St. Louis Cardinals 9, Pittsburgh Pirates 3: Stars And Stiffs
On Friday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates appeared to have the St. Louis Cardinals beaten. However, this was not the case.
Friday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals was not a good one for the Pirates. Not only did the Pirates lose a game they appeared to have under wraps for most of the game, but they also suffered a pair of key injuries. The Pittsburgh Pirates best starting pitcher, Gerrit Cole, and starting catcher Francicsco Cervelli both exited the game due to injury on Friday night.
Gerrit Cole lasted just two innings due to right tricep pain, and Cervelli exited due to left hand pain. Despite these injuries, the Pittsburgh Pirates appeared to have the game won. That was until Matt Carpenter‘s three-run home run in the eighth inning. Anyhow, here are the Pittsburgh Pirates three stars and stiffs for this game.
Relief pitch A.J. Schugel – After Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole left the game due to a bicep injury in the top of the third inning, A.J. Schugel took over on the mound. And Schugel wound up pitching fantastically.
A.J. Schugel pitched four innings for the Pirates, allowing zero runs on zero hits and four strike outs. A.J. Schugel was fantastic on Friday night, and kept the Pittsburgh Pirates in this baseball game. After his effort on Friday night, A.J. Schugel has a 2.85 FIP and is averaging 9.10 K/9 this season.
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First baseman John Jaso – Not surprisingly, John Jaso had another big game for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night. John Jaso went 1-for-2 with a walk at the plate on Friday night. This effort raised Jaso’s wOBA to .346 and his wRC+ to 120 on the season.
John Jaso’s single came in the fifth inning with Jordy Mercer on second base and one out. Jordy Mercer walked to lead off the fifth, A.J. Schugel bunting him down to second, and then Jaso singled to score Mercer and give the Pittsburgh Pirates what was at the time a 2-0 lead.
Relief pitcher Neftali Feliz – So far this season, Neftalie Feliz had been arguably the Pittsburgh Pirates best relief pitcher. However, on Friday night he was not.
Neftali took over for the Pirates in the top of the eighth inning with the Bucs leading 2-0, but things would not go well for Feliz. Neftali Feliz would give up a lead off single to Eric Fryer, he then walked pinch hitter Greg Garcia, and then Matt Carpenter hit a go ahead three-run home run for the Cardinals.
After allowing the Carpenter home run, Feliz was able to retire the next three Cardinal hitters. So while I am not worried about Feliz moving forward Friday night definitely sucked.
Second baseman Josh Harrison – Josh Harrison’s issue are all due to the bottom of the ninth inning. With the Pittsburgh Pirates trailing 3-2, and men on second and third with zero outs all Josh Harrison had to do was hit a fly ball. However, Harrison failed to come through.
Josh Harrison wound up popping out to the shortstop. This was the Pirates’ first out of the inning. However, luckily for Harrison, the Pittsburgh Pirates still managed to tie the game later in that ninth inning.
Relief pitcher Juan Nicasio – In the top of the 12th inning Juan Nicasio came in for his first relief outing of the season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Unfortunately, things did not go well. Nicasio struck out the first two batters he faced, but then the wheels came off.
Juan Nicasio struck out the first two batters he faced, walked the next two, and then allowed what would prove to be a game winning two-run double. Then, for good measure, he allowed a RBI double to Matt Adams as well to make it 6-3. The Cardinals would add a few more runs on a Jung Ho Kang error and a Brandon Moss home run to set the final at 9-3.
Next: The Pirates Need To Shakeup Their Outfield Defense
Friday night was painful. This was a game the Pittsburgh Pirates appeared to have won, but they let it slip away, and then got blown out. The Bucs have now lost three in a row, and really need to win these next two against St. Louis to take the series.
The biggest thing though is hoping Gerrit Cole and Francisco Cervelli are okay. If Cole does end up on the disabled list, I would look Jameson Taillon to be recalled from Triple-A sooner rather than later. However, hopefully, Cole will not require a disabled list trip.