Sunday, August 28, 2011

Game 133 Recap - Cardinals 7, Pirates 4

Another game that the Pirates could have won, but they didn’t Instead they were defeated by the Cardinals and dropped the series three games to one. I think a split of the series would have been the minimum with how the Pirates played (for the most part) this series, but once again it wasn’t taking advantage that killed them.

The game started off pretty well for the Pirtes. In the first two innings the Pirates banged out six hits and scored four runs. It looked like it was going to be a good day for the offense but over the next seven innings the Pirates managed only two hits, and that is how the game went.

The Pirates lost the lead for good in the fourth inning when the Cardinals broke a 4-4 tie with a sacrifice fly to score Kyle Lohse. The Cardinals tacked on a pair of runs in the seventh inning and that was all she wrote for the game.

Jeff Karstens really had a tough go of it today. He wasn’t hitting his spots and the balls were finding the holes and it forced him to only make it through 3.2 innings where he gave up nine hits and five earned runs.

Chris Leroux had another nice outing and go the Pirates to the sixth inning with 2.1 scoreless where he didn’t give up a single hit and only allowed one base runner. Chris Resop continued to have a tough slide giving up two runs on two hits and only managed to get one out before giving way to Daniel McCutchen who let the inherited runners score.

Josh Harrison was the star again on offense with a two hit games while every other Pirates starters but Garrett Jones had a single hit each. Again nothing was too flashy as the only extra base hit came from Harrison with a double.

The Pirates are now in a tough spot on the season. The team is now 15-28 since the All-Star break and now must win 19 of their last 29 games in order to reach the .500 mark and break the terrible streak that they have. If you have read or followed me for any time you know how I feel about the .500 mark. It is largely meaningless and doesn’t really mean that the Pirates are good, just average. I say that but also understand that .500 is a huge step for this team. This year the Brewers GM was on record as saying that getting to .500 was not the goal for the Brewers when they were in the same position as the Pirates were and he said that just lifted a huge weight off the team and franchise. It is never a goal for the team to finish .500 and while I still think this is only a 75-win team it would be a tremendous improvement for this team to get to .500. It should be interesting because the Pirates start a stretch of games against teams that are pretty bad. Tomorrow they head to Houston for three games before stopping back at home for one day (literally) to play the Dodgers then play three each against the Cubs, Astros and Florida. Important stretch where the Pirates can give themselves a real shot at .500 if they can play well.

This all starts tomorrow against a pretty bad Astros team.

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