Monday, October 7, 2013

Wacha, Holliday Just Enough to Edge Bucs 2-1

Well, couldn't ask for a better start from two pitchers. Charlie Morton gave up a single and a walk in his first four frames; Michael Wacha gave up nothing. In the fifth, the Redbirds challenged. A single and a walk to the #7 and #8 hitters was followed by a bunt to move them up, but Charlie was equal to the task. He whiffed Matt Carpenter on a ball in the dirt to keep the goose eggs coming, while Wacha pit three more Bucs away.

In the sixth, the Cards did some damage. A Carlos Beltran walk was followed by a Matt Holliday homer, and St. Louis had the 2-0 edge. The Bucs at least got a runner when Russ Martin walked to open the Bucco half, but too no avail as he never moved off first. With Justin Wilson on the hill, the Cards went down in order in the seventh; so did the Pirates.

Wilson put the Redbirds away in the eighth, and the Bucs broke the ice when Pedro bombed a heater 438' to center. Wacha, a change up master, worked El Toro backwards, giving him the heat and paid. Another walk to Martin ended his day. Josh martin came on to run while the house was waiting to explode, but it wasn't to be.

Carlos Martinez, who pumps nothing but cheese, and Yadier Molina are a tough pair to run on, and they teamed up to nail Josh trying to steal, or maybe on a hit-and-run without the hit. At any rate, Harrison slid noticeably short of the bag, and that sealed the deal; it would have been close otherwise. Good intentions to get the tying run to second, but not very good execution. JT K'ed, and it was on to the ninth.

Mark the Shark whiffed a pair in a perfect frame, ended on a nice barehanded grab and toss by Pedro Trevor Rosenthal came on to close it for the Cardinals, and got two down before walking Neil Walker on four pitches. Cutch got ahead 3-0, took a strike, and then flew out to medium center, and now the series will be decided in St. Louis.

Great pitching both ways; there were only four hits rung up by both clubs. Unfortunately, as often happens to the Bucs, a walk cost them the contest. Morton gave up his homer after a walk; Wacha served his gopher ball before a walk, and that was the difference.  So it's on to the River City and a 5:07 PM date on Wednesday with Adam Wainwright to decide who goes on and who goes home. The Bucs will counter with their own ice-water youngster, Gerrit Cole. If you like High Noon drama in baseball, you've got it.

  • From ESPN Stats: Pedro became the second player to have an RBI in each of the first five postseason games of his career. The other is Nomar Garciaparra.
  • For the third straight game, the Bucs set a PNC attendance record with 40,493 in the house despite the time and the weather. 
  • The four combined hits by Pirates and Cardinals matched a record for fewest total hits in game since 2004's Cardinals-Astros match. Brandon Backe of the 'Stros and the Redbirds' Woody Williams started in a game that Houston won in the bottom of the ninth when Jeff Kent homered off Jason Isringhausen.
  • The Cardinals are the first team in postseason history to use three pitchers in a game all of whom were 23 or younger.


Anonymous said...

Great game today though we came out on the short end. Morton pitched well enough to win. The Cards are tough but so are we. Cole is, without a doubt, the right choice for Game 5.

I can tell you that REDS fans are solidly on the Bucco bandwagon right now. Its a combination of hating the Cardinals, the similarities of the markets, and the overall good vibe. The Baseball fan inside the REDS fan wants to see the Bucs win. I hear it every day when I wear the colors.

We will win on Wed.
Dave - Cincy

Ron Ieraci said...

All the NL Central teams are pretty close, Dave, with the Reds maybe a little behind in pitching, & the Bucs in hitting; St. Louis has the best balance. But as you note, it's a thin line. Nice to hear your guys are with us.

It should be an interesting fifth game; the last two games have been pretty tight, and I'd expect this one to be, too. Great match up on the hill.