Wandy Rodriguez finally got his first Pirates win as a starter, and the Pirates scored a few runs in support. A 5-0 win gave the Pirates the series win and season series win over the Cardinals.
All Wandy Rodriguez did was throw 6 shutout innings. Only in the 3rd inning did Wandy allow more than one baserunner. With 2 outs in the 3rd inning, he walked Jon Jay and gave up a single to Carlos Beltran. Matt Holliday flied out to end the threat – and the inning. Wandy gave up just 3 hits and 3 walks. All 3 walks were to Jon Jay. “He threw a quarter of his pitches to Jon Jay,” Clint Hurdle said after the game. Wandy struck out 3 and threw 96 pitches over his 6 innings. “I feel great because I came here to help this team,” Wandy said after the game. “When I win, I feel great. I was working hard today because I used a lot of my two-seamer. Every time I get the opportunity, I try to help this team as much as I can. Every time I go out there, I try to do the best I can.” He improved to 9 and 13 with the win and lowered his ERA to 3.86. “That’s not the sharpest Wandy I’ve ever seen, but it was an effective Wandy,” Hurdle said. “Him and Rod had a game plan and followed through very well.” Wandy now has a 1.27 ERA against the Cardinals over the past two seasons. Tony Watson pitched the 7th inning and gave up just 1 hit. Jason Grilli pitched a perfect 8th and Joel Hanrahan pitched a scoreless 9th.
Garrett Jones, for the second night in a row, made sure the Pirates scored first. He doubled home Travis Snider with 2 outs in the 1st inning. Rod Barajas fought through an 8-pitch at-bat in the 2nd inning for a single to left field. He didn’t end up scoring. With 2 outs and 2 on in the 3rd inning, thanks to a couple of walks, Pedro Alvarez came to bat. He did what he’s done often lately, sent the ball over the wall to make it 4-0 Pirates. “Like I’ve said many times before, just trying to keep it simple, trying to put the ball in play,” Pedro said. “Good things happen when you keep it simple. Wandy appreciated the lead: “I felt very comfortable when I saw the score, 4-0, and next they made another run for me. I felt very comfortable.” The Pirates scored their 5th and final run in the 5th inning when Josh Harrison singled home Pedro Alvarez with 2 outs.
Pedro was asked after the game how the Pirates got their confidence and swagger back. “I don’t think we ever lost the confidence or the swagger,” he replied. “It’s just, there were some games we didn’t win. We were just playing the same game and hoping we could turn it around.”
“We’re gonna battle,” Clint Hurdle said. “These guys trust each other. They play hard for one another. They play hard for the name on the front of the jersey. That’s not gonna change.”
Some said that this series was crucial to the Pirates’ success this season. It was, and so are the rest of the games they’ll play. “We’re in must-win territory, and these guys love to play,” Hurdle said. “They love the challenges in front of them.”
After an off-day tomorrow, the Pirates start a series in Milwaukee against the Brewers. Jeff Karstens (5-3, 3.47 ERA) will take the hill for the Pirates against Mark Rogers (2-1, 4.28 ERA). Let’s beat that guy this time.
“Yeah, we’re running out of games,” Hurdle said. “That’s what makes it exciting.”