After a nice win last night, and finally scoring runs, there might have been some thought that the Pirates could go in and steal a game from Adam Wainwright. I mean they have done it before any maybe it would be the spark they needed to go on a little roll and get out of this funk they have been in. No dice on that. When the series started I thought they had to win the first two games of the series to win it. That is how good Wainwright is and coupled with the fact that the Pirates offense has been more off than on recently it was a pretty good bet that they weren't going to be able to get the win.
Up until this point in the season Edison Volquez was the best Pirates starter. That still is probably true, although you could talk about Gerrit Cole, but today he had what I hope will become just a hiccup. He rolled through five innings where he allowed a pair of runs, but he kept it close enough to give the offense a chance to win. Then the sixth inning happened.
Things weren't going to be all that bad. With one out Yadier Molina bounced into what should have been an inning ending double play. The turn by Neil Walker wasn't all that good and it sorta, kinda pulled Ike Davis off first. He was called off and Davis swore he stayed on but there was no good replay so the call stood. What probably should have been the third out and no runs scoring turned into a four run inning. Ballgame.
The call was probably bad. I don't think replay is the problem because there was no good look at it. You can't overturn a call on a guess. It just seemed like it was the kinda play that has defined the Pirates over the last 15 games. The call didn't lose the Pirates the game, or that inning. Volquez could have stopped the bleeding with another out and went into the dugout scoreless (for the inning) and didn't. Things started to spiral and when you give Wainwright more than a couple of runs then it's game over.
The Pirates offense managed only three hits and struck out 10 times. It was pretty bad. They did have chances, but they didn't want to get out of their own way enough to do anything about it. In the third inning, with the game still only 1-0 St. Louis, Tony Sanchez got on with an infield single and then Volquez singled up the middle. Two on and nobody out with the top of the lineup coming up. I think you know what happens next. Starling Marte sacrificed bunted, Sanchez got thrown out at third, nothing came of the inning.
I actually kinda hope that Marte bunted on his own. If this was a call from the dugout then Clint Hurdle needs called out for it. Publicly. If you have enough confidence in your leadoff hitter, the guy that has the best probability to get the most plate appearances, to have him bunt with no outs and guys on first and second in THE THIRD INNING then he shouldn't be hitting leadoff. Hell, he probably shouldn't be in the game. I literally can't think of one good reason to have Marte bunt there. Sure, he has been struggling but giving away free outs like that is horrible. Marte didn't even get a good bunt down. Sanchez was thrown out at third. Basically Hurdle could have kept Marte in the dugout and said "hey, just put an out on the scoreboard, we're punting this one." It's really stupid and I wish it would stop.
The Pirates have an off day tomorrow. At least they can't lose.