PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 22: Neil Walker #18 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws his helmet after striking out against the St Louis Cardinals during the game on April 22, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Oh joy, another six-hit performance. Kyle Lohse must feel like a champ right now -- he's been pretty much the definition of an average starting pitcher throughout his career, but after today's seven-inning, five-strikeout, zero-walk performance, he still has an ERA below one. Leave it to the Pirates' offense to keep these sorts of fluky performances going. If you're an opposing starting pitcher, you don't even have to do much -- just avoid making glaring mistakes, and you can enjoy the results.
For the second straight game, the Pirates loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning. Yesterday, A.J. Burnett escaped unscathed, but this time, Erik Bedard allowed a run when Rafael Furcal scored on a Carlos Beltran double play. Furcal led off with a double in the third and Tyler Greene walked, and both eventually came home on a single by David Freese as the Cardinals took a 3-0 lead.
At this point in the season, obviously, a 3-0 deficit is very frustrating, because even with six innings left, the chances that the Pirates can come back from it feel so tiny. Bedard didn't have his best game (there were constantly runners on base, even though he struck out seven), but the three runs he gave up over seven innings shouldn't have put the game out of reach. Unfortunately, though, that's where the Pirates are right now. Oh well! Bedard has lost all four of his starts so far despite a 2.63 ERA. The lack of offense is hard to even comment on constructively. When the Bucs' fifth through seventh hitters (Garrett Jones, Pedro Alvarez and Clint Barmes this time) go 0-for-10, what can you do? And what can you really say about it when two of those three guys are in the oh-fer crowd almost every night?