Pittsburgh Pirates 10, St. Louis Cardinals 5: Stars And Stiffs
The Pittsburgh Pirates earned a 10-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, capturing a rare series victory at Busch Stadium.
The Pittsburgh Pirates avenged yesterday’s walk-off loss to the St. Louis Cardinals by picking up an 10-5 victory on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Pirates are now 5-1 on the season against the Red Birds and 17-14 overall. Here the three stars and stiffs for the Pittsburgh Pirates from Sunday’s game.
Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole – Gerrit Cole had the best stuff he has had all season long on Sunday afternoon, and it showed in his results. Cole went six innings allowing just two runs on six hits, two walks, and seven strike outs.
Cole was forced to throw 33 pitches in the first inning, despite not allowing a run, due to a combination of poor umpiring and a wild pitch. Stephen Piscotty should have been called out on strikes for the second out of the inning, but Greg Gibson had other ideas and Piscotty then reached on a bloop single. Matt Holliday struck out swinging, but reached on a wild pitch. Also, Yadier Molina should have been called out on strikes but wound up drawing a walk.
Cole did a great job of bouncing back from that first inning debacle to stifle the Cardinals throughout the course of the day. The Pirate ace looked very ace like on Sunday afternoon.
First baseman John Jaso – The Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman continued his great 2016 season by going 3-for-4 on Saturday afternoon. Jaso finished the game a triple shy of the cycle, and this included a two-run home run. Also, Jaso’s home run came with the game tied at one in the fifth inning to give the Pirates their first lead of the game and it was a lead they would not relinquish.
On the season, Jaso now owns a .302/.370/.472/.842 slash line, to go along with a .365 wOBA and a 127 wRC+. John Jaso is proving to be one of the best free agent signings that Neal Huntington has made during his tenure as the general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Left fielder Starling Marte – Starling Marte started the game 0-for-2, but then collected a hit in each of his final three at bats. Overall on the day Marte went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored. Marte’s onslaught of National League pitching has been impressive this season as he now owns a .897 OPS, .390 wOBA, and a 143 wRC+. Pirate fans have always known how good Starling Marte is, but this season he is taking it to a new level and is starting to turn head around all of baseball.
Home plate umpire Greg Gibson – Okay, so, Greg Gibson is not a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates but boy was he bad in this game. Gibson’s strike zone was inconsistent, very small, and just all around terrible. As mentioned above, Gibson missed two obvious strike three calls in the first inning that helped contribute substantially to Gerrit Cole needing 33 pitches to get out of the inning. These two awful calls probably cost Cole at least one inning in Sunday’s game, and it’s not like his strike zone got any better as the game progressed.
Pitcher Kyle Lobstein – Kyle Lobstein took over in the bottom of the seventh inning with the Pirates leading 8-2. After retiring Jedd Gyorko to start the inning, Lobstein proceeded to load the bases via a single and a pair of walks. Following this, Lobstein got Brandon Moss to ground into a fielder’s choice and he was then lifted for Arquimedes Caminero.
Caminero would proceed to uncork a wild pitch and allow a two-run single to Yadier Molina. So in total, Lobstein pitched 2/3 of an inning and allowed three runs on one hit and a pair of walks.
The most frustrating part of Lobstein’s outing was the free passes. When you have a big lead like that, just pound the strike zone and force the other team to earn their way back into the game. Lobstein failed to do that on Sunday.
Pitcher Arquimedes Caminero – Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Arquimedes Caminero’s miserable season continued on Sunday afternoon. Caminero entered the game with runners on the corners, two outs, Yadier Molina at the plate, and the Pirates leading 8-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning. Caminero proceeded to uncork a wild pitch that allowed Brandon Moss to move into scoring position, and then Caminero gave up a two-run single to Molina to cut the Pirate lead to 8-5. Caminero was then pulled for Neftali Feliz.
Caminero has been absolutely miserable in 2016 currently owning a 5.27 ERA, 5.71 FIP, 5.40 xFIP, and a walk rate of 7.24 BB/9. In my opinion, Caminero has no business being on this roster as he adds nothing to the team but stress. Then again, I would argue that fellow reliever Ryan Vogelsong is in the same boat.