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5/10 Recap: Cardinals Give Up 6 Runs To Pirates, Only Score 4 In Retaliation

The St. Louis Cardinals lost 6-4 in Pittsburgh on Friday night

Justin K. Aller

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.

Gamethread highlights

Carlos Martinez throws 100 mph

and Molina calls for back to back off-speed pitches in the same spot? That is getting too cute with it. If he hits a 100 mph fastball into the seats, you tip your cap. Odds are, he won’t.

If this turns into an "Emotional Win"

For the Bucs, I’m going to be pissed.

"Gibson drilled the Rookie for having the impertinence to hit a long foul ball off of him" David Halberstam

So yeah, I'm pretty sad about tonight's loss. It was a tough one. The Cardinals have not fared well on Friday night, save for a 1-0 win that was a recap by The Continental. So far, the Cards have lost on Fridays 12-2, 6-3, 3-1, 6-5, and now 6-4. Hopefully their Friday luck will turn around, because it is not easy always writing loss recaps. They've been outscored 33-16 on Fridays!


For more evidence of the tough loss, the featured Win Probability chart shows just how back and forth this game was (maybe not the most tightly contested match, but it was interesting). The Pirates didn't let Allen Craig and Jhonny Peralta home runs defeat them, as they had plenty of offense of their own.

Source: FanGraphs

Carlos Martinez's performance was just awful by WPA, at -.577! That is one of the worst I've ever seen. Both Wacha and Liriano were also pretty terrible, tied at -.195. Those are some bad pitching performances. Neil Walker and Allen Craig were the stars on offense, but Walker's was much more opportune and affecting in Win Probability.

While the Cardinals did score a decent 4 runs tonight, it is still not fun to see them lose in a tight battle such as this one was. It did feel over after the Neil Walker home run, but it would have been nice to see some kind of comeback. Alas, that