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Big Joe, Pen Shuts Down Phils 5-1

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Big Joe had an easy first; fly out, single, and around-the-horn DP. Zach Eflin had an even easier one, putting the Bucs away 1-2-3. It was the Phils turn to go down in order in the second; J-Bell opened for the Pirates by getting bopped, but it didn’t lead to anything. It was nine-up, nine-down for Philadelphia in the third, while the Pittsburgh bats awoke. Big Joe doubled with an out, and with two away, the action started. Bryan Reynolds singled Musgrove home, galloping to second on the throw to the plate. Starling plated him with a double, then J-Bell’s blooper put the Pirates up 3-0. In the fourth, Big Joe bopped one batter and walked another, with no damage from his control fails. Corey D opened with a double, scooted to third on a grounder, and was chopped down at home on the contact play. Then we got a 1/2 hour rain delay before returning to regular programming. A walk and two-base boot by Josh put Big Joe in a jam. A bouncer chased in a run; a pair of K followed to limit the damage. Nick Pivetta took the ball. With two gone, Starling beat out a bleeder and went to second on a misfire. Jake was walked and Joe whiffed to leave it at 3-1.

Starling had three hits, drove in a run and scored twice. – 2017 Topps Bunt

The Phils stranded a leadoff knock in the sixth. Corey started it off with a double, then a poorly played try to nail him at third on K-Man’s bouncer left Bucs on the corners. Melky banged into a DP, but at least the Pirates got the run back. Eli then singled and went to second on a wild pitch, but the runs were done. Michael Feliz got the seventh; he gave up a knock in an easy frame. Mike Morin was waved in, and surrendered doubles to Starling (a leg two-bagger) and Redbeard to make the score 5-1. Frankie tossed the eighth; a walk, 6-4-3 DP and another roller carried him through. Fernando Salas worked for Philly. The Pirates loaded the bases with two outs after singles by K-Man, Fraze and Reynolds, but the ducks stayed on the pond. Felipe got the call to close it out, and punched out a pair in doing so. Raise the Roger.

Games are a lot easier to take when you make the plays and limit the runners. The Pirates weren’t clean in the first regard, but a great effort by Musgrove overcame some sloppiness. The Phils had but eight runners (three hits, three walks, an error & bop) and the Buc bats were clutch today, driving in four of the five runs after two were out. The rubber match is tomorrow afternoon, and even rallying to take the series may not salvage the Bucco campaign with just 65 games remaining, but it would be a start.


  • Starling had three hits while Corey D and Bryan Reynolds each added a pair. The Pirates banged out 13 hits tonight.
  • Joe Musgrove tied a season high with eight strikeouts over six innings, giving up a run (unearned) on two hits with two walks after spinning 98 pitches.
  • There was a sellout crowd of 38,380 at PNC Park for the game and ’79 team reunion. The players that attended were Matt Alexander, Dale Berra, John Candelaria, Mike Easler, Tim Foli, Phil Garner, Grant Jackson, Lee Lacy, Omar Moreno, Steve Nicosia, Ed Ott, Dave Parker, Jim Rooker, Manny Sanguillen, Rennie Stennett and Kent Tekulve. Lanny Frattare was honored along with Margaret Stargell, Anna Marie Kison and the children of GM Harding “Pete” Peterson, who built the 1979 team. In a final tribute, during the seventh inning stretch, the PNC PA’s played “We Are Family.”


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