Following an incredibly successful final homestand, the Pirates took the show on the road to St. Louis for a 3-game date with the Cardinals. Coming into this series, the Buccos were on the verge of clinching the league’s worst record, while the Cardinals were only a game away from being officially eliminated from playoff contention. With less than a week left in the season, the Cardinals had much more to play for than our Buccos.
Monday, September 27: The Cardinals pushed off elimination for at least one day, outlasting the Pirates at Busch Stadium by a score of 6-4. Matt Holliday went 2-3 with 1 HR and 3 RBI, proving to be the difference in the game. Fresh off the announcement of being named the N.L. Player of the Week, Pedro Alvarez went 3-3 with a homerun a 2 RBI of his own.
Charlie Morton pitched a decent ballgame, giving up 4 runs through 6 innings. While it was far from stellar, the Buccos’ starter still gave his team a chance to win. Despite the loss, the Pirates did have plenty of opportunities to tally more runs. Four different players accumulated multi-hit games, including Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, and Ronny Cedeno. This still wasn’t enough firepower to get the victory against the Cardinals.
Tuesday, September 28: Garrett Jones continued his recent hot streak, going 3-5 with 1 HR and 3 RBI, while Brian Burres pitched 5.2 innings of solid baseball, as the Pirates beat the Cardinals 7-2, officially eliminating their N.L. Central rivals from playoff contention.
Jones’ hero effort on Tuesday further hiked his average up to .251 for the season, as he was the only Pirate to have a multi-hit evening. While Neil Walker also added an RBI, the real knockout came off the bat of John Bowker in the 8th inning. The pinch hitter doubled to shallow center, scoring Ryan Doumit, Ronny Cedeno, and Alex Pressley, breaking the game wide open. With the victory, the Pirate evened the series at a game a piece, setting the stage for a rubber match on Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday, September 29: The Pirates continued their trend of poor offensive production in day games, as they were shut down 4-1 in the final game of the series at Busch Stadium.
Neil Walker had the lone RBI for the Bucs, hitting a sacrifice fly in the 9th inning to bring in Andrew McCutchen. Cutch had two of the team’s five hits, but there was never a serious threat to take the lead from the Red Birds.
James McDonald pitched a solid game for the Buccos, going 6 innings while only giving up 1 run on 5 hits, but the offense just couldn’t break through Cardinals’ pitching. Despite officially eliminating their division foes, the Pirates dropped yet another road series. With only one series remaining in the 2010 season, the Bucs travel to Florida for a 4 game set against the Marlins.
While it is impossible to erase the horrible road record for the season, it would be nice for the Pirates to end the year on a somewhat positive note by at least splitting the 4-game set, something that has proven to be nearly impossible for Pittsburgh this season.
Current Record: 56-102
And…As Always…Let’s Go Bucs!