Mistakes cost bucs the W, Cardinals win 6-4
After winning 7-of-9 in the Pirates final home stand of the season, you hope some of that momentum carries through onto the final road games of the year. And it did as the Buccos battled the Red Birds but a few mistakes ended up being costly in the 6-4 loss to the Cardinals.
A mistake -an unfortunate act, an incorrect act or decision, an error, a misunderstanding
Unfortunately for the Bucs, the mistakes made during Monday night’s game ending up costing the Pirates their eighth win in the past 10 games.
An unfortunate act; Charlie Morton was pitching a pretty good game until the sixth inning got a little rocky. After intentionally walking Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday took Morton’s one bad pitch –a changeup– into the stands for a two-run home run that tied the game at four.
“I wanted it to go a little more inside,” Morton said afterward. “It just didn’t do anything. It stayed there for him, and he did what he does.”
An incorrect act or decision;The Pirates had the bases loaded in the seventh inning, one out, and John Bowker was up next. Manager John Russell pulled Bowker and replaced him with righty- Andy LaRoche. Two problems with this scenario. The first, LaRoche is a horrible pinch hitter and he has just one hit in his last 22 at-bats. The second, Reyes was allowing lefties to bat .307 against him. To replace Bowker (lefty) with LaRoche (righty) is mind boggling. Andy LaRoche hit into an inning ending double-play.
What was Russell’s reasoning for this move? Or what didn’t he use Young or Doumit’s bat from the bench instead?
“Ryan and Delwyn aren’t as efficient versus left-handed pitchers,” Russell explained. “Andy got a big sac fly for us [on Sunday], and he’s feeling better at the plate. We tried to match up the best way he could.”
“It would have been nice to push a run across there — at least one, maybe more,” Russell said. “We couldn’t do it.”
An error; In the seventh inning, a routine grounder was hit to shortstop Ronny Cedeno. His throw sailed way over the head of 6’4″ Garrett Jones and the Cardinals scored the go-ahead run.
“I’ve got to make that play,” said Cedeno, who has committed an error in three straight games. “It cost us the game. I have to be better than that.”
“I didn’t get a good route or get in a good position to field the ball,” he said. “I was coming in, and the guy can run. I’m trying to make the play, but it was bad.”
The Cardinals scored an insurance run in the eighth inning when Chan Ho Park’s pitch hit off Jay’s foot and flew to the backstop. Doumit tried to argue with the ump, but it was ruled as a wild-pitch. Re-plays clearly showed it was fouled off his foot. (Why didn’t John Russell argue that call, by the way?)
The crucial mistakes allowed the Cardinals to win the game, 6-4 –keeping them one game from being eliminated from the post-season. The mistakes also overshadowed some good performances on the night as well.
Pedro Alvarez –who was the N.L. Player of the Week– had yet another monstrous game. He went 3-for-3 with two RBI, a walk, and a homerun that was estimated to go 427 feet.
“I’m just glad I’ve been putting some good pieces on some good balls,” Alvarez said. “This game has slowed down a lot more. I’m just learning how to play this game at this next level.”
Charlie Morton –despite allowing the two-run homerun to Holliday– pitched a decent outing. Four runs on 10 hits, struck out four through six innings pitched.
“I feel like instead of finishing a game and being confused by what happened — and frustrated in general — well, now I know,” Morton said. “I made a stupid pitch. I didn’t execute.”
The Pirates have only four road wins since the All-Star break and need to finish the season 3-6 in order to match the worst road record set in 1963 by the Mets.