So, I have a beef to start out with. Our game started absurdly early, I guess in deference to the other three postseason games played today. Which would make sense if all four were broadcast on TV. But since nobody was actually broadcasting this game, why did anyone care when it started? If this game was only on MLB.TV, why couldn't it be played at 7 PM, so St. Louisans and Pittsburghers with actual jobs could watch it?
Now on to the game itself.
Well, it was disappointing all around. Dan's commentary this morning proved especially apt when those solid, talented Pirates showed up for game 2. Gerrit Cole successfully smothered the Cardinals offense. Some hard hit balls found gloves. Only Yadier Molina's solo homer resulted in a run.
On the pitching front, Lance Lynn allowed a lot of contact, though he did strike out 6. He struggled in the second after a defensive miscue by Jon Jay led to a ground-rule double for Alvarez.. Lynn intentionally walked Jorder Mercer then gave up a single to pitcher Gerrit Cole, scoring Alvarez. He hit Starling Marte with a pitch before getting out of the jam with a ground ball from Neil Walker.
In the next inning, he gave up a two-run homer to Alvarez after a Justin Morneau single. Continuing hard contact in the fifth and another walk led to Seth Maness replacing Lynn. Maness got two groundballs but another run would score before he closed out the inning.
An error from Freese in the seventh led to a sac fly to make it 6-1. In the eighth, Shelby Miller made his first relief appearance in 2013 and was greeted by a Starling Marte solo homer for the final 7-1 tally.
It was the opposite of yesterday's game in many ways, with multiple defensive miscues from the Cardinals, although Freese's was the only one labeled an error.
The decision to start Lance Lynn was not a bad one. The guy has a 3.28 FIP and a 3.66 xFIP for the season. He's a talented pitcher. Only Adam Wainwright is clearly a better starter for this club. But Lynn can be undone by too much hard contact and too many walks. Today was one of those days. Sometimes the barr eats you.