Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cards Take Series 5-1

The Pirate sticks took yet another day off and wasted a decent effort by Erik Bedard to drop the rubber game to the Cards 5-1 this afternoon in front of 30,437 chilled fans.

Bedard took awhile to find a rhythm.  In the first, Rafael Furcal golfed a low, two-strike off speed pitch into center and Tyler Greene bunted for a knock with Pedro Alvarez playing back. Matt Holliday fell behind 1-2, and watched the next three pitches miss to load the bases. Carlos Beltran grounded into a 5-4-3 DP, giving St. Louis a 1-0 lead.

The Cards wasted a led-off double in the second, and opened the third with a Furcal double and Greene walk, again after falling behind 1-2. A fly ball moved Furcal to third, and a passed ball put Greene at second. Carlos Beltran struck out, but David Freese, after falling into an 0-2 hole, worked the count full and lined a heater into right to put the Cards up 3-0.

Bedard tightened up after that, issuing two works and surrendering two knocks over the next four frames, but his teammates provided no help. The Bucs never had more than one runner aboard through the first seven innings, and the score stayed 3-0 into the eighth.

He went seven, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and four walks with seven Ks. Chris Resop threw a clean eighth, and the Pirates mounted their only offense of the day in their half. McKenry led off with a double on a 1-2 sinker and Casey McGehee singled him home. In came Mitchell Boggs, and he got nate McLouth on a liner to center and polished off the frame when he turned a Jose Tabata comebacker into a DP.

Evan Meek climbed the hill, and the Redbirds made sure there was no late inning drama. After an out, he gave up a walk and back-to-singles, followed by a first-pitch, two-out knock by Holliday, and it was 5-1. Meek threw 26 pitches, and only a dozen were strikes. Kyle McClelland shut the door in the ninth.

Not much good to take out of today's game. Bedard again managed the game OK, but he had several opportunities to put guys away when he was ahead of them in the count and didn't. The Pirate offense shows no sign of improving, collecting six hits and no walks against the Cards.

The Bucs played five guys that were hitting under .200 today. In fact, pitcher Bedard's .125 average is higher than Clint Barmes (.089) and Pedro Alverez's (.108) BAs. Pittsburgh averages two runs scored per game; the NL averages four.

The team went into today with a line of .203/.253/.283. That's last in every category in the NL, and not by a small margin. The league line is .242/.310/.378. heck, they're even last in walks drawn, with just 25 in fifteen games.

RHP Kevin Correia is expected back on the bump tomorrow against the Rockies' ageless wonder, LHP Jamie Moyer. The Rox, 8-7, just took 2-out-of-3 from the Brewers at Milwaukee.

  • Bedard became the first Buc to toss a hundred or more pitches in a game this year with 102 offerings.
  • The Pirates have scored three runs for Bedard in four outings. That explains how a guy with a 2.63 ERA is 0-4.
  • Chase d'Arnaud is still out of action with a concussion he received after being beaned last week.


WilliamJPellas said...

This team's "offense" is bad beyond belief. All of which reflects badly on Clint Hurdle, who was of course a hitting coach before he became a manager and who is thought to be, in general, a guy who can help hitters achieve more. Or at least, the kind of manager who helps to create an environment or a team culture in which hitting can flourish.

I suppose the knee jerk reaction would be to blame Pedro for everything. You know: if it wasn't for him dragging the whole lineup down with him, etc. But this team's problems go way, WAAYY beyond him. Jose Tabata has gone over a cliff. Clint Barmes, heretofore a steady if unspectacular hitter, looks helpless. Rod Barajas is barely any better. All 3 of these guys are veterans now, especially the latter two. If either or both of them has "suddenly gotten old", the Pirates are in serious trouble this year. There's very little in the way of potential immediate replacements behind them.

Ron Ieraci said...

Early, Will, but the lack of both power and patience are pretty obvious already. There are still a lot of spots open on the club, I think.