Pirates Collapse; D-Backs Romp 12-4; Nick Burdi Hurt
After two outs, Joe Musgrove caught too much plate on an 0-2 heater, giving up a David Peralta double. All it cost, tho, was six extra pitches. Melky drew a one-out walk off Zack Godley and Gregory went the oppo way in a shift-buster for a knock. J-Bell walked on four pitches. Colin K’ed on a 3-2 knuckle curve in the dirt; that was an inning changer as Bryan Reynolds bounced out to strand three Bucos. Big Joe has the two-gone blues, issuing a walk and giving up a single to the 7-8 hitters to turn the order over in the second. With an out, Cotuck bounced a double to right and Musgrove walked on four pitches; they never moved as Godley has stranded five runners already. The Snakes got on the board in the third on one swing from Eduardo Escobar, who dropped a lazy fly barely into the RF stands. Gregory worked an opening walk and moved to second on a soft roller, coming home on Colin’s two-bagger. Reynolds had a 3-0 green light and flew out, but Eli picked him up by bouncing a ball up the middle to plate Redbeard and grab the lead at 2-1. Joe celebrated with his first 1-2-3 frame in the fourth, as did Godley.
|Big Joe did his job tonight (image 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates)|
There was no hissing from the Snakes in the fifth as Big Joe ran his sit-down streak to eight. Gregory ended an 11-pitch battle with a double to lead off, and Josh tripled El Coffee home as his reward for wearing Godley down, lining a ball off the straightaway CF wall. Colin’s ground ball single made it 4-1 and after 98 pitches by Zack, Matt Andriese took over. Reynolds doubled to greet him, but an Eli grounder froze the runners. Tuck was walked intentionally to bring up big Joe, who fanned. Fraze couldn’t cash in; the Bucs just can’t find that killer instinct at the plate. After nine pitches to Peralta to get the second out, Adam Jones smacked a two-out double in the sixth off Big Joe, who then quickly turned the page. Andriese worked a clean frame. The D-backs got an opening walk in the seventh, followed by a ground ball single, which brought in Kyle Crick. A bunt single loaded the sacks, and a soft grounder plated a run when Eli didn’t touch home for the force out. Another comebacker finally resulted in a force at home. A pop over short fell, making it 4-3. Peralta tripled to clean the sacks, and suddenly it was 6-4, bad guys. After a second out (and 26 pitches), Nick Burdi was waved in and gave up a homer *sigh* now it’s 8-4.
Yoshihisa Hirano took the hill and tucked the Bucs away. Burdi’s bad day continued. He gave up three straight singles to start the eighth, and these were not of the infield variety. The bad news piled up; Nick went down, clutching his bicep, and that sure can’t be good, especially after the guy spent a season rehabbing a bum wing. Frankie was next up and was equally abused; the tally was now 12-4. Yoan Lopez gave up a deflected single in the Bucco half. JB Shuck got to work the ninth, and didn’t do badly. He put up a zero with a walk and single, and that was another infield knock. Matt Koch put it to bed.
|Hopefully Nick will bounce back (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
The obvious concern is how Nick Burdi is doing. The Pirates said he left the game with right elbow/bicep pain and is being evaluated by the medical staff. That’s heartbreaking after working his way back from TJ surgery.
Otherwise, all the warts popped up tonight. Hitters not capitalizing and a zillion infield knocks surrendered were the main culprits, the woes that bit the Bucs badly earlier in the year. The Pirates were 1-6 v the D-Backs last year; apparently the curse continues.
- Gregory came back in style with two hits and a walk; Redbeard stayed hot with two knocks. Eli had a hit but showed some rust behind the dish, which is to be expected as he DH’ed quite a bit during rehab.
- This was JB’s second trip to the hill in the show; he has two innings without a run under his belt. He was the first Bucco position played to toss since Erik Kratz in 2016.
- Yucky factoid: the Pirates were hitting .194 with a runner on third and less than two outs going into tonight. Another yucky stat: there were just 9,223 in the yard tonight.
- Clint said that the seldom-used Steven Brault will be stretched out as a starter at Indy. He added that Kevin Newman’s OF rehab work will be in left and center fields, where the Pirates are thin. Also, Jose Osuna is beginning his rehab tonight with Bradenton and playing RF.
- You can go home again: Jeremie Rehak of Murrysville/Franklin Regional HS is behind the plate tonight; he’s a two-way ump who flips between AAA and the majors as needed.
- LHP Justin Wilson was put on the 10-day IL by the Mets with a sore elbow.
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