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Cardinals walk off against Pirates, complete crucial sweep

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Fans and commentators throw around the term "must-win" way too often. The baseball season is long, and unpredictable, and none of us have any idea what's going to happen in a short time frame. The Pirates are still in the playoff hunt, and maybe they'll beat up on the Cubs and Phillies in the coming week and we'll have mostly forgotten about this. But this series against the Cardinals was a tremendously important one, and the Bucs completely flopped. Getting even one win back today would have been a big deal, and it's a big deal that they didn't, instead losing 1-0 on a walk-off single by Peter Bourjos.

Yeah. Edinson Volquez got through 6.1 shutout innings, but the Pirates couldn't manage any offense, even though Neil Walker reached base four times. After using Tony Watson to get two outs in the seventh, Clint Hurdle admirably tried to get two innings out of Mark Melancon in an important spot. Melancon got three groundouts in the eighth and whiffed the first two hitters he faced in the ninth, but then Yadier Molina walked, Jon Jay singled and then Bourjos dribbled a single up the middle.

Oh, and the Cardinals threw behind Andrew McCutchen after Volquez hit Matt Holliday with a pitch. Whatever. The season series with the Cardinals is over, and the result of the game is much more important.