By Josh Mosley
Four games down, 158 to go and I just have one thing to say: “Eh with a side of a prolonged and exaggerated sigh.” One thing that became abundantly clear after watching these games is that the Pirates are not as monumentally bad as they have been in past years. Top draft picks will do that for you. But absolutely no way in Hades should this series have been a split. This goes beyond the bland “STL is just a better team than Pittsburgh because at this point I can’t even make that statement.” A few observations before I break down each game.
-The Pirates don’t roll over and play dead like a chick who just got a bad diddling, anymore. With the exception of coming from behind to win in the opener, they never played as if they were SOL in any of these games. They got heart, folks. And that could be beneficial in the dog days of summer.
-Offense was the name of the game in this series. It was either who struck big early or who struck last. Pittsburgh struck last on Monday and struck big Chris Brown style on Wednesday. The Cards struck big early on Tuesday and struck last in a nail biter in the series finale on Thursday. At least Cardinals fans can take solace in the fact that this team can score runs.
-Off baseball for a minute, but the only way I knew that it was baseball season this week is that I kept being told so by the media. Walking outside, I could have sworn it was the middle of the recently concluded college basketball season. Really, Mother Nature? Get your shit together. All we ask of you is to not fall apart and give us nice weather when the season’s change. Do your job.
Monday: Pirates score. Cards go-ahead in eighth. Isringhausen, sorry Jason Motte, blows it in the ninth. Pirates win 6-4. You don’t call your new girl by your old girls name, you can’t smoke weed during a job hunt and you can’t plunk a batter with runners in scoring position in the ninth friggin’ inning. Motte did that I am sure that’s what took the wind out of the Cards sails.
Tuesday: Dingers from Chris Duncan and Albert Pujols was a sight right out of 2006. And at least for the time being, Kyle Lohse looked as though he had no intent of dropping the ball on that big fat contract extension he got. Cards win 9-3.
Wednesday: Same story. Different team. Bucs get the bats going early and St. Louis really has no response. You have to like the Pirates ability to sustain leads, even if it is game three, week one. Pirates win 7-4.
Thursday: Carpenter (see more below) went seven innings of one hit ball. Halle-flippin’-lujah. He might not be “back” but he seems like he could be on his way. Fingers crossed. Cards win 2-1.
The story of this series could have easily ended up being the Bucs Jack Wilson and Pujols. Pujols was his usual self (.500 with a home run and a 2 RBI’s). Wilson batted .444 for the series and knocked in the go-ahead run in the opener.
But Carpenter gets nod here. Let’s be real here: he hadn’t won a regular season game in over 30 months and not a game period since Game One of the 2006 World Series. So how does he come out: SWINGING. Seven strong, one run, one hit, seven K’s. And millions of unclenched colons in Cardinal nation. Not bad.
Season record: 2-2
Series record: 0-0-1