Correia, Walker Lead Pirates To Another Road Win Over Cardinals

By Zane Heiple

Photo Credit:  Getty Images

The finale of a three-game series between the Pirates and Cardinals took place this afternoon.  Kevin Correia and Chris Carpenter were both making their second starts of the year, and the Buccos would need another strong performance from Correia if they wanted to take two out of three from the Red Birds.  Josh Rodriguez made his first Major League start, giving Ronny Cedeno the day off at shortstop.
Lyle Overbay came around for the first run of the game on a Ryan Doumit double.  Overbay reached second base on an overthrow by Albert Pujols.  Neil Walker, who was coming off a three-strikeout performance, hit a solo home run in the fifth inning to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.
St. Louis starter Carpenter left the game after pitching six innings while giving up one earned run on eight hits with six strikeouts.  His mound opponent, Correia, lasted seven innings, allowing five hits, two walks and three strikeouts.  His pitching performance did more than enough to give the Buccos a chance to leave the “show me state” with two wins in three games.
Evan Meek came into the game in the eighth inning hoping to hold the lead for Joel Hanrahan in the ninth.  Meek showed signs of the set-up man the Pirates were hoping for today.  He struck out Ryan Theriot and had Colby Rasmus line out to right fielder Steve Pearce.  The only stressful out was a warning track shot to center field by Pujols.  Fortunately, Andrew McCutchen was able to track it down for the final out of the innings.  Cutch then scored in the ninth, after hitting a ground rule double, when Overbay hammered a ground rule double of his own to give Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead.
Hanrahan took to the hill in the ninth looking to finish off the Cardinals.  St. Louis didn’t go down without a fight.  A leadoff double by Lance Berkman gave the Red Birds a runner in scoring position early.  The first out of the inning came in way of an Allen Craig groundout to shortstop Cedeno.  Out number two occurred when Skip Shumaker grounded out to Walker at second base. 
The Cards finally got on the board when Yadier Molina doubled home Berkman home from third.  That wouldn’t be enough, though, as Daniel Decalso popped out to short, giving the Pirates a 3-1 victory.  Hanrahan picked up his fourth save of the year.
It’s great to see the Pirates’ pitching staff giving them consistently good outing over these first six games of the year.  While it is a long season, and I’m sure there will be some bumps down the road, these types of performances will make the Buccos a difficult foe for any team in the Majors.  Correia now sports a 2-0 record and a 1.38 ERA.  Tomorrow is the day we Pirates’ fans in the Pittsburgh area have been waiting for, the home opener.  Pittsburgh returns PNC Park with a 4-2 record, which I predicted on last week’s podcast, to take on the Colorado Rockies at 1:35pm.  Paul Maholm will be the starter in front of the home crowd.
Record Vs. Cardinals:  2-1
Record Vs. N.L. Central: 4-2
Record On The Road: 4-2
Overall Record: 4-2

As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Zane Heiple

Zane is Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands and a weekly contributor for Armchair Report on NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA related topics. He's also the smartest man in the world. Just ask him.

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