Found September 01, 2013 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
St. Louis Cardinals
New York Mets
A month ago, Joe Kelly helped the St. Louis Cardinals avoid being swept in a five-game series at Pittsburgh.Facing a more potent Pirates lineup with newly acquired slugger Justin Morneau on Sunday, Kelly looks to continue his recent success as a starter and again help the Cardinals avoid being swept in Pittsburgh for the first time in almost five years.Pittsburgh (79-56) outscored St. Louis 22-7 to win four straight before Kelly (6-3, 2.91 ERA) allowed three hits in six innings of the 13-0 victory Aug. 1 to help the visitors avoid the five-game sweep.The Pirates have outscored the Cardinals (78-57) 12-1 through two this weekend to move one game ahead in the NL Central race. A.J. Burnett threw seven strong innings and Neil Walker had three hits as Pittsburgh moved within three victories of its first winning season since 1992 with Saturday's 7-1 victory."It's a great feat," Burnett said. "It's been a long time, but our goals have been higher than that."Pittsburgh, however, must get by Kelly in order to sweep its first home series from the Cardinals since Sept. 12-14, 2008.Kelly is 6-0 with a 2.24 ERA in nine starts since joining the rotation July 6, and he's allowed three runs on two homers over 18 innings while winning three straight outings overall. The right-hander gave up a solo shot in the fifth inning and lasted one more frame during Tuesday's 6-1 victory over Cincinnati."He just keeps making good starts for us," manager Mike Matheny said.Kelly, though, faces a Pittsburgh lineup with newcomer Marlon Byrd and Morneau, who was acquired from Minnesota on Saturday in exchange for outfielder Alex Presley.Morneau, who played only for Minnesota since breaking in with the Twins in 2003, hit .259 with 17 homers and 74 RBIs in 127 games this season. He arrived at PNC Park in the middle of Saturday's game, but did not play."Everybody knows we got better with the addition of Justin," catcher Russell Martin said. "He's an ex-MVP. He knows what he's doing out there. He's going to give you a productive at-bat and he lengthens the middle of the order."Byrd, acquired along with John Buck from the New York Mets on Tuesday, is 5 for 16 with four RBIs for his new team.Allen Craig had two of the six hits Saturday for the Cardinals, who have totaled one run and 15 hits during a three-game slide that followed a stretch of nine wins in 11 contests."I like what our offense has done over the majority of the season," Matheny said. "You don't want to take a couple of games and start making conclusions. We're just going to keep going about it."Catcher Yadier Molina ranks among the major league leaders with .328 average, but is 2 for 15 in his last four games overall and 0 for 15 in his last five at Pittsburgh.Kris Johnson is slated to make his first career start for the Pirates in the finale. In his major league debut out of the bullpen, the left-hander allowed two runs and struck out five while pitching the 11th through the 16th innings of a 4-2 loss to Arizona on Aug. 18.
BEST OF MAXIM
The St. Louis Cardinals have a long history of draft success, a key contributor to the club being a perennial contender. When a talent gap occurs, the team has not been hesitant to step into the free agent market when necessary.
Of course, trades are the most common method of trying to improve a club instantly. A proven major leaguer is added who helps spur the team to greater heights...
Garrett Jones wasn’t happy this week. While hitting .119 for the month of August entering last night’s game (courtesy of some atrocious luck on balls in play–.119 BABIP), manager Clint Hurdle gave his first baseman “a couple days down”. Jones did not start in the Milwaukee series, and received just one at-bat in a pinch-hit appearance Tuesday.
“At first, it’s frustrating...
PITTSBURGH -- Slumping Garrett Jones hit his 100th career homer and drove in four runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis 5-0 Friday night and moved into a tie with the Cardinals for the NL Central lead.
Jones had three hits and Russell Martin added his 12th homer of the season. Jose Tabata and Neil Walker got two hits as the Pirates moved within four victories of their...
Gregory Polanco has been promoted to Indianapolis.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted top hitting prospect Gregory Polanco to Indianapolis, Cory Giger reports.
#AltoonaCurve OF Gregory Polanco, one of the #Pirates prized prospects, has been promoted to AAA Indy.
— Cory Giger (@CoryGiger) September 1, 2013
More to come.
With the news that the St. Louis Cardinals have acquired Brewers reliever John Axford, it’s the perfect time to check in with our friend Daniel Shoptaw of C70 At The Bat, and discern how the trade comes across from the Redbirds’ perspective.
The Brewers Bar: Axford has been a lightning rod for Brewers fans and Cardinals fans. Now that he'...
TOP OF THE SYSTEM
A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today. Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. Rankings are from the mid-season rankings, and links on each name go to their Pirates...
Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Pirates sent Jason Grilli out for the start of his minor league rehab assignment. It is the final step before Grilli rejoins the club in time for the September stretch. There were concerns at times that Grilli may not be ready before the end of the year, so getting him some rehab action now is important.
Tom Singer of MLB.com says the plan for Grilli...
New Pirates OF Marlon Byrd celebrated his arrival to the NL Central pennant race with a three-run home run, two standing ovations and a curtain call in Pittsburgh's 7-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on August 28. He has three hits in 12 at bats. Thrust abruptly into the middle of a pennant race, Byrd told PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko that he hopes to ignite the...
Hot News for P Tyler Lyons
Francisco Liriano has made the St. Louis Cardinals look foolish at the plate in 2013. When 100% healthy, Liriano is a fantastic pitcher, no one can deny that. Yet, the Cardinals are making it easy on him. There are things that must be done by the Cardinals if they want to have success against him. First, let’s take a look at his statistics against St. Louis in 2013.
The Pittsburgh Pirates looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 1992 added another bat to their line-up acquiring Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau in a waiver trade according to multiple sources. Earlier this week, the Pirates acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck from the Mets.
Morneau has posted 221 home runs and 860 RBI over 11 years...
Source: FanGraphs For as good as the Pittsburgh Pirates have been this year, they are not fans of sweeping teams. Today marked the second time in a month that the Pirates had a chance to sweep the Cardinals and ended up getting blown out in the final game of the series. There wasn’t much of…
(Follow me on Twitter @jim_krug; opening image credit rackcdn)
Morneau eyeing up his opportunity; image credit gannett-cdn
The once-slumping Pittsburgh Pirates just curb-stomped division rival St. Louis for the second time in 2 nights, wrenching away the hotly contested NL Central top spot in the process. Players were seen embracing new arrival 1B Justin Morneau, acquired earlier...
Good morning. It is September 1st, 2013.
With last night's win, the Pirates are 79-56. Since 1992, the Pirates failed to win 79 games in the following seasons*: 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.
Let's not mince words: 1999 is the year that ruined everything. The Pirates took a step...