I'm not sure what happened, but I had high hopes for this game until the rain delay. Everything seemed to be going well until that rain disrupted the game. My thoughts wandered off, and then I checked in again, witnessing the Cardinals surge ahead on a rare Allen Craig home run contribution with 2 outs in the 4th off Liriano.
The last I had seen of Liriano was at VEB day, where he had little to no control over his pitches, and ended up being nauseous and leaving the game due to not feeling well as well as not being very effective. Liriano has not looked like an ace this season, to say the least. But he perhaps has been a little unlucky... and he pitched well enough for his team to win this time around.
The main thing we were looking for vs the Pirates is if the Pirates pitching could step it up and not be as bad as it has been. But perhaps the story is more about the ineptitude of the Cardinals offense, which as been even worse than the Pirates' by wRC+ (95 to 92, neither are very good offenses so far).
The real reason to look out for the Pirates pitching is that the Cardinals have a clear edge here going by track record (Cards have some of the best pitching results in MLB, Pirates some of the worst). However, this tendency did not pan out for the Cardinals this night. Michael Wacha was not able to hold back a steady group of Pirates hitters, who tallied 7 hits and 3 earned runs against him.
When it seemed like the Cardinals might be able to hang in this game, Carlos Martinez gave up a 3 run home run to Neil Walker in the 7th inning. This definitely had an emotional feel to it.
Carlos Martinez throws 100 mph