Stop me if you've heard this one before. Pirates starting pitcher: three strikeouts, two walks, no runs. Opposing starting pitcher: six strikeouts, no walks, two runs. The Bucs continued to defy gravity today.
They drew first blood in the fourth after an RBI double by Lyle Overbay, then scored again in the fifth (and stop me if you've heard this one before, again) a homer by Neil Walker. Overbay and Andrew McCutchen hit consecutive ground-rule doubles in the ninth to score the third run. The Cardinals scored one of their own in the ninth after doubles by Lance Berkman and Yadier Molina, but that was it.
As MarkInDallas pointed out in the comments, the Pirates' pitchers are getting a bunch of luck right now with opposing hitters' flyballs dying in the outfield, and there were a couple more of those today, including one by Colby Rasmus that I thought was gone for sure. Pirates' pitchers have only allowed one homer so far this season, while there are five teams that have allowed 10 or more. When you're pitching like Charlie Morton did the other day and you never allow opposing batters to hit the ball in the air, then obviously you aren't going to allow any homers either. But Kevin Correia got nine flyball outs today. James McDonald had seven yesterday. Correia had seven on Opening Day. Ross Ohlendorf had 11 a few days ago (one of which left the park). It isn't like those are horrible numbers, and I'm certainly not complaining about seven shutout innings from Correia today, but at some point, the Bucs will start allowing more homers.
In the meantime, the Pirates are getting some luck. I'll take it. Evan Meek got through a 1-2-3 eighth, but still managed to look shaky doing it - he really hung a breaking ball to the first batter, but was fortunate that batter turned out to be Ryan Theriot. Then there was a liner and a deep fly ball. Also, Ryan Doumit got hit (audibly!) in the back of the head with a bat, and it appears he'll be okay - more luck.
The Pirates are now 4-2 heading into their home opener, and as the announcers pointed out today, Walker is going to get a hero's welcome tomorrow. The Bucs got great work out of Walker and the rest of the top of their order again today, and that, along with Morton's start, has been the most positive development of the year so far. Today Pedro Alvarez even joined in the fun, going 2-for-5 with a double and no strikeouts. Hopefully, he can build on that, starting tomorrow.