Usually when I do game threads, the Pirates have creamed their competition in the games preceding my thread, and then they crash and burn.
In this series, though, the Bucs have blown leads or never got into the games, so they were coming in off three straight losses to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park this weekend.
Obviously, that was their signal to rip stuff up, and so they did, to the tune of 6-0 this afternoon.
The Phillies brought in Hans Crouse to start, who was pitching in Double-A Reading this time last week. Cole Tucker—yes, Cole Tucker—promptly welcomed him to MLB by bouncing his very first sinker in the Show off the right side of the right field foul pole to make it 1-0 Bucs.
Krammit Kranick had a solid day, going five innings with four hits, three walks and five strikeouts. The bullpen was also good, with Chasen Shreve, David Bednar, and Friend of BD Nick Mears collecting lots of grounders and only a couple of dinky hits. Chris Stratton is seemingly the heir to the Bucs’ closer throne and solidified his position with a 15-pitch ninth, with two Ks.
The Phillies’ pitching? After Tucker went yard, Crouse gave up another single to him in the fourth inning. What killed him—and the other Phillies pitchers—was walks. Collectively, Phillies pitching walked eleven Pirates. For a team teetering on postseason admission, that’s not good. Still, the score remained 1-0 until the seventh inning. With Jose Alvarado on the mound, Tucker walked, then advanced to second on a balk. Alvarado intentionally walked Bryan Reynolds.
Now Alvarado deals flames. A lot of his pitches are in triple digits. However, as I noted on Twitter:
It doesn't matter if you can throw a ball through a wall if you don't know what wall to throw it through.— Roberto Clemente Fan Account (@BucsDugout) September 26, 2021
This came into play when he threw a wild pitch that advanced the runners, then walked Colin Moran. Ke’Bryan Hayes came in to pinch-hit for Ben Gamel, and so he did—a double that brought home Tucker and Reynolds. Redbeard was tagged out at home, which prompted this exchange among the BD Commentariat:
Thunder: (Joey) Cora have a brain cramp?/And forgot who was on 1B to start the play?
FredClarke: that was a fan appreciation day perk
If it makes me snerk, it goes in the recap.
Funky Cold Medina replaced Alvarado in the eighth and continued the Phillies’ pitching fail. Hoy Park doubled, then J.T. Realmuto helped advance the fail with a passed ball to put Hoy on third. Medina then hit Anthony Alford and gave Tucker yet another walk. Yoshi Tsutsugo singled in Park and Alford for a 5-0 Bucs lead. The Pirates added the sixth run in the ninth courtesy of a Hayes single, followed by another passed ball by Realmuto, a wild pitch by Ramon Rosso, and another balk because LOL PHILLIES THAT’S WHY.
And for literally the first time in three months, the Bucs won while I was running a game thread. I was starting to get a complex.