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After a terrible start to their first road trip of the 2012 season, the Pirates are actually playing pretty good baseball.  And they’re scoring runs!  After beating the San Francisco Giants last Sunday to snap a five game losing streak, they took two of three games from the Arizona Diamondbacks to conclude their west coast run.  While the Bucs finished with a 3-6 road trip, it could’ve been worse.  A lot worse.

The Pirates continue the toughest April schedule in the National League tonight at PNC Park as they host the defending World Series champions St. Louis Cardinals.  The Cards, minus Albert Pujols, are playing pretty well this year…a 9-4 mark and a first place slate in the N.L. Central early on.

Can the offense continue to progress for Pittsburgh?  Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker have been carrying the load recently, while fans are praying that Pedro Alvarez turned a corner on Wednesday with his second homerun of the season.  If they are to have a successful series this weekend against the Cardinals, players like Rod Barajas, Clint Barmes, and Jose Tabata need to have an impact on the offensive end.

Thus far, the Pirates have won two series and lost two series.  After what is considered by many to be their most difficult road trip of the entire season, the Bucs, and their fans, must be happy to be back in Pittsburgh playing at PNC Park.

Cardinals (9-4) vs. Pirates (5-7)

About the Cardinals…

9-4 Record, 1st In N.L. Central

Last Series:  2-1 Series Victory vs. Cincinnati Reds

Pitching Matchups:

4/20 – Lance Lynn (STL) (2-0, 1.50 ERA, 13 K, 3 BB, WHIP 0.75) vs. Charlie Morton (PIT) (0-0, 5.40 ERA, 2 K, 0 BB, WHIP 1.40)

4/21 – Jake Westbrook (STL) (2-0, 0.64 ERA, 4 K, 5 BB, WHIP 0.86) vs. Kevin Correia (PIT) (1-0, 1.50 ERA, 5 K, 3 BB, WHIP 0.83)

4/22 – Kyle Lohse (STL) (2-0, 0.89 ERA, 11 K, 2 BB, WHIP 0.59) vs. Erik Bedard (PIT) (0-3, 2.65 ERA, 10 K, 6 BB, WHIP 1.35)

Quote From Both Sides:

[box_dark] “We have five very good pitchers, I feel, going out starting games, and I’m the only guy that’s not giving our team a great chance to win right now.  I take that personally.” [/box_dark]

-Adam Wainwright on his early season struggles on the mound

[box_dark] “I absolutely love one-run games that we win.” [/box_dark]

-Clint Hurdle on the Pirates’ season so far, playing eight one-run games.

The Pirates look to gain some ground on the Cardinals in this, their second series at PNC Park.  Check back here for recaps and reactions to every Pirates’ game from us, the Fans From The Stands.

 

And…

As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!