Pirates Rip Carpenter, Cardinals 7-0

By Chad Carlson
Photo Credit: AP
After tough losses in the first pair of games at Busch Stadium, the Pirates entered this afternoon’s game against the Cardinals limping their way to the end of the month of August, which has been a brutal and devastating one for the Buccos.  Lance Berkman’s eighth inning homerun last night clinched the victory for the Cardinals, sending the Pirates to a season-high 17 games back in the N.L. Central.
Brad Lincoln took the hill for Pittsburgh tonight, looking for his victory of the season.  On the other side, his on-mound opponent, Chris Carpenter, was aiming to continue his dominance against Pittsburgh, coming into today’s game with a 12-2 career record against the Bucs.
The Pirates jumped on Carpenter and the Cards early and often, acquiring a huge lead and never letting up, beating the Red Birds in front of their home crowd this afternoon by a final score of 7-0.
Despite his impressive statistics in the past, Carpenter’s success against Pittsburgh didn’t continue today, as he was tagged for six runs on nine hits through five innings of work, inflating his ERA to 3.76 for the season.
The Pirates used some two-out magic to get on the board in the second inning.  Garrett Jones reached with a double, and Josh Harrison singled him home, giving the Bucs an early 1-0 lead.
Carpenter’s day would only worsen in the fourth inning, as he gave up four more runs.  Andrew McCutchen led off with a double, and later scored on an RBI double by Jones.  Harrison smacked another RBI single, scoring Jones along with Neil Walker, who reached base with a walk.  Even Lincoln got into the fun, smashing a two-out RBI double to left center, scoring Harrison.  Pittsburgh occupied a 5-0 advantage at the end of the fourth. 
Walker added to the lead in the fifth inning with a two-out solo homerun to center.  The round-tripper was his 11th and his 76th RBI of the season. 
McCutchen’s RBI single came with two outs in the sixth, scoring Lincoln, who led off the inning with a walk, giving the Pirates a 7-0 lead.
The Cardinals had an opportunity to get back in the game in the bottom half of the sixth inning.  After Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday hit back-to-back two-out singles, Berkman drew a walk to load the bases for Skip Schumaker.  After a long battle, Lincoln struck out the Red Birds’ second baseman to end the inning.
That ended the day for Lincoln, who finished his six innings without allowing a run to the top-hitting team in the National League, while also earning his first victory of the season and the second of his career.
Following the last two nights in which the Pirates were competitive but let it slip away in the latter innings, it was nice to see the offense take out some frustration on a divisional opponent.  While the Pirates’ post-season hopes are gone, they can still enjoy the experience of playing spoiler against teams like the Cardinals.
Garrett Jones and Josh Harrison led the way for Pittsburgh today, each tallying three hits while Harrison had 3 RBI’s.  Lincoln pitched a very strong game against a tough offense, making a strong argument for his case to be in the starting pitching rotation in 2012.
Pittsburgh will look to carry over the momentum from this victory to tomorrow’s game, as they will look to split this four game series with St. Louis.
Record Vs. Cardinals: 6-6
Record Vs. N.L. Central: 31-30
Record On The Road: 31-33
Overall Record: 62-70
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

Leave a Reply