Pirate Notes: Bucs beat Dodgers, 6-3, as Gerrit Cole leads the way

Real-time Pirates-Dodgers notes from Thursday’s 6-3 Pittsburgh win

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Neil Walker tries stealing 2nd base with two outs and a 1-2 count on Ike Davis. Not even close.

Andre Ethier triples down the first base line.

Yasiel Puig drives in Ethier with the wimpiest, shortest double one will ever see, as RF Josh Harrison was playing deep and Walker was shifting toward shortstop on the sawed-off bloop to shallow right field.

Gerrit Cole can’t believe the ball wasn’t caught. Wonder if he’ll learn to channel his feelings as he matures? Don’t want to show any teammates up.

Former Dodgers catcher, Russell Martin, makes a great catch of a Cole curve thrown inside off the plate despite Martin setting up outside. Martin has the wherewithal to ask for a swing appeal on Adrian Gonzalez, but the third plate umpire says A-Gon did not go. Looks like he did.

Matt Kemp, the $21 million/year outfielder who has ridden the bench lately, grounds out to third. LA coach Don Mattingly recently said Kemp doesn’t have a burst on defense. Kemp even stated he needs to work more on his defense.

Pedro Alvarez looks confident in his at-bat then crushes towering homer down the right field line – first homer to that part of the park in 2014, according to Fan Graphs.

Clint Barmes singles just past pitcher Dan Haren’s glove and 2B Dee Gordon’s. Nice to see baserunner, Starling Marte, go from first to third on play. Even nicer to see him not slide into third when he doesn’t have to. Why risk aggravating back spasms, or injuring knee? Wish Alvarez wouldn’t slide into home plate when he scores on a no-throw, but he does.

Andrew McCutchen with nice diving attempt on Justin Turner single to shallow center. Not sure why he doesn’t get ball back in to the infield faster, however. He gathers ball and looks to see if runner’s going to second base. If he is, then it’s too late to get the guy.

Dodgers bunt runner to second with no outs and pitcher coming to the plate. ROOT’s John Wehner asks “What is going on?” almost as if he’s watching game by himself and not broadcasting to thousands of listeners on TV.

Announcers talking about Dee Gordon’s dad, pitcher Tom Gordon. He had the longest arms for a short guy. Huge curve ball.

Barmes over-dives (if that’s a word) on Gordon’s hard hit single up the middle on a full count. Ball goes under Barmes glove, McCutchen has no chance to throw runner out at home (not that he ever does) and LA takes 2-1 lead.

Gordon steals both second and third bases. Almost feels like AJ Burnett should be on the mound for this.

Cole whiffs Ethier swinging on a changeup, a pitch that Cole really needs to offset everything else hard that he throws. Changeup at 86 mph, just two miles per-hour slower than some of Bartolo Colon’s fastballs.

McCutchen beats a 2-1, 85-mph breaking ball into ground to shortstop Hanley Ramirez. He complained about not getting pitches to hits, opponents working around him, but that was a truly hittable pitch in a hittable count.

Cole pounding his glove, clapping after getting A-Gon to pop out to shallow center field. Barmes with a fine catch on a tougher-it-looked pop up.

What does one mph wind feel like? Yahoo! boxscore says that’s how hard the wind is blowing at Chavez Ravine.

Gordon makes leaping grab of Martin shot, throws to first base, doubling off Ike Davis. I remember in Australia against Arizona, Gordon’s defense looked questionable. Not so much now. Gordon is in the majors, 32 steals to his credit, and second base competitor, Alex Guerrero, is in the minors recovering from a bitten ear (courtesy of Miguel Olivo) on the DL.

Cole’s retired seven straight, has two quick innings. The question is whether the Bucs’ offense can take advantage.

Cole comes up at bat with a runner on first, lays down a perfect sac bunt with one out. Almost wish he would have swung away. He’s a threat at the plate. Best hitting Pirate pitchers – Ken Brett, Donny Robinson, Rick Rhoden, who am I missing?

Josh Harrison drives home Barmes with a hard single to right. Puig throws home, allowing Harrison to advance to second base.

