For as good as the Pittsburgh Pirates have been this year, they are not fans of sweeping teams. Today marked the second time in a month that the Pirates had a chance to sweep the Cardinals and ended up getting blown out in the final game of the series. There wasn’t much of anything that was good about this game. It went sour in the very first inning and it never got better. Combine that with a massive toothache I’ve had all day and a fantasy football draft and it was a struggle to even pay attention.
Being that it’s the start of September, the Pirates made a few additions to the roster. One of them was Kris Johnson who was called up to take Jeff Locke‘s turn in the rotation. Unfortunately for the Pirates, Johnson was worse than Locke has been lately. Allen Craig and Yadier Molina each singled in runs in the first inning and Jon Jay added a sacrifice fly. Johnson struggled mightily to find the strike zone. Johnson only pitched two innings. David Freese hit a two run double in the third inning. Matt Holliday drove in two more in the sixth. The Pirates only scores two runs. Marlon Byrd drove in a run in the sixth and John Buck singled one home in the ninth.
Player of the Game: Joe Kelly
Even though the pitching was bad for the Pirates today, I had some hope that they could get back into the game with the additions they have made over the last week. But that was not the case. The Pirates have had problems with Kelly all season and they did again today. Only one Pirate had more than one hit in the game and that was Byrd. Kelly tossed six innings while only allowing one run.
Play of the Game: John Buck
The Pirates had very few opportunities to fight their way back into this game. Possibly the best one came in the sixth inning. Buck came up to bat after the Pirates had already scored a run in the inning, had runners on first and second, and followed Justin Morneau‘s first base hit as a Pirate. Kelly was able to get Buck to foul out to end the inning and the threat. Of course, who knows if a hit by Buck would have been enough. They were down 7-1 at the time but it would have inserted some life into the team. Instead, the Pirates find themselves back in a tie for first place.
Up Next: Milwaukee Brewers, Monday, 2:10pm
The Pirates get a rare Monday afternoon game to celebrate Labor Day. They have a big opportunity to take advantage of playing a bad team since the Cardinals and Reds have a four game series with each other. The Pirates last meeting with the Brewers was less than ideal. Charlie Morton will take the first shot at making this series different. Morton has face Milwaukee twice this year, both of which were wins including a 7-1 victory in his last start.