10.07.13 Posted by Tim
Which event is the most unlikely?
-Mark Melancon giving up his 2nd home run of the year to let the Cards tie the game.
-Andrew McCutchen committing a base-running error and making the first out in an inning running to 3rd.
-Pedro Alvarez, a .180 hitter against lefties, knocked in the game-winning run off of a nightmare lefty, Kevin Siegrist.
I don’t know the answer, but all three happened within 15 minutes of one another. The Pirates held a 3-2 lead in the 8th inning before Melancon surrendered it via a Carlos Beltran moonshot to right center to tie the game. The inning may have gotten worse, but Melancon benefited from a weird 3-4-1 putout at 1st and a double play to escape the 8th inning.
The rally in the bottom of the 8th is what dreams are made of . . . almost. Cutch lashed a double to left to start things off and was promptly caught advancing to 3rd on a grounder to the shortstop. Huge mistake. Josh Harrison came in as a pinch-runner for Morneau at 1st and Byrd drew a walk to move him to 2nd. Pedro strolled to the plate and Matheny brought in Kevin Siegrist, a lefty with a 0.45 ERA in 40 innings, to face him. Pedro swung at pitch in the dirt before taking an inside pitch for a ball. Pedro got a hold of the 3rd pitch and squeezed it between the 1st and 2nd basemen to bring home Harrison! Russell Martin, the next batter, tried a squeeze play to bring in Byrd from 3rd, but fouled it off. In the end, he hit a single to left to round out the scoring.
Grilli worked around a leadoff single to Fatt Adams to close out the game.
Today, the Cardinals face elimination. Charlie Morton looks to be the guy to put the nail in their coffin. It will take some doing, though. In 13.2 innings this year, Morton’s allowed 12 ER to St. Louis. He did have one quality start in there (6 innings, 2 ER) back on August 13th. The Cardinals are sending out their rookie, Michael Wacha, to try to extend the series. Wacha last pitched 13 days ago and nearly threw a no-hitter against the Nationals. He most recently pitched against the Pirates on September 8th, when he shut us out for 7 innings. The Pirates are going to need to bring their bats today and hope for the best with Charlie. So long as he doesn’t lose the game for us early on (a la AJ), then I think the Pirates have a good chance to finish them off today. The lineups are about the same as yesterday, but Freese and Fatt Adams switched places in the order.
-Marlon Byrd. Man.
-In spite of not having a lot of success at the plate, I really like Morneau’s approach at the plate. He takes good at bats.
-Put Neil Walker and Starling Marte on the milk cartons, they’re MIA in this series.
St. Louis Cardinals
Matt Carpenter, 2B
Carlos Beltran, RF
Meathead Holliday, LF
Necktat Molina, C
David Freese, 3B
Fatt Adams, 1B
Jon Jay, CF
Pete Kozma, SS
Michael Wacha, P
Starling Marte, LF
Justin Morneau, 1B
Marlon Byrd, RF
EL TORO, 3B
Clint Barmes, SS
Charlie Morton, P
Let’s Go Bucs!