The Gregory Polanco Show has officially arrived. Polanco has had a hit in every Major League Baseball game he has played, but the biggest one of his young career came last night at Marlins Park. After getting one hit in each of the games during his debut series against the Chicago Cubs, the Pirates wonder kid put four hits on the board against the Miami Marlins.
That should have been one of the key stories of the game. One of the other stories should have been that the Bucs cruised to victory behind starter Jeff Locke who went eight innings and walked none.
But in the ninth inning, Justin Wilson came on to clean it up. Big Willy walked two Fish….as Jason Grilli warmed up in the bullpen. Wilson got Garrett Jones to strike out which was the only out the southpaw was able to get. So when the save was in play, Hurdle went to Grilli.
An intentional walk to Giancarlo Stanton loaded the bases for Casey McGehee with the Pirates now clinging to a one-run lead. Mark Melancon came in to face the former Bucco McGehee. Mark the Shark went right at him getting two quick strikes and then never put another pitch close.
McGehee pumped his fist as he walked to first base and the tying run came home.
In one inning, the Bucs Shark Tank walked six batters. It doesn’t even seem possible. Finally, Melancon got Rafael Furcal to strikeout on a 2-2 count to get Hurdle and the boys off the hook. So in the tenth, Polanco came to the plate with two outs and two on. Polanco worked the Marlins stud closer to a full count. And then this happened.
Jeanmar Gomez was unreal as he kept the Marlins off the scoreboard, until the Bucs wonder kid was able to get another crack.
And oh, what a crack it was. Polanco saved the drama for his fifth hit of the night. With Clint Barmes on second base after a leadoff single, Polanco murdered a 2-2 breaking ball down the middle to give the Bucs an 8-6 lead. Sweet Baby Jesus! Polanco’s first home run of his career.
Not to be forgotten is the fact that he flashed some leather tonight as well. Polanco hasn’t shown great defense in his first four games in Major League Baseball. Defense was something that he needed work on, but he hasn’t played consistently in right field either.
The poor defensive start was noted by Neal Huntington as well as many fans that were able to see him play as he came up through the minors. It was a consistent point of contention as many clamored for his call up to the Pirates.
Well, with a catch like this it’s easy to see that defense is just going to take a little time to refine and it won’t be too painful watch him grow into the right field position. Polanco sprinted in on a shallow flare off the bat of Marlins Reed Johnson. Robbery.
In case you missed Benstonium’s Polanco video, be sure to check it out:
Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates