The beginning of this series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals took a twist early that may have an effect on the final two games. Jonathon Sanchez started what hopefully will be his last game as a Bucco by giving up two solo home runs in the bottom of the first. Those shots were followed by a single. What happened next is when the strange events began.
Sanchez would hit Allen Craig. This led to the home plate umpire ejecting Sanchez and then Clint Hurdle after he defended his pitcher. Now Pittsburgh would have to use their bullpen for what amounted to a full game. While it only took three pitchers to complete the eight innings of work, one would figure that these pitchers will not be used over the rest of the series due to the high pitch counts they accumulated. It will be interesting to see if they decide to call up a pitcher from Indianapolis or just move Sanchez into the pen tomorrow since he only faced four batters tonight.
Now with one pitcher ejected and warnings issued, both teams were on a short leash when it came to hitting batters, think again. St. Louis would hit Starling Marte in the third inning and then again in the fifth. After the second plunking, hitting coach Jay Bell was tossed from the game for letting the home plate umpire know how he felt about the Cardinals not be reprimanded for their actions. Three innings later, Gaby Sanchez would be hit by the pitch and the umpire again did nothing.
While the Pirates were outplayed by the Cardinals tonight in a 9-1 loss, it did not help that the home plate umpire was also out to get them. While I am not a fan of Jonathon Sanchez, it is absurd to think the he meant to hit a batter that early in the game after giving up two homers. Lets hope that Pittsburgh can rebound from tonights disaster tomorrow afternoon at 4:15pm. A.J. Burnett will counter Jake Westbrook on the mound.
Record vs. Cardinals: 1-2
Record vs. N.L. Central: 5-4
Record on the Road: 5-6
Overall Record: 13-10
Let’s Go Bucs!