Brillant Pitching Duels, Bucs lose in extras
Pirates lose in 10, 1-0.
Before the game even started, the odds were against the Pirates. Chris Carpenter was 11-1 with a 2.29 ERA lifetime against the Pirates. The last time he was beaten was way back on June 29, 2004, Sean Burnett was the winning pitcher. If that wasn’t enough, Albert Pujols has a career .369 AVG against the Buccos.
But these aren’t the same bucs we have seen all season long, they have been playing like a much different team since the All-Star Break.
Manager John Russell told the team before the game that the only way they had a chance to beat Carpenter was pitching and defense.
Both they did very well.
The pitching was brillant. Karstens rose to the task last night pitching six scoreless innings, giving up seven hits, striking out two, and walked none. He threw just 69 pitches, 50 for strikes. Evan Meek came into the game in the seventh inning, pitched two scoreless innings, walked just one batter.
Joel Hanrahan came in the ninth inning. He pitched a perfect ninth, striking out the sides. It should be noted that Hanrahan took over as the Pirates leader in strikeouts at 63 in just 45.2 IP, just nine less than what he racked up all of 2009. In an earlier post I talked about how Evan Meek was filthy and nasty, I think I may have to award Hanny with this as well as he has been disgusting all season long too.
Javier Lopez, his third straight day of relief came in to pitch in the 10th. Ryan Ludwick started with a lead-off hit, Yadier Molina bunted Ludwick to third, Brendan Ryan hit a grounder into the infield and Ludwick scored at home for the Wallk-off win.
That’s all it took. The Pirates lost 1-0. Talk about a heart breaking loss.
“The guys fought hard but just couldn’t find a way to get that run to put us over the top,” Russell said. “I was really proud of the way our guys played. They really got after it and just came up short.”
It’s unfortunate that the Pirates couldn’t give Karstens a win after pitching so well against Carpenter.
“I think the biggest thing tonight is that when they did get hits, they were singles,” Karstens said. “I just try and make the hitter’s aggressiveness work against them, be a little more aggressive than they normally would.”
The Buccos defense limited the Cardinals to just the one run. Together the team made some great plays, robbing the Cardinals of many hits and runs. Erik Kratz became the first Pirates catcher to throw out three base runners since Keith Osik on July 5, 1999. Jose Tabata made two spectacular sliding catches in left and Garrett Jones made a diving stop down the first base line to prevent and extra base inning in which the Cardinals had two on.
Chris Carpenter threw eight scoreless, giving up five hits, striking out six and walking three. He continues to own the Pirates, now lifetime 12-1, 2.12 ERA.
He threw the ball outstanding,” Russell said. “So did Jeff. It’s going to come down to that one play or one big hit, and they got it.”
It’s good that they see these guys,” Russell said regarding the rookies Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata and Walker facing a wealth of good pitching in this week’s span. “I’m sure in the minors they could watch guys like Carpenter and say, ‘Wow.’ Now, they’ve seen Jimenez, and they get to face these guys. You know it’s going to be a challenge, but it’s fun. I know when I faced Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Dwight Gooden or J.R. Richard for the first time, you go to the plate and it’s, like, ‘Oh, no.’ “
The Pirates look to seek revenge against the Cardinals today.
Daniel McCutchen (1-4, 8.58 ERA)
Jeff Suppan (0-4, 4.75 ERA)
McCutchen is expected to be re-called from Triple-A Indy to make the start tonight. It is his third start for the Buccos this season, his first since July 7th when he went five innings, giving up four hits, four runs, three homeruns, walking three, and striking out three.
Suppan’s start could be his last if he doesn’t perform well. He or Blake Hawksworth will be bumped from the starting rotation when Kyle Lohse comes off the DL from a forearm injury. In Jeff’s last outing he pitched six innings giving up 10 hits, five runs, three homeruns, walked three, and didn’t strike out a single batter.
Some other notes worth Noting:
- The Cardinals are 41-10 when they score first. The Pirates are just 10-46 when the Opposing team scores first.
- Yesterday was the first time since May 7, 2009 that the Pirates visted St Louis. It is the longest gap between two teams at one site in the same division since 1969.
- Ronny Cedeno leads the National League with the most doubles in July, hitting 10.
- Jose Tabata has a current 10-game hitting streak.