If you're reading this without having seen the game, I am jealous of you. I can't speak for everyone, but that was the most frustrating loss I have witnessed yet this year. I love the sport of baseball and would rarely ever say this, but my day was ruined from watching that game.
The offense was abysmal. The Cardinals only had 10 men get on base, but 8 of them came in three innings. Despite that, they only scored one run. The Cardinals were 2-12 with runners in scoring position, and one of those hits was an infield hit and did not drive in a run. Through luck, poor plate approaches, and just plain bad hitting, the Cardinals had the worst type of one-run game. The pitchers they faced weren't particularly good, they mostly had bad at-bats, and whenever a player managed to get good contact, it went right to a fielder.
The LVP of the game undoubtedly goes to Yadier Molina. He went 0-4 in the game and left six men on base. With the bases loaded and the game still tied at 0-0 in the bottom of the third, Molina struck out. He had a pretty good at-bat however and forced the pitcher to throw nine pitches. That was frustrating, but hardly LVP-worthy. No, in his next plate appearance, he had men on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs and swung at the first pitch that was thrown to him. The pitch was not even close to the plate and was well inside. It was an awful at-bat and an awful approach. The pitcher, Stolmy Pimentel (awesome name by the way), had walked two guys in the inning. Molina left him off the hook. (And just for good measure, he also had one other strike out so just an all around bad game from Molina)
The pitching side at least provided a few bright spots. Tyler Lyons was evidently pretty good in the first three innings with a perfect game. He had thrown three strikeouts, induced five groundballs, and another batter lined out. I unfortunately did not see this part of the game, but the results speak for themselves. (My mother unexpectedly took me out to lunch while she was in town. The restaurant did not show the game)
However, perhaps due to the long break between innings, Lyons was pretty awful from the 4th to 6th innings. It is worth noting that with Andrew McCutchen up and runners on, Lyons got screwed on a borderline pitch. Borderline is being generous to the ump as it should have been called a strike. Giving four strikes to a great hitter usually doesn't bode well for the pitching team. Although, people may make too big of a deal out of this as there was nobody out at the time and Lyons still gave up some hard hit balls following McCutchen.
The defense was surprisingly great during this time with a diving play by Matt Adams and a nice sliding catch from Allen Craig. It seemed like he was getting hit pretty hard by nearly every player. Whatever the cause was, Lyons from innings 1-3 was a different pitcher than Lyons from innings 4-6.
Seth Maness came in and pitched two solid innings. He was the Maness of last year with 2 IP, only one hit allowed, and a strikeout. (It's worth noting his peripheral stats this year have been solid and this game was in line with the rest of this season.) Eric Fornataro was not very good, but if you look at his minor league stats, that's far from a surprise.
Not much else to say about this game from me. I missed the first three innings, as mentioned above, and apparently those were the craziest in baseball of all time. I can't exactly confirm or deny what follows, but if true, I really missed out here.
- Infallibleopiniongenerator is infallible so what follows has to be true. Jhonny Peralta forgot to put on his pants until the 2nd, Matt Carpenter cried tears of what appeared to be blood, and Allen Craig played the trumpet.
- Pegasus says that there was a surprising amount of nudity in the game. I wonder if he's referencing Peralta's pant-less first inning.
- Paulspike says that the zebra thing was sort of odd. When asked to elaborate, he did not respond. So obviously the natural thing to conclude based on the evidence at hand is that Francisco Liriano was run over by zebras causing him to leave the game.
- I also received responses about the actual game. docB15 said that Lyons was killing it and Liriano left due to an illness/injury. I can read between the lines. A zebra injured him.
- Matt Carpenter went 1-3 with 2 BBs. Matt Holliday doubled. Peralta got on base twice. Peter Bourjos actually walked and then stole a base. So not all of today was bad.
- Frustrating stats of the game: The first three Pirates pitchers went 5.2 IP with 6 Ks and 5 BBs. The result? One measly run.
- To further that point, it's annoying when Liriano pitches only two innings against you and you still lose. On the bright side, their bullpen will not be rested with Edinson Volquez pitching tomorrow.
- Lastly, there was some confusion about this. Jon Jay was up with a man on 2nd base and the count was either 2-1 or 3-0. Kind of a big difference in terms of smart plate approach. FSM said it was 3-0, but Gameday said it was 2-1. I'm not sure which is right.