Results tagged ‘ Jason Grili ’
The bright side of this game was that I got to sit behind home plate and chat baseball with my dad so the game recap for the Pirates’ 2-1 loss is filled with tidbits of that conversation. The game moved along pretty quick until the switches in the 7th inning onward. Erik Bedard let up one run early to Josh Willingham who would haunt the Pirates all night.
Bedard would move on from this slight hiccup to last six innings of quality ball but once again, he looked like he was struggling for control. Bedard has some quality pitches like his curve but keeping it in the strike zone for strike three was an issue. He finished by my count just under 100 pitches.
Francisco Liriano was even better, pitching extremely effectively and shutting down the Bucs for 6 innings until the seventh where the game had it’s turning point. Liriano loaded the bases by walking Michael McHenry which led to Rod Barajas’ shot at immortality (kinda). Barajas smoked a liner into center which Denard Span dove for. He came up with the ball and Pedro, who was on third, tagged up. Jose Tabata would ground out to end the threat.
When Jason Grilli came up in the 8th, I remarked to my dad that a Cutch homer would bring up Hanrahan and end the game with a nice bow. I had no idea that Josh Willingham decided to take my advice and Grilli’s mistake cost the Pirates the game.
Some random tidbits from the game: left handed starters are the weakness of the Pirates lineup more than anything else. The team is loaded with left handed hitters (Alvarez, Jones, throw Walker in) and McCutchen is the only real threat. This team could really use a big right handed bat because McGehee isn’t a cleanup guy.
Pedro Alvarez is a smart ball player, he just can’t hit. If he would learn how to hit pitching he’d be a great all around player. He never left third on Barajas’ shot and played third very well. On the other side I don’t think Tabata will be a good player even with a bat. He lacks hustle and I’d much rather see an outfield of Harrison, McCutchen and Jones until Marte is ready for the show.
J-Mac goes for the Bucs tomorrow, hopefully he can win the rubber match for the Pirates. Let’s Go Bucs.
When the Bucs replaced Karstens after just one inning, the panic button went on. The Bucs bullpen has been less than stellar this year and now they would have to pitch for at least 8 innings if they wanted to try to pull out a win. The good news for the pen? The Pirates offense finally woke up, thanks in large part to Garret Jones and Andrew McCutchen.
Jones was a triple away from the cycle and knocked in three runs off of a solo shot and double both times helping the Bucs stay in the game. Defensively, the Bucs were sound and Jared Hughes set the tone for the Pirates makeshift pitching performance.
Hughes went two and 2/3 with one run allowed. He was followed up by Tony Watson who completed Hughes’ innings and went another two before Evan Meek pitched a scoreless inning. Jason Grili gave up the game tying run off of a homer in eighth, putting the pressure on the Bucs’ offense in the ninth.
The Pirates pulled off another two out nine inning rally with Andrew McCutchen playing the role of hero again. McCutchen battled at the plate and managed to hit a slider low and away off the end of his bat for a bloop single that scored Alex Presley.
With the score now 5-4 Pirates, Clint Hurdle sent Juan Cruz out to finish off the D-Backs instead of Joel Hannerhan. It turns out he has tightness in his hamstring and will try to be rested until Friday’s home game versus St. Louis. The good news is that Hurdle picked the right guy has Cruz set Arizona down in order to close out the game and earn his first official save since 2009.
In my mind, this was a huge win for the Pirates as they were pegged to lose this one. Going up against Ian Kennedy and losing Karstens (we won’t know for how long until he’s back in Pittsburgh) was a recipe for disaster. Furthermore, many were critical of how Hurdle managed the seventh inning but in the end the Pirates come away with a win and a chance to win their first series on the road.
James McDonald will take the mound for Pittsburgh in a game that should be interesting. Daniel Hudson has been bad this season leaving the door open for the Pirates to grab another win. If the Pirates do win, they would be 5-7 after playing the Phillies, Dodgers, Giants and D-Backs. Not too shabby after all.
The Pirates had the golden chance in the sixth inning again. Chris Capuano had been put on the ropes and pulled and the Bucs had just loaded the bases after scratching across a run to cut the Dodger lead to just one. Matt Hague stepped up to the plate, ready to be the Pirates’ hero again.
Only this time, like so many other times this season, Hague’s zinger into the outfield was snagged by Matt Kemp and the Pirates never threatened again, fading away to the Dodgers 3-2. Jeff Karstens got rocked early on by the top of the Dodgers order, allow three runs to come across with sacrifices and hits.
Karstens did settle down from there, however he only made it 5 innings and 71 pitches. He did walk Capuano before he was pulled for a pinch hitter, summing up how he struggled with command all night. The bright spot for the Bucs (aside from Andrew McCutchen, get used to that line) was the bullpen. They kept the game close for the final three innings and unlike last night, never let the Dodgers come close to putting up more runs.
Chris Resop was once again solid and is identifying himself has the rock in the bullpen when the Bucs are down or need glue before the eighth inning. Jason Grili continues to impress and has great substance that is forcing strikeouts. Both could be used a lot more over this road trip if the bats don’t wake up.
27 strikeouts and three losses later, the Bucs head out to San Fran deflated. They have one of the best pitching staffs of any 2-4 team in MLB history (based on numbers) but their hitting is ensuring West Coast woes continue. San Fran offers a different challenge for the Bucs and last year, the Pirates took 2 of 3 while out by the Bay.
I think it’s safe to say that Giants won’t be a push over and the pitching matchups don’t get any easier (Cain, Zito, Vogelsong) but this was a great wakeup call after eaking out two wins against Philly. Don’t get too high, don’t get too low. The Bucs take two of three in the next two series and things will be righted. Another flat performance and then it’s time to worry that April may get away from the young Pirates.
I can’t say that I watched much of this game, but what I saw was that the Pirates caved just a tad too late. The Bucs sent Jason Grili to the mound and looked good using his breaking ball to get two hitters to chase strikes. Andre Ethier definitely chased the pitched down and away, but golfed the ball all the way out of the park.
It was a good pitch thrown by Grili, but an even better swing by Etheir. Then in the 9th, Andrew McCutchen grounded into a double play to end the game, capping off another rough outing for the Bucco Bats. So far, the Pirates have pitched against some of the best in the league, but when guys like Correia and Bedard show such strong outings, it hurts to “waste” these outings.
Plate discipline could help the Bucs as Halladay and Kershaw both lasted late into the games but that’s what they are paid to do. They are the best in the league and the Pirates were able to defeated Cliff Lee (so 1-2 against those caliber guys isn’t too bad.)
Tonight at 10:10 EST Pittsburgh gets Chad Billingsley which should off the Bucs’ bats a chance to open up. If Erik Bedard has another strong outing, the Pirates NEED to capitalize to snag at least one in LA.
Let’s Go Bucs!
This seems very appropriate, can’t believe I forgot it for the Dodgers preview.