What an exhausting series. The Cardinals beat the Pirates 6-5 in 12 innings after Bryan Morris allowed a walk-off single to Matt Holliday.
I have to start a shift at MLBTR right now, so I don't have time to do a full recap, but there's lots to discuss. Bad strike-zone calls, bad managing, A.J. Burnett struggling, Andrew Lambo's first career hit, Starling Marte's first-inning TOOTBLAN, Tony Watson's terrific relief work, homers for Clint Barmes and Russell Martin ...
UPDATE: Yeah, so ... this game. I'm too tired now to do much with it, but some notes:
-P- Marte's decision to try to steal third off Yadier Molina with two outs in the first and Pedro Alvarez at the plate was just a horrible, horrible decision. At the time, I joked that Marte must have been doing that because of all the infield singles Alvarez hits, and sure enough, in his next at bat, Alvarez hit an infield single.
-P- Marte shouldn't have been sacrificing with a man on second in the seventh, either.
-P- The strike zone in this game was truly bizarre.
-P- Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett are clearly brothers in not caring less about hitting.
-P- It was hard to watch Burnett come apart in the fifth, just after the Pirates had built a 4-0 lead in a big game in a huge series.
-P- Despite Russell Martin's game-tying homer in the eighth, I'm not sure if I was ever convinced the Pirates would win this one.
-P- Tony Watson is a mensch.
-P- I get that it needs to be all-hands-on-deck in a 14-inning game, but man, I hate seeing Bryan Morris pitch in important situations. He never strikes out anyone, which means that the game is almost entirely in the hands of the Pirates' defense. Which I suppose isn't the worst thing in the world, but still, I do think Morris is probably the worst pitcher in the Pirates' bullpen right now, 2.75 ERA aside. That he was left out there to take the loss while Mark Melancon rode the pine today was frustrating.