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Well here we are again.  After the first month of the 2012 season, the Pirates are exactly where they were last year.  They have a 10-12 record, and their starting pitching has been stellar, while their offense has been lacking significantly all season.  Until recently, that is…

The Bucs’ bats exploded yesterday at Turner Field in the final game of a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves.  Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker each had strong appearances at the plate in Atlanta, and they, like the rest of the team (and the fans) hope that this can carry over into their series against the St. Louis Cardinals, beginning tonight at Busch Stadium.

The Cards, despite losing Albert Pujols in the offseason, and Lance Berkman being on the disabled list, lead the N.L. Central by a rather comfortable margin for this part in the year.  The Pirates, along with the rest of the division, are a handful of games back, and are still trying to find their stride.  The Cardinals took two of three from the Bucs when the two faced off weeks ago at PNC Park.

Pirates (10-12) vs. Cardinals (14-8)

About The Cardinals…

14-8 Record, 1st In N.L. Central

Last Series:  2-1 Series Victory Vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Pitching Matchups:

5/1 – Charlie Morton (PIT) (1-1, 2.65 ERA, 10 K, 4 BB, WHIP 1.24) vs. Adam Wainwright (STL) (0-3, 7.32 ERA, 21 K, 5 BB, WHIP 1.47)

5/2 – A.J. Burnett (PIT) (1-1, 1.38 ERA, 15 K, 5 BB, WHIP 1.08) vs. Lance Lynn (STL) (4-0, 1.33 ERA, 24 K, 6 BB, WHIP 0.81)

5/3 – Erik Bedard (PIT) (1-4, 2.48 ERA, 26 K, 12 BB, WHIP 1.41) vs. Jake Westbrook (STL) (3-1, 1.30 ERA, 15K, 7 BB, WHIP 1.01)

Quotes From Both Sides:

[box_dark] “He has been counter-punching good.  These guys know, based on video they see, what he’s been doing.” [/box_dark]

          –Clint Hurdle on Charlie Morton’s effectiveness this season

[box_dark] “We’re shooting ourselves in the foot and we need to remedy that quickly.” [/box_dark]

          –Lance Berkman on the Cardinals’ current trend of losing close games

The Pirates will begin just their second series of the season against an N.L. Central opponent.  The first series, against St. Louis, was played at PNC Park in April.  The Cardinals took two out of three games.  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!