Wednesday, June 13, 2018

First Inning Follies, Wobbly Willy & Bullpen Blues Lead To 13-8 Thumping

J-Hay may have flew out against Clay Buchholz, but he sure did a leadoff man's job - he made Clay toss 10 times and show five different pitches. Corey D got back in the groove with a knock and Starling moved him to third with a double to left. A Red Beard walk juiced the sacks, but Eli banged a sinker into a 6-4-3 DP. The Snakes opened with back-to-back ground ball raps, followed by a J-Bell throw-away of a DP ball to allow a run to score. Another bouncer single made it 2-0, then a two-out triple by Ketel Marte twisted the knife. After an intentional walk, Willy tossed away a pickoff try and J-Hay, backing up, misfired on his throw to third to put two more points on the board. It all ended 37 pitches later; five runs were unearned. Jordy doubled with two outs in the second, just to get Trevor a swing for the third out. The Snakes added one more ground ball knock but no more runs, yay.

Willie had no help, but still wasn't very sharp tonight (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

J-Hay opened the third with a single; a 405' flyout by Corey D was followed by a grounder and pop. A walk, triple and sac fly by the Rattlers rubbed some more salt in the wound. Eli and J-Bell started the fourth with a double/single combo and catcher's interference packed the sacks. A plunk, walk and sac fly brought home three runs; Starling's two-out, three-run homer off a 3-1 heater made it interesting at 8-6. S-Rod went to short; apparently Jordy was dinged up by his bopping. Steven Brault came in and gave up a knock and a walk. Two later singles reclaimed a pair of the runs for the Snakes. Silvino Bracho came in for the fifth, and a walk, J-Bell double and grounder (dogged, btw, by Gregory; if he wasn't hurt, he should have been sat) plated another Bucco run. Steven cruised; a two-out walk was erased by Eli via a caught swiping.

Fernando Salas took his turn in the sixth; a single, another GIDP and liner made it an easy frame. Arizona went down in order. Red Beard kicked off the seventh with a double and an out later, lefty Andrew Chafin was called on. J-Bell welcomed him with his second double to make it 10-8; he moved to third on a wild pitch before Freeser walked with two outs. Yoshihisa Hirona, a righty, took the ball to face S-Rod and got him on a grounder. Dovydas Neverauskas answered the bell. Starling made a nice grab of a liner, and that was followed by a knock and a walk. Jon Jay homered on a two-out hung curve as Dovy was pounded for a second straight outing - he got two outs and gave up two runs last night - and that made it a comfortable 13-8 edge for 'Zona.

Michael Feliz put up a zero! (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

J-Hay blooped a single to open the eighth. After Starling lined out to right for the second out (karma making up for Josh's dink), righty change-up guy Braden Shipley came in to face Colin and fanned him, getting two strikes on changes and then blowing a fastball past him. Michael Feliz was tossed into the mix and served up a clean inning, ending a streak of six outings that he was scored against. It took six pitches to say goodnight to the Pirates. Some bad ball luck and terrible fielding put the Bucs in a deep hole from the gate and the relievers kept on leaking runs. Fix. The. Bullpen.

Notes:
  • J-Bell had his first three-hit day since April 15th. J-Hay added three knocks and Starling a pair, including a three-run bomb.
  • Steven Brault struck out for the first time in his MLB career (35 plate appearances) and of course it came with a runner at third.
  • Starling Marte told @RobBiertempfel of The Athletic that his oblique still acts up occasionally when he's swinging, but he can play through it.
  • Pittsburgh lost its eighth straight series.
  • The game finished four minutes shy of four hours.
  • The Bucs came into today with a -33 DRS (Defensive Runs Saved). They're the only NL Central team in negative numbers; the Cubs have a +39 and the Brewers lead the majors with +50.
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