Bullpen Blows Five Run Lead, Pirates Drop Seventh Straight

It is no secret that the St. Louis Cardinals have been a thorn in the side of the Pittsburgh Pirates for many years now.  That fact was proven once again Monday night, as these two teams began a four-game series from Busch Stadium.  Pittsburgh jumped out to a five-run lead, but poor pitching from the bullpen led to a 7-5 defeat.

Mitch Keller pitched well during his 5.1 innings of work.  He allowed two runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk.  He was countered by Zack Thompson, who the Pirates offense hit quite well.  Thompson pitched five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

Those Pittsburgh bats got the scoring started in the second on a solo homer by Diego Castillo.  They would add to that lead in the fifth.  It started when Ke’Bryan Hayes hit an RBI single to right center.  A three-run home run by Michael Chavis gave the Pirates a five-run lead, and it looked like they were well on their way to a win.

St. Louis began their comeback in the sixth.  It started with a Brendan Donovan two RBI double to right.  They would tie the game when Dylan Carlson smacked a three-run dinger to right center.  One inning later they took the lead for good when Paul Goldschmidt hit a solo home run to left center.  The final run of the night occurred when Carlson was able to score on a fielding error by Yu Chang, Chang had played a great game in the field up to that point.

While the Cardinals bullpen struck out four Buccos and kept them off the board for four innings, the three pitchers out of the Pittsburgh bullpen didn’t have as much luck.  Anthony Banda allowed three runs on four hits, while only collecting one out.  Chris Stratton gave up one run on two hits with a strikeout during his 1.1 innings on the mound.  The eighth inning belonged to Yerry De Los Santos and he gave up one hit, an unearned run, and struck out one batter.

This was a tough loss, especially considering how difficult it has been for the Pirates to beat St. Louis this season.  Pittsburgh will have to bury this game quickly, because these two teams will match up in a split doubleheader on Tuesday.  Game one is set for 1:15pm, with game two at 7:45pm.  Hopefully the Buccos can at least get a split and snap this losing skid.

Record vs. Cardinals:  1-6

Record vs. N.L. Central:  9-20

Record on the Road:  11-18

Overall Record:  24-35


As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor