The Pittsburgh Pirates have some history with Michael Wacha. Over the years, Wacha has looked almost perfect against the Bucs in some of the biggest games. This afternoon, it was nearly unhittable, stifling the Pirates hitters and holding a no-hit bid until the ninth inning. The St. Louis Cardinals jumped in front early and coasted to an easy 5-0 victory at Busch Stadium.
Pittsburgh has now lost five straight series, and in those series, they hold a 5-12 record. They are now just one game over .500, and after a great start against the N.L. Central, they are now just 14-12 against their division.
Nick Kingham started for Pittsburgh, falling to 2-2 on the season after giving up four runs (three earned) on four hits through five innings. Steven Brault pitched two scoreless innings, while Michael Feliz gave up a run in the eighth. Richard Rodriguez, a day after giving up the game-winning homerun, came in and recorded the final out of the eighth inning.
Wacha was the story, though, taking a no-hit bid into through eight innings until Colin Moran singled to lead off the ninth inning. Wacha was pulled from the game to a rousing ovation. Austin Meadows also singled in the ninth, but the Bucs couldn’t muster another comeback, losing their fifth straight series.
St. Louis jumped on Kingham immediately in the first inning. Matt Carpenter led off with a walk and Tommy Pham singled. Jose Martinez the came to the plate and hit a ground ball to Sean Rodriguez, setting up for a routine double play. Rodriguez bobbled the play and tossed a weak throw over to second base. Everyone was safe, and the bases were loaded with no one out. Marcell Ozuna stepped to the plate and hammered the first pitch he saw over the fence in left field for a grand slam.
The Cardinals would add a fifth run in the eighth inning, but that was adding insult to injury as the Pirates couldn’t even get a hit much less a run against this team.
Things are looking bleak for the Pirates right now. They can’t seem to put together a solid baseball game on back to back days. Their starting pitching is unreliable, as is their defense and their offense. Rodriguez has been terrible and shouldn’t play anymore. Kingham, while certainly holding his own at the Major League level, is still figuring things out on the mound and is very vulnerable against good teams.
After a much-needed day off, the Pirates will return to PNC Park for a three game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, beginning Tuesday night. Ross Stripling will make the start for the Dodgers against Joe Musgrove for Pittsburgh.
Record vs. Cardinals: 5-5
Record vs. N.L. Central: 14-12
Record on the Road: 13-16
Overall Record: 30-29
Let’s Go Bucs!