Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 7/1/12

The Pirates missed a bunch of chances this afternoon and came up just short of a sweep in St. Louis as a result.

Erik Bedard wasn’t very good (yet again) and put the Bucs in an early hole, serving up a solo shot to Yadier Molina in the second inning and a two-run shot to Allen Craig in the third. Much like on Friday night, though, the Pirates were able to battle their way out of a three-run deficit. In the fourth, Neil Walker singled, Drew Sutton doubled, Clint Barmes singled home a run, and Michael McKenry continued his torrid week with a three-run blast to left-center. Boom – all of a sudden it was 4-3 Bucs. In about a week, McKenry has gone from hitting below .200 to being one of the club’s more productive hitters (in a limited sample, of course).

Bedard recovered with a quick shutdown inning, but couldn’t do it again in the fifth. He hit a batter then allowed a double to give up the lead, and the go-ahead run moved up to third with one out. Erik got a huge strikeout to set himself up to get out of the inning, but #7 hitter Shane Robinson laced a single to give St. Louis the lead back. That knocked out Bedard and was a very disappointing missed chance for him after his offense bailed out his early struggles.

The Pirates had numerous chances to tie the game up again, but couldn’t get it done. McKenry and Josh Harrison were both retired after two reached with one out in the sixth, and that same duo failed to get things done in the eighth with men on second and third and just one out. McKenry, with a prime chance to tie the game, popped up and Harrison popped up as well.

The Bucs missed other opportunities earlier in the game as well. Alex Presley tripled with one out in the third, but Jose Tabata couldn’t ground one past the drawn-in infield. Tabata also bounced into a double play in the seventh, which especially hurt when Garrett Jones reached second on a two-base error later in the inning. Casey McGehee flied out with Jones on second to end that inning. McGehee was pinch hitting for the pitcher’s spot, because Neil Walker was curiously lifted from the game as part of a double switch in the fifth inning. Neil was 2 for 3 at the time, and the move really made no sense at all so early in the game (especially with Andrew McCutchen already on the bench for the afternoon).

Chris Resop, Juan Cruz, and Tony Watson did good work out of the bullpen today to keep the deficit at one run, but unfortunate it went for naught.

This was a very frustrating game to lose, and the Bucs certainly could have/should have had it for an amazing sweep on the road. Still, this was a successful series and road trip, and the Bucs still come home one game back and six over .500…with four games against the Astros on tap and their two best starters ready to pitch.

Notes:

  • Bedard recorded his 1000th career strikeout in the first inning.
  • Pedro Alvarez (#Daydro!) had another strong afternoon, going 2-for-3 with a walk. He was removed from the game after his last AB (a single), but the apparent injury was later determined to only be a cramp.
  • It sounds like McCutchen should be OK to play tomorrow (as of Sunday night). His presence in the lineup certainly could have made a difference today.
  • Eric Fryer finally got into a game, pinch running for Pedro after he came out with the cramp. He actually was forced to play LF due to a short (and used up) bench, but has some minor league experience there. No balls ended up heading his way during the inning he played.

Cardinals 5, Pirates 4 / Box / 2012 Record: 42-36 / Next: Monday, vs Astros, 7:05

MVP: Alvarez (+.172) / LVP: Bedard (-.453) / Key play: Fort’s HR

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

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