Originally posted on WHYGAVS?  |  Last updated 10/7/13
Due to circumstances well beyond my control, I got to watch none of this game until the bottom of the eighth inning. Being unable to watch the biggest Pirate game in the last 21 years is a particularly helpless feeling, given that until about 2 PM I thought that I was going to be able to sneak out of lab just after three and see the bulk of the game. Instead, all I could do was check my phone and hold my breath, hoping that Charlie Morton's stretch of zereos could continue and that somebody would get a hit off of Michael Wacha.  In any case, I don't have a lot to add beyond what was in the box score and I'm not sure that there's much to add, really. Before the game, Travis Sawchik speculated that Morton would need his changeup to keep the Cardinals' lefties in check and that seemed to make plenty of sense, but Morton kept the Cardinals down with the fastball/sinker/curveball mix that's been so good to him all year. He gave up Matt Holliday's two-run homer, but little else. I certainly would've taken 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball from Morton before the game started, because it was good enough to keep them in the game.  The problem, of course, is that Michael Wacha was just better. Any hope that the Pirates had of Wacha being rusty after not starting for so long or overwhelmed by the big situation was put to bed pretty early on, and Wacha cruised through five innings before even allowing a base runner. He averaged 95 with his fastball and got it up to almost 98, mixed with a 77 mph curve and his ridiculous 88 mph changeup. When I finally got to a computer, Justin Wilson was putting the Cardinals down in the top of the eighth and Wacha was still chasing a no-hitter. As it turned out, that chase only lasted one more batter; after Marlon Byrd struck out to start the eighth, Pedro Alvarez crushed his third home run of the series, Russell Martin drew a walk, and Wacha's afternoon was over. 7 1/3 innings, one hit, one run, nine strikeouts, two walks. It's awfully hard to win when the other starter goes out and pitches like Wacha does.  And yet, the Pirates still almost found a way. They got the tying run on base in the eighth and ninth, with Andrew McCutchen stepping up as the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth against Trevor Rosenthal. Unfortunately, he got underneath Rosenthal's 3-1 fastball just a little bit too much, and popped it up to Matt Carpenter for the final out.  This is why Sunday's game was so huge, of course. Being dominated by Wacha was always a possibility that existed once Wacha was announced as the starter for this game, and even though that's what happened, the Pirates nearly found a way to pull the game out. This all counts for very little, of course. Through four games, you could say that each game in the series has turned out an outcome that was relatively predictable beforehand. The recipe for a Pirate victory before the series would've been to win the Cole vs. Lynn matchup and the Kelly vs. Liriano at PNC matchup, then find one more win against either Wacha or in one of Wainwright's two starts. The Pirates still have one more chance to do that, on Wednesday evening. Clint Hurdle wasted no time after the game in naming Gerrit Cole as his starter for Game 5. Given the way Cole has pitched down the stretch, the way that Burnett has pitched in St. Louis, and the way the first two games of this series went, I think that that was pretty clearly the right call. Cole has the best shot at matching zeroes with Wainwright on Wednesday, if need be, and it very well might come down to that. The Pirates (and all Pirate fans, I would assume) wanted to avoid a Game 5, but that's not going to happen. Game 5 is coming and that's all that matters now. 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Chris Paul ‘despises’ Doc Rivers, had issues with treatment of son Austin

Report: Jimmy Butler recruiting Kyle Lowry to the Timberwolves

WATCH: Tim Tebow didn't waste any time homering after promotion

Nolan Arenado throws out runner from seated position

NFL fans in Florida seem to like Tom Brady more than any of their three teams’ players

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mayweather-McGregor fight is reportedly seeking a $10 million title sponsor

Terry Francona wearing heart monitor in case of another 'episode'

Albert Almora denies flipping off President Donald Trump during White House visit

Blazers post hilarious tweets after acquiring cash from Rockets

Chip Kelly defends Kaepernick: He was not a distraction

Steve Smith faces suspension should he unretire

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

Top NBA free agents available

Box Score 6/28: New York loses its zen

Although you have seen this start before, this season is no sequel for the Dodgers

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

Who won Wimbledon the year you were born?

Box Score 6/27: Monday is for all sorts of ballers

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

2017 is not another disappointing sequel for the Dodgers

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker