Pittsburgh Pirates Win Game 1 In St. Louis
The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 1-3 at Busch Stadium this season
Friday night at Busch Stadium it was a battle of number 50s. In game 1 of a 3 game weekend series, Jameson Taillon led the Pittsburgh Pirates against Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals.
While both number 50s pitched well, the Pirate bullpen was better than the Cardinal bullpen which made the difference in a 4-3 Pirate victory. With the win, the Pirates are now 34-40 on the season. This includes being 1-3 against the Cardinals. All 4 games against the Cardinals this season have been decided by just 1 run.
The Pittsburgh Pirates would draw first blood. This came when Josh Bell hit his 14th home run of the season in the top of the 2nd inning, giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
This lead, however, would not last long.
Jedd Gyorko drew a walk to start the bottom of the 2nd inning. Jose Martinez then hit a line drive home run to make it 2-1 St. Louis. Jameson Taillon would settle in after this, though.
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David Freese drew a 1 out walk in the top of the 4th inning. Then, Josh Bell reached on an error that put men on second and third. Andrew McCutchen then recorded a RBI groundout that tied the game at 2.
Gregory Polanco would make a great play to end the 6th inning. With 1 out and Stephen Piscotty on first base, Jose Martinez hitting a sinking line drive to right field. Polanco made a great running, tumbling catch. He then threw to first base to double off Piscotty and end the inning.
This also brought Jameson Taillon’s night to an end. In 6 innings pitched Taillon allowed just the 2 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and a season-high 7 strikeouts.
Long-time Pirate nemesis Adam Wainwright stifled the Bucs for seemingly the thousandth time in his career on Friday night. In 7 innings of work he allowed 2 runs, 1 earned, on just 2 hits, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts.
The bottom of the 7th inning saw Daniel Hudson take over for Taillon. After retiring the first batter of the inning, he allowed a go ahead home run to Paul DeJong making it 3-2 Cardinals.
After a walk and an intentional walk, Hudson was lifted for Juan Nicasio. Gregory Polanco would make another excellent diving catch in right field to the end the inning, this time robbing Tommy Pham. Polanco’s catch robbed the Cards of at least 1 run.
Trevor Rosenthal took over for the Cardinals in the top of the 8th inning and would blow the lead. With 1 out, Adam Frazier singled and Josh Harrison walked. After Gregory Polanco replaced Harrison on a fielder’s choice, David Freese delivered a game tying single to right field.
With the game now tied at 3, Mike Matheny lifted Rosenthal for left-handed pitcher Brett Cecil. He would get Josh Bell to fly out to center field to end the inning.
Juan Nicasio remained in the game for the Pirates to pitch the bottom of the 8th inning. With 1 out he walked Gyorko and allowed a single to Martinez, putting runners on the corners for the Cardinals. On Martinez’s single, Gyorko broke for second base causing second baseman Josh Harrison to vacate his spot. Had Gyorko not been on the move, Martinez probably would have hit into an inning ending double play.
After the Martinez single, Clint Hurdle went to Felipe Rivero. It was great to see Hurdle go to his best reliever in the game’s highest leverage situation instead of saving Rivero for a *gulp* save situation. Rivero got Aledmys Diaz to lineout to third base on a 102 miles per hour fastball and then got Paul DeJong to fly out to shallow right field to end the inning.
Seung-hwan Oh pitched the top of the 9th for the Cardinals. With 2 outs, John Jaso stepped to the plate for the first time after entering as part of a double switch in the bottom of the 8th inning. Jaso would proceed to crush a home run to center field, to give the Bucs a 4-3 lead.
Rivero would walk Eric Fryer to start the bottom of the 9th inning, nearly seeming human. However, he would then retire the next 3 batters he faced to slam the door shut and close out the Pirate victory.
With the win on Friday night, thanks to a Milwaukee Brewers loss to the Atlanta Braves, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now 5 games out of first place in the National League Central. They are also now 3-2 on what could be a season defining road trip.
Next: Cutch Should Be Batting Higher In The Order
Game 2 of this 3 game weekend series is scheduled for 7:15 PM on Saturday night. Gerrit Cole will get the ball for the Pirates, while the Cardinals plan to go with Lance Lynn.