The Cards scored in the first on a double by Allen Craig, but the Pirates tied the game in the third when Michael McKenry doubled to lead off the inning and Alex Presley hit a one-out double to the left-field corner. Charlie Morton had a walk and a hit by pitch to start off the fourth, though, and then Yadier Molina hit a ball off the Clemente Wall that Ryan Ludwick misplayed, bringing home both runners.
Morton stranded Lance Berkman in the sixth after he tripled to lead off the inning, and the Pirates got a run back in the bottom half when Presley and Derrek Lee (who had three hits on the day) both doubled. The Bucs had a chance to make some noise in the seventh when Pedro Alvarez led off with a single, but the Pirates bunted him over, then had the next two batters strike out. The eighth and ninth innings were strikeout-fests as well.
It seems appropriate that the loss that guaranteed yet another losing season was one in which the Pirates struck out 10 times and didn't walk once. In some alternate universe, the Pirates know how to control the strike zone. In that universe, Pedro Alvarez is a feared power hitter, Josh Harrison is six-foot-nine, the deadline acquisition of the hot-hitting Derrek Lee actually matters, and the Pirates are 82-67 and still in the hunt for the N.L. Central crown. That world is out there. I'm sure of it. Does anyone know anything about interdimensional space travel?
Whatever - I'm sure at this point I'm supposed to write something about how awful it is to follow a team that's had 19 straight losing seasons. Not for those of you who visit regularly (because obviously, you know how it feels) but for the rubbernecks who stop by this site once a year to feel happy that they get to root for the Reds or the Orioles or, you know, some other moderately-less-awful team. Well, nothing to see here. Sorry. And there's traffic backing up behind you.