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Cardinals 2, Pirates 1: St. Louis 1-Hits Bucs

I saw about half of this game. It wasn't the worst the Pirates have ever played, but the cracks in the roster are already beginning to show, which is to be expected. First, Andy LaRoche was on the bench for the second consecutive day. (Adam LaRoche was out too, but he's sick.)

Then there was the decision to bring in Sean Burnett against a righty (UPDATE: the righty was a pinch-hitter--my fault) with two on and no outs in a 1-1 game. Burnett, who's a complete cipher (and actually, that description might be generous), wasn't an optimal choice there--actually, if you're willing to be even a little bit adventurous with your bullpen, Matt Capps would have been a great choice, but even if he weren't available, I'd prefer John Grabow, Tyler Yates and Jesse Chavez in that situation. Still, it's hard to be too tough on John Russell, if only because the choices are so uninspiring and there are two pitchers in the bullpen (Craig Hansen and Donnie Veal) who can't be trusted at all.

Then there was the fact that the Pirates were being no-hit into the seventh inning by Chris Carpenter. The Bucs still had a 1-0 lead because they were able to get a run without a hit, on a walk, a fielder's choice, an error, and another fielder's choice. Ross Ohlendorf kept runs off the board, but his performance wasn't exactly inspiring--he wasn't throwing terribly hard, he allowed a bunch of fly balls, and he only had one strikeout.

The Cardinals took a two run lead in the seventh on singles by Yadier Molina and Brian Barden. It should have been a much less complex inning--Freddy Sanchez let what should have been a double play get by him. Brandon Moss and Ryan Doumit ended what could have been a disastrous inning by nailing Molina at home. After that, though, the Pirates went quietly, and ended the game with a flyout by Craig Monroe. Anytime Craig Monroe is allowed to end a 2-1 game, well, your roster isn't deep enough.