The Pittsburgh Pirates opened up their final series before the All-Star break, and it just happened to be against the team they are looking up at in the standings, the St. Louis Cardinals. This four game series would be a great test to see how Pittsburgh stacks up against the premier team in all of Major League Baseball.
With pitching being at the forefront of this series, timely hitting would be important for both teams. The Pirates had an early chance to cash in with runners at first and third with zero outs in the first inning. Gregory Polanco would hesitate running home, which allowed St. Louis to get a second to home double play and ending any Bucco threat.
Pittsburgh would knock on the door again in the fourth with runners on second and third with zero outs. A hard line drive by Pedro Alvarez would be snagged by Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez who then threw a bullet to third to double up Jung Ho Kang.
That would prove to be the final threat by the Pirates on the night, as St. Louis would hit up Jeff Locke for four runs in the fifth inning. The inning possibly could have been avoided had it not been for Jordy Mercer botching a groundball hit by Xavier Scruggs.
The Buccos were able to collect one run in the bottom of the ninth when Andrew McCutchen hit a solo home run off the batter’s eye in deep centerfield for the 4-1 final.
This game showcased three of the things Pittsburgh has struggled with at times this season. Poor base running, the inability to collect timely hits, and defensive gaffes. The bad part was that all three occurred tonight and that is a formula for disaster against a team like the Cardinals. They now need to shower it off and get ready for game two of this four game series tomorrow night.
Record vs. Cardinals: 2-5
Record vs. N.L. Central: 14-21
Record at Home: 29-16
Overall Record: 50-35
Let’s Go Bucs!