Pittsburgh Pirates Fall Short 5-4 on Opening Day in St. Louis

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The Pittsburgh Pirates suffered a frustrating 5-4 loss against the St. Louis Cardinals to kick off their 2020 season on Friday night

Opening day is here for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the excitement for baseball being back has come! In the opening game of the season, we saw big Joe Musgrove face off against St. Louis Cardinal ace Jack Flaherty.

Big Joe had a good outing pitching in 5.2 innings, and allowing three earned runs on two walks, seven strikeouts and five hits. Out of those three earned runs, two of those were solo home runs.

The first homer came off the bat of Tyler O’Neill in the 3rd inning, and the second came off of Dexter Fowler in the 5th. Despite giving up those three runs, Big Joe looked rather good. His biggest bugaboo came with his pitch count, just barely missing 100 pitches.

Ultimately, Musgrove pitched better than his final line. The final run he allowed was an inherited runner which Clay Holmes allowed to score on a bloop hit by Yadier Molina.

Jacob Stallings

As we heard ‘The Fort’ Michael Mckenry state several times, Jacob Stallings is incredible with framing pitches. I can tell you tonight he did the fort proud. Countless times he stole strikes giving his pitcher more wiggle room to work with. Stallings also came up clutch in his at bat in the 7th inning knocking in two to make it a 3-2 game. I must say that Jacob Stallings getting the first RBIs of 2020 is the most 2020 thing to happen for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

That Bullpen

Let’s start off with the aforementioned Holmes, shall we? Despite giving up a bloop base hit to Molina, resulting in the third run being scored, he looked locked in. Holmes pitched in 1.1 innings allowing just two hits, he struck out a batter, and, more importantly, no walks. I’m curious to see if he can continue these types of performances. I say if he maintains that beautiful curveball, he will be alright.

Now let’s get to the ugly part of the bullpen, and that’s Richard Rodriguez. In the 8th inning, he gave up two hits, two earned runs, and one strikeout. In those two hits, he gave up a two-run shot to Paul Dejong, making it a 5-2 game. This bullpen is going to be a question mark all year long. I hope they prove me wrong, but honestly, I don’t know.

Late inning magic?

Josh Bell started off the ninth with a hard hit single followed up by a Colin Moran double, resulting in runners on second and third. Jose Osuna then singled to center, scoring both Bell and Moran, making it a 5-4 game! Unfortunately, after a Guillermo Heradia fly out and a game-ending double play from Stallings, the Buccos fall short 5-4. On the Stallings’ double play, he hit the ball hard and it appeared ticketed for right field. But, long time Pirate killer Kolten Wong made a terrific pick and an even better play to start the 4-6-3 double play. Wong always finds a way to kill the Bucs.

Hope?

The good things I saw from these Bucs were grit and determination. Falling a run short always hurts, but hopefully, they can build off of this performance tomorrow and get a win off of long time nemesis Adam Wainwright. First pitch is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. ET. Trevor Williams will make the start for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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