The Pittsburgh Pirates were anemic at the plate, ruining a solid performance by the pitching staff the could’ve been enough to get it done, as St. Louis Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez, who won just one game as starter since 2018 before today, went eight innings, giving up just five hits to Pittsburgh batters.
Buccos starter Wil Crowe gave up a three-run shot to Harrison Bader, which was the only scoring of the day and also Bader’s first home run of the year, and the Pirates grounded into multiple double plays and were 0-5 with runners in scoring position to fall to 12-15 on the season with their fourth consecutive defeat and a three-game sweep at the hands of the division rival Cards.
The Bucs has no one with a multi-hit game, though they did get doubles from Jacob Stallings and Bryan Reynolds, with the other hits coming from Adam Frazier, Erik Gonzalez, and Crowe, who helped his own cause by going 1-1 at the plate with a single and a walk.
He wasn’t terrible on the mound either, giving up the one major mistake on an errant slider, though he did struggle a bit with control at times, also giving up four walks. He went five innings, however, striking out two, but was credited with the loss to fall to 0-1 on the year.
Pittsburgh’s bullpen continues to impress, as they had another strong outing, with Luis Oviedo pitching two scoreless innings in which he walked two, struck out two and gave up a hit, while Kyle Crick and Richard Rodriguez combined for two perfect innings to finish out the game for the Pirates.
The Buccos will have little time to regroup, as they are back in action again tomorrow night, heading all the way across the country for a three-game set with the San Diego Padres, who have won three games in a row and are playing good baseball. Not exactly an ideal situation for the Pirates to get back in the winning column, as the Padres have given up the third-fewest runs in the majors, while the Pirates have scored the fifth fewest.
However, in a bit of good news, young star Ke’Bryan Hayes, who’s played in just two games so far this season before injuring his wrist and then re-aggravating it during rehab, began taking soft toss this weekend, another step in the progression of back to playing. He’ll need some live, full-speed action before he’s back on the field officially, so the hopefully the Pirates can find some more ways to manufacture runs until their best hitter gets back in the fold.
Let’s hope the Pirates snap out their funk soon, or this series in San Diego after a long flight west could put them in an early hole not easily dug out of for a young team that’s mostly played above expectations to this point.
See you all tomorrow, late night, in the game thread. We have 10:10 start time.