Hey, they couldn't win them all. And might as well get thumped so there are no regrets. And they did, 9-2. The Cards gave Charlie Morton his second W last night; the Bucs returned the favor to Jeff Suppan today.
The first couple of innings went on quietly, as Suppan and Brian Burres chugged along. But boy, once the wheels start to wobble...
BB walked the first batter in the third, got a pop out, and then out went the lights. Sir Albert homered and the next three guys all roped doubles; Steve Jackson came on to quench the flames. The Bucs had no answer in their half; it was 4-0.
With two outs in the fourth, Chan Ho Park gave up a single to Joe Mather, bopped Pujols with a pitch, gave up an RBI knock to Matt Holliday and then wild-pitched Albert home. Neil Walker singled and Pedro doubled him home in the bottom half; hey, 6-1 is manageable, right?
Sean Gallagher took over; a walk, two singles and two bunts later, the Redbirds managed to push home another run. Ronny Cedeno jump started the Bucs with a single, but got thrown out trying to stretch it; he was the only Pirate runner of the frame.
Wil Ledezema came on in the sixth. Sir Albert went long on him, and a walk, bounce out, and single plated another run. 9-1 is not manageable. JT and Walker singled to open the frame, but Garrett Jones ended the threat with a 4-6-3 DP.
Joe Martinez took the hill, and pitched a clean inning, giving up a two-out walk. The Bucs loaded the bases with nobody out; they got one run on a McCutch sac fly. In the last two innings, they had a chance to at least make it respectable, but...
The subs came in, but didn't bother Martinez. He pitched another clean frame, again allowing just a two-out runner. The Bucs went 1-2-3.
The Cards had two hits in the ninth against Justin Thomas, but a DP cleaned up that jam. The Pirates went down without a peep, as did their five-game winning streak.
And that's loss number 99...the century mark is lurking.
James McDonald will match up against the 'Stros' Brett Myers tomorrow night as Houston comes to town for the final homestand of 2010.
-- Oooops! After seeing a couple of reports that said Jeff Clement was expected to be scoped, Jen Langosch reported that he went under the knife and will miss up to six months. That puts a big dent in his hopes to win a job in camp and even if he can hang on to a spot on the 40-man roster.