bad send by Joey Cora against Jason Heyward's arm with just one out. It was a 1-2-3 inning for the Bruins. The Bucs loaded the bases with an out on knocks by Jordy and J-Hay plus an intentional pass to AM, but left them aboard and Cervy and J-Bell couldn't chase anyone home; that's a couple innings of squandered runs. Chicago got a single in the sixth; Randy Rosario came on and spun a clean frame thanks to a Gregory DP.

 J-Grove gave up a two-out walk in the seventh, then got Anthony Rizzo on a pop (his arm pump, oddly enough, didn't cause another mashup). He gave up a run on seven hits, fours walks and five whiffs on 100 tosses; great job after a stormy opening frame. Cory Mazzoni took the ball and walked Fraze with an out; another walk an out later brought lefty Justin Wilson in to face Amore, who has a sizable reverse split against southpaws. It held true as he flew out. Kyle Crick answered the bell for the eighth inning - last man standing, we're guessing - and twirled a quiet frame. Moran singled with two gone; Gregory K'ed. It's now Felipe Vazquez time. The Cubs opened with a seeing-eye single and with two out got another, a soft liner hit to J-Bell that he batted down instead of catching. But all's well that end wells, and a Kris Bryant bouncer put the game to bed. RTJR!

It was interesting at the end but Felipe held down the fort.
(photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Both sides left a boatload of runners on the pond, combining for 19 stranded ducks. But it was nice to see the old tried-and-true formula work again; take a lead into the seventh and close the book. Now it's off to St. Louis and a four game set with the Redbirds; the Bucs could stand to get their mojo workin' again before the NL Central runs away from them.

  • Colin Moran had three knocks and J-Hay a pair to lead the Bucs nine-hit attack.
  • J-Hay has led off a game with a homer six times in his career and 15 times overall as a leadoff hitter of an inning.
  • Another disappointing crowd of 14,126 tonight; the Pirates drew under 45,000 for the three-game set.

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