Saturday, July 23, 2011

Game 98 Recap - Cardinals 9, Pirates 1

I believe the saying goes like so: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains. Today the Pirates lost, in a pretty big way, 9-1 to the Cardinals.

The game wasn’t much to talk about. Kevin Correia had another tough start as he gave up seven runs in 4.2 innings and even the outs he got were lasers hit by the Cardinals batters. He gave up eight hits and was done in by a horrid fifth inning that saw him give up a three run bomb to Lance Berkman and a solo shot to Yadier Molina. That put the Cardinals up by six runs and with the lineup that was on the field today that would have been asking a ton. Correia hasn’t been good and has not gone more than six innings in his last seven starts. He was pretty wild today and it didn’t work.

The Pirates lineup tonight gives you nothing to get excited about. It was a struggle of a night for the offense who only mustered up seven hits with two of them going for extra bases. The Pirates also grounded into three double plays tonight, which didn’t help the cause at all. Matt Diaz led all Pirates hitters with two hits to raise his average to .281 on the season.

So far through the first two days the Cardinals have taken it to the Pirates. They are clearly the better team so far and with guys like Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman in the middle of the lineup it makes it a hard club to beat on any night, let alone a night where your starter doesn’t have his best stuff. The Pirates have come a long way this year and this is a good start to the test of how far they have really come. Can’t say too much after only two games, but it hasn’t been pretty so far. There is a reason the Cardinals have ruled the NL Central in recent years.

If you were on Twitter tonight you probably saw that everyone has basically thrown in the towel on this season and it is sort of a head scratcher. The way people reacted tonight you would have thought this team was pinned to win the World Series this season and then are falling flat on their face. At worst the Pirates will be two games back, TWO, in the division in late July. Not really sure I am ready to prescribe the season as over because of two games, but to each their own.

A team that is mostly comprised of Brandon Wood, Chase d’Arnaud, Lyle Overbay and Josh Harrison have been able to go over a month without losing multiple games in a row. The last time the Pirates lost consecutive games was Jule 17-20 when they got swept by the Indians and then lost the opening game of a three game set against Baltimore. Look at the lineups the Pirates have had to throw up on the field and tell me this is “disappointing.” Too many people are ready to write this team off after losing two games in a row then you haven’t been watching much of this team all year.

There has been a lot of talk about who the Pirates should trade for and if they should make a big move and who they should get and who they should or shouldn’t give up. Let me just say one thing, one bat isn’t going to put this team over the top to be the odds on favorite to win the NL Central. Would a bat like Carlos Bentran help tonight? Sure as hell would. Would the Pirates have won the game if they had said bat? Hell no. Like my buddy Jon over the The McEffect said numerous times the Pirates are being built to be contenders in 2013, not 2011. This team came out of nowhere to shock pretty much everyone. If the Pirates are able to get a bat for cash and a not a top prospect then I am all for it. I am not willing to give up big prospects for a run at a division title that we might not have a great chance to win anyways. This is another subject for another day though.

Charlie Morton goes tomorrow. Buckle up, electric stuff.

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