Pirates vs. Cardinals Rap-up

image from espn.com

image from espn.com

Pirates 7 Cardinals 4

Pirates 1 Cardinals 2

So I’m going with a change of format to save my sanity during the baseball season.  I’m going to go with one series recap instead of a daily game recaps.  That should give me a bit of spare time to do some odds and ends posts as well.

Game 3 was defined by Zach Duke having a good game.  Duke went 6+ innings with 5 hits, 3 runs (1 earned), 4 K’s and 2 walks.   A pretty good outing to be sure.  But that would be just about average to most pitchers in this league.  Everyone is praising Duke because, after last year, not sucking TOO much is a reason to celebrate.  That’s a pretty sad state of a team when that kind of attitude creeps in.  I think he had a decent outing.  The bats really came around and gave him some breathing room, and we come out with the victory.  Pretty standard.  I’m more excited by how the Pirate bats are progressing more than I am by Zach Duke.  We seem to be playing a lot more small ball this year that I ever remember, and that’s how you build up consistency.  I think this is the way a small payroll team like the Bucs competes.  A bunch of pesky hitters that find holes in the defense and get walks and just consistently prick you for runs.  It’s really annoying to play against and not the most exciting to watch, but if it wins I’ll take it.

Game 4 was a different story.   The bats were mainly silenced due to an absolutely outstanding performance by Chris Carpenter.  Every team has games like this where you just run into a pitcher on a great day.  You just gatta come back stronger against Cincinnati.  Ohlendorf had a decent outing (6 innings, 7 hits, 2 runs both earned, 1 walk, 1 K).  I’d like to see less hits but I’ll take it (especially from this staff).  That makes 3 good outings by Pirate starters out of 4 this series.  If we keep that up, we’ll be in good shape.  The bats got demolished for one hit all game.  One friggin hit.  We got our only run by a walk, a few productive outs and a throwing error (no hits).  I guess the silver lining is that we can still manufacture a run without even registering a hit.  I’m positive that teams of a few years couldn’t do that.  Just remember all of those base running errors in years past.

I think we had a solid outing in St. Louis.  We split a series with a very good Cardinal club, and it’s not because they played down to our level.  The pitching staff gave me some unexpected reason for hope.  The only real low notes were Ian Snell and Andy LaRoche.  We’ve got a lot of help behind LaRoche at 3rd, but Snell’s can’t pitch like that all season.  Other than that, however, I’m pleased.  Lets see if we can keep that up.  If we continue to play this well in Cincinnati, we’ll be in great shape heading into the home opener.

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