My ad for base hits was answered with 12 responses!
Following are the notes I took during tonight’s game. I’ve edited some of the player names to clear up some shorthand, but it’s pretty much as I wrote it.
Top 1st: 6-3 to start. Greg Dobbs at 1st. Nice running catch from Logan Morrison for the second out. BB to Andrew McCutchen. Now there’s men on 1 and 2. Josh Johnson is taking a long time before his delivery. He’s nervous. He’s missing the corners. He just gave up a second base hit that put McCutchen across and left men on 2 and 3. Bad throw from Giancarlo Stanton. Tommy Hutton’s comment from the telecast: “When you’re struggling scoring runs, you can’t make those little mistakes.” Line drive to Hanley Ramirez gets them out of the inning. JJ isn’t overpowering anyone. There’s no fear in the Pirates lineup.
Bottom 1st. Kevin Correia takes the hill. 3-0 to Jose Reyes to start off. Draws a 1-strike walk. Omar Infante draws the 5th ball. Infante grounded to third for the force at 2nd. He barely beat the double play. Hanley Ramirez looked at the first two strikes, but roped a ball to the left-field corner double that drives Infante home. Infante was running on a hit-and-run. Correia throws three balls to Morrison. After taking the obligatory meatball, he draws the walk. Correia is missing down low. Stanton hit an unlucky line drive to the shortsop’s glove, and the inning ended with a shovel to second to nail Hanley on the tag-up.
Top 2nd. Alex Presley K’s on two straight fastballs up. High fly ball to Stanton for out #2. The side is retired when Correia grounded out to Hanley. It almost got past him.
Bottom 2nd. Dobbs grounded out to 2nd for the first out. Beeeyoootiful three-bagger for Bonifacio! 1st pitch schlubber to short wastes John Buck’s AB. On the next pitch, JJ strands Bonifacio with a dribbler to second.
Top 3rd. Top of the order. Texas-leaguer puts Jose Tabata on first. I think John Buck is setting up too far outside. Neil Walker hits an unremarkable grounder to right field. Men on 1st and 2nd. Very nice low & away fastball puts McCutchen away. JJ is taking advantage of being ahead in the count. The Infante-Reyes combo strikes! 4-6-3, and the side is retired!
Bottom 3rd. Top of our order. Full count to Reyes ends with a looking K on a questionable inside pitch. Infante followed up with a perfect 3rd base bunt from Infante. BTW, Foxtrax and the radar in the ballpark are busted. Hanley tallies the 2nd out by flying out to McCutchen. Logan Morrison hit into a simple force out at 2nd to end the third.
Top 4th. JJ finally hit the black. Off-the-fence leaping catch from Stanton saved a double. Not much vertical leap with young Mr. Stanton. Good hustle from JJ, tagging out the runner on a dribbler down the first base line for the second out. Good off-balance throw from Reyes to Dobbs ends the third, 3-up, 3-down.
Bottom 4th. Stanton walks. Correia checks him by stepping off, as if he could steal. Another nail goes into the Gaby Sanchez coffin when Dobbs singles to left, advancing Giancarlo, bringing up Bonifacio, who singles to right, loading the bases. Let’s see if Buck can show some patience. Nope. He fouled off a high and tight pitch. After a ball, his bat is stuck to his shoulder. Then, a miracle. Buck flared a single to right-center to score two. Dare I dream? Mound visit. JJ sac. bunted Buck over to 2nd. Smell the panic? Intentional 4th ball to Reyes to load the bases and bring up Infante. A seeing-eye grounder between 3rd and SS scores two! Hanley doubled off of the left field wall, scoring Reyes. Infante got nailed at the plate for out #2. C-ya, Correia. Bring in Chris Resop to face LoMo. Morrison goes down looking at Resop’s lively fastballs.
Top 5th. Can of corn to Stanton. 1 down. JJ’s arm is waking up. He just K’ed batter #2 with serious fastballs. Tabata lunged after two pitches for out 3. 1-2-3.
Bottom 5th. Stanton put pieces of his bat into the dugout, and still sent the ball into right field for a single. Dobbs flied out to left for out #1. Bonifacio grounded to SS, forcing Stanton, but he reaches. Boney registered #19 on the first pitch, without seeing his stretch motion. Buck walked. JJ flied out to left to end the inning.
Top 6th. Routine 3-1 grounder for out 1. McCutchen up for a base hit to left-center., and subsequently stole second. Fly out for out #2. JJ at 89 pitches. Beautiful fastball across the outside black to end the half on a looking K.
Bottom 6th. Reyes leads off., and looked at two straight strikes, and then grounded out to the first baseman. Resop starts with a nice curve ball to Infante. He sends the next pitch up the middle for an infield single. Hanley outhustled a high-spin dribbler that started foul and spun fair to put men at first and second. Excellent effort by Hanley Ramirez. Just shows that if you watch baseball long enough, you’ll see everything. Morrison’s AB goes to 2-2 before he goes down swinging. Stanton was a bit early on his first pitch (!) and flied out to left-center.
Top 7th. First batter K for JJ. 6th K. 1-3 for out 2. Michael McKenry homered to left. 6-2 Fish. Grounder to 2nd to retire the side.
Bottom 7th. Tony Watson (Cornhusker!) pitching for the Bucs., Dobbs leads off with a check-swing K. Edwin Mujica up in the ‘pen. Bonifacio is patient and draws a walk. Let’s see if Buck can move him around. Donnie Murphy up to PH, so JJ is done after 7. Will he get the win? Only the bullpen will tell. Watson has a difficult motion. Boney staying put. Buck K’ed; 2 down. Boney still nailed to 1st. Watson misses a few to Murphy for a walk. Up comes Reyes. He flied out to right to end the inning.
Top 8th. Mujica in. Fly balls to left and right account for the first two outs. Infante faded back to right-center to nail the third out.
Bottom 8th Jared Hughes in for the Bucs. Infante smoked a base hit to left. Hanley hit to the third baseman for the DP. A fly ball to left ended the inning.
Top 9th. Three outs to go, and Randy Choate comes in to slam the door. Pedro Alvarez is the leadoff hitter. Wicked breaking ball coming out of Choate tonight, and Alvarez goes down in a 4-3. Another lefty, Garrett Jones, comes up to the plate and grounds out. Will Choate get to finish? Unbelievable transfers and throws out of Reyes tonight on defense. Choate stays in to face Clint Barmes, and finishes the game with a swinging K. Congratulations to Josh Johnson for his first win since April of last year!
Tonight, the Marlins looked like a team that could be close to the top of the NL East. The game was a confidence builder, for players, managers, and fans. The trip to Atlanta will be a crucible. If we can continue to hit, we will continue to win. I’m looking forward to shutting down Dan Uggla‘s bat, and forcing three errors into his stats of the trip.
Topics: Alex Presley, Andrew McCutchen, Atlanta Braves, Chris Resop, Clint Barmes, Dan Uggla, Donnie Murphy, Gaby Sanchez, Garrett Jones, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Dobbs, Hanley Ramirez, Jared Hughes, John Buck, Jose Reyes, Jose Tabata, Josh Johnson, Kevin Correia, Logan Morrison, Miami Marlins, Michael McKenry, Neil Walker, Omar Infante, Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates, Randy Choate, Recent, Tony Watson