Game #1 Recap – Pirates 3, Red Sox 5

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Updated: April 3, 2017

Baseball season is upon us. The Buccos opened their 2017 campaign this afternoon in Boston, where they tried to rally but came up short of the Red Sox, 5-3.

 

  • David Freese: The Pirates’ third baseman for the foreseeable future played great today, picking up two hits and a run. He made plays when he needed to in the field, and by all measures looked like a capable starter to fill the shoes of the MIA Jung Ho Kang.
  • The Bullpen: Each Pirates reliever deserves credit for their appearances today after Gerrit Cole’s 5th inning implosion. Juan Nicasio, Felipe Rivero, and Daniel Hudson each gave up a single hit in their one inning of work. Hudson especially shined with three strikeouts in the 8th inning. If the bullpen is going to struggle this season, there was no foreshadowing of that on Opening Day.
  • Josh Bell: A late addition to the winner circle, Bell had gone 0-for-3 at the plate until the top of the 9th inning, when he nearly hit a homer over the Green Monster.Had his hit gone a foot or less higher, he’d have made it a one run game. Regardless, he did his job, as his leadoff double brought the tying run to the plate.

 

  • Gerrit Cole: The so-called ace’s aforementioned implosion cost the Pirates a win in Game #1. He was rolling through the first four innings, but hit some bumps early in the 5th that ended up taking him completely off the rails. With two outs and nobody on, Jackie Bradley tripled on an Andrew McCutchen misplayed bounce. Pablo Sandoval knocked him home in the next at bat with an RBI single, and Sandy Leon’s bunt-single in the next at bat sent a visibly angry Cole over the deep end. A visit from Ray Searage was not enough to calm down the starter, as Dustin Pedroia hit an RBI single on a 2-0 pitch before Andrew Benintendi blasted a three-run homer to make it a 5-0 ballgame. Cole gave up on more hit thanks to a Josh Bell misplay at first base before finally getting out of the disastrous inning. Final Line: 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 2 SO, 1 BB, 9.00 ERA
  • Andrew McCutchen: After an offseason of trade rumors, many expected Andrew McCutchen to make a big statement in Game #1, his first Opening Day in right field. He sure did make a statement – but it was a wholly negative one. Cutch went 0-for-4 at the plate, striking out three times, including one of the worst of his career in the 7th inning. He was no better on defense, misplaying a bounce in the 5th inning to play a part in the Cole fiasco, and later missing a deep foul ball that he beat by about a foot. (There may have been fan interference on that foul – it was not clear from the replays – but what was clear is the Red Sox fan in question is a jackass.)
  • ROOT Sports: The television feed from Boston was glitchy during the entire game (on Comcast at least), but the climax of their problems came early in the game when the video feed went out entirely. Also, as usual, their on-and-off use of the UPMC Pitch Tracker, especially on important borderline calls, continued to drive 93.7 The Fan’s Joe Starkey crazy.

 

 

The Buccos will get an off-day tomorrow, before continuing their series with the Red Sox on Wednesday evening. First pitch of Game #2 is scheduled for 7:10 PM at Fenway Park. Jameson Taillon will start for the Pirates.

 

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