Sunday, June 25, 2017

Pirates Self-Destruct in 8-4 Loss to Cards

It was a quiet first for Mike Leake and Chad Kuhl; the Bucs went in order and the Cards went single, GIDP, whiff. In the second, the Pirates got a walk and paid back with their own GIDP while the Redbirds had some fun. Cool Chad gave up three knocks to open the frame (one an infield single that was originally - and wrongfully - ruled an out until reviewed). A pop up was followed by a two-run knock by Greg Garcia, who broke an 0-for-18 string (lefties love Chad). A whiff was followed by a web gem layout by J-Bell whom swam to the bag and slapped it with his mitt to just beat Matt Carpenter and save a run or two. Jordy walked to start the third and Eli doubled. Fraze's triple an out later knotted the game and he came home with the lead after J-Hay's sac fly.  JJ banged a double, but the Pirates ran out of hits. Chad tossed a clean inning.

Elias had a pair of hits tonight (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Cutch and Jordy singled with one gone in the fourth, moving to second and third on a wayward toss. The error cost as Eli lifted a sac fly to center making it 4-2. Kuhl kept dealing with a couple of punch outs. The Pirates went down in the fifth with a two-out JJ single as the action. The Redbird's retired streak ended at nine when Leake singled with an out followed by a Carpenter walk after an eight-pitch contest. No prob; they stayed where they were. Chad's given up six hits, but countered so far with six fans. Leake cruised through the sixth, and Chad, in unfamiliar waters pitching this late in a game, gave up a leadoff monster mash dinger to Randal Grichuk, who was just called up today. Yadier Molina followed with a two-bagger (greatly abetted by an off-target throw from Cutch), and Kuhl was yanked for Tony Watson. The Cards bunted Yadier to third and he was frozen by a whiff. Jeff Gyorko pinch-hit and dumped a routine-looking ball into right; JJ couldn't quite get there and it fell for a game-tying double. An intentional walk brought up Carpenter *gulp* and he got ahead 3-0, but Tony came back to get him on a fly.

Matt Bowman worked the seventh and was greeted by an Eli rap; two rollers moved him to third. Trevor Rosenthal got the call to face J-Hay and blew three heaters past him, of which only one was a strike; it wasn't one of Josh's better efforts. Juan Nicasio answered the bell and opened with consecutive walks (tho the first on a 3-2 pitch looked like both a strike and a swing, tho neither was called). After falling behind Grichuk 2-0, Juan hung tough and K'ed him after a nine-pitch tussle. Short-lived victory; Molina went with an outside fastball and sent it into right, scoring a run and leaving Cards on the corners. Nicasio got his grounder to short; Jordy booted it, so instead of closing the inning out, a run plated and Redbirds roosted on first and second. Make that second and third; Jhan Marinez came in and tossed a wild pitch. Mercer's bad day at the office continued as a grounder skipped under his glove for a two-run knock. Marinez finished it up after that, tho he did bop a batter.

Edgar fanned a pair in his inning of work (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Brett Cecil took the hill for the eighth; he and Edgar Santana traded clean frames. Seung Hwan Oh drove the final nail in the ninth.

The Buc gloves failed them today; there were several plays left in the field and the Cards took advantage of every one of them. And before you call for Clint's head for the way he juggles the bullpen, it easy to see why he doesn't have a lot of confidence in them as a group. As long as you're going to bring out Cgad every fifth day, you know that the pen is going to get to work early. The FO would do well to find a couple of guys - and they don't grow on trees - who Clint can hang a hat on. And one other point to consider: the Bucs staff is under new management when Eli catches. It'll take him a while to get the same framed calls as Cervy/Stew and obviously to figure out how to herd the cats who toe the rubber as he's never caught most of them outside of spring training.

  • JJ and Eli had two hits while Jordy collected a walk and a knock.
  • The last time Chad worked into the sixth inning was April 18th when he gave up two runs to St. Louis at Busch Stadium against Mike Leake. He had better luck then, getting through the frame and it remains the last time Kuhl has gotten more than 15 outs this year.
  • Randal Grichuk's 478' home run was the longest hit by a Cardinal in the history of Busch Stadium III, opened in 2006.
  • Dexter Fowler went on the DL a few hours before game time with a bone spur in his heel. The Cards recalled Randal Grichuk.
  • Austin Meadows is expected to miss a month with a hammy tear.

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