Cole’s grandma is interviewed in fifth inning. “Very exciting” is her response to just about every question. What a sweet lady.

Cole sets Dodger Blue down in order for third straight inning. He’s thrown just 58 pitches through five frames, including 41 for strikes.

The more I hear about Ike Davis’s background, the more I want to root for him. Just wish he was faster than a snail.

Martin gives Bucs a 3-2 lead with a long homer to left field, halfway up bleacher seats. Hits dinger on 1-1 pitch, 81 mph fastball, Martin’s 28th homer at Dodger Stadium, according to Tim Neverett.

Puig flips bat of epic proportions on double off base of right-center field wall. Cole comes back with four straight fastballs – 98, 96, 98, 97 mph – after Puig double. Would’ve been nice to show Hanley Ramirez different speeds. These are major league hitters, can adjust to the same speed of hard stuff, as Ramirez does. He lines a game-tying RBI single to right.

Marte hits screamer to short, throw off-line by Ramirez. Marte almost gets thrown out after making turn toward second base but gets back to first safely. Then tries to steal second, initially called safe. LA manager Mattingly challenges play, Marte out – caught stealing for fourth time in 2014.

A Barmes single, Cole sacrifice, and Harrison single give Pittsburgh a 4-3 lead. Fundamentals. Walker singles and Harrison scores, 5-3.

Paul Maholm comes in to face Davis after the well-paid Brandon League walks Cutch on four pitches. This should be fun.

Gaby Sanchez knocks a single to left, runs scores, 6-3. Maholm issues intentional walk to Martin.

The 2005 season seems like so long ago, when Zach Duke and then Maholm made their big league debuts. GM Neal Huntington likes the hard throwing righties with the downward plane over crafty lefties and it’s hard to argue with the results – it’s just taken a while.

Tony Watson comes in to get Gordon to ground into double play, ending threat. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Watson has been the Bucs’ best bullpen arm in 2014. Lots of folks I talk to feel he should be the closer and I can’t say I disagree.

Puig runs into right field foul line, takes a beating but catches sno-cone up against the wall, robs Barmes of another shot at the plate. Barmes finishes 3-for-4.

Melancon comes in with a 6-3 lead, bottom of the eighth.

Food for thought on Cole: After throwing 41 of 58 pitches for strikes through five innings, he threw just 16 of 30 before getting taken out of the game thereafter.

Back to Melancon, first time he moves back into set-up role with Jason Grilli on tap for ninth (barring a Dodgers’ rally here).

Martin with a great play on an Andre Ethier nuber (is that how it’s spelled?) in front of the plate. Martin throws Ethier out for an all-important first out with Puig and company coming up next. Hate to say this, but catcher Tony Sanchez would’ve had a 50/50 shot at throwing the ball into the right field corner. Sanchez helped to seal Wandy Rodriguez’s fate when he failed to take charge on a ball in front of the plate with the bases loaded in Rodriguez’s last game for the Bucs. Sanchez yielded to Wandy, who threw the ball off-line and allowed a run to score. Martin would’ve thrown the runner out at first.

Melancon strikes out Puig with a 92-mph fastball up in the zone. Puig does not flip his bat, just shakes his head and grimaces. Melancon then whiffs Ramirez looking. Bucs up 6-3 heading into the ninth.

McCutchen just misses connecting for the 200th home run allowed by Dodgers pitcher, Jamey Wright. Wright was the Rockies’ 1st round pick way back in 1993. His career has been long but not distinguished. Then again, anybody who pitches in the majors for nearly 20 years, let alone one, is pretty impressive.

Grilli comes in for the ninth.

Matt Kemp doesn’t run to first base after strikeout. The Pirates cut Craig Monroe for the same thing.

Grilli gives up a double right down the right field line before getting Scott Van Slyke to fly out to right field for the final out of the game.

Grilli threw his slider between 82-84 mph and his fastball between 91-93 mph.

Pirates entered Thursday with an 11-38 record in Los Angeles since 1999. They haven’t won a series at Dodgers Stadium since June 15 to 17, 1999.

Raise the Jolly Roger!

**

Treasure Life!
JT
@JohnToperzer
@PiratesTalk

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