It has to suck to hit against Adam Wainwright. The Pittsburgh Pirates got down 2-0 after a David Freese homer. And their approach at the plate seemed to change, or maybe Wainwright is just that damn good.
Wainwright threw 16 pitches in the first inning. He threw 11 in the second. But here is what the Bucs at-bats looked like after the team got down 2-0.
Clint Barmes stepped up in the third inning and after a cutter was a strike, put the second ball in play. One out.
Gerrit Cole worked a 2-2 count which was the best of the inning before striking out looking.
In the fourth inning, Neil Walker fell behind Wainwright 0-2, but worked the Cards ace to throw eight pitches. The most he would throw to a Pirates batter all night. Walker lined out on a cutter.
Andrew McCutchen had a 1-1 count and grounded out on a sinker on the third pitch.
Justin Morneau took a fastball for strike one and grounded out on a curveball. Inning over after 13 pitches.
Marlon Byrd started off the fifth inning with a flyout on a first pitch curveball.
Pedro Alvarez saw six pitches, five of them breaking balls, and went down looking on a ball out of the zone.
Russell Martin flew out on an 0-2 pitch. A ten pitch inning.
In the sixth inning, Neil Walker went down swinging on a curveball in the dirt. The sixth of the at-bat.
McCutchen grounded out on another sinker. The first pitch Wainwright threw.
Morneau singled on a 0-1 curveball.
Byrd grounded out on a 0-2 pitch after fouling off two cutters.
Alvarez singled on the sixth pitch of the at-bat–all he saw was breaking balls.
Martin grounded out on a first pitch cutter. It was a 19 pitch inning.
In the top of the eighth, Jose Tabata fell behind 0-2 on a cutter and a curveball before grounding out.
Jordy Mercer singled to right on a 1-0 cutter.
After fouling off two more Wainwright curveballs, Marte grounded out on a Wainwright cutter. An eight pitch inning for Wainwright.
It took 13 pitches to finish off the Buccos in the ninth. Walker grounded out on a 1-0 sinker. Cutch flew out on a 1-1 curve. Morneau singled on a 1-0 cutter and Byrd ripped an 89 mile an hour cutter into center field.
Three curveballs to Petey would end it for the 2013 Pirates.
In watching the game again, it seemed like the Pirates had a strategy against Wainwright, it simply didn’t work. I wouldn’t say it was panic, but it didn’t extend him which might have allowed the Bucs to get into the Cards bullpen.
Marlon Byrd saw eight pitches while collecting three hits.
Justin Morneau saw seven pitches all night. He saw three for his two outs and four for his two hits.
Andrew McCutchen saw 12 pitches and struckout, grounded out twice and flew out.
It’s hard to imagine hitting against Wainwright. The guy looked unbelievable last night. He made very few mistakes and the Pirates hitters weren’t able to solve his mastery.
Often times Pirates hitters were accused of taking too many pitches. That just wasn’t the case last night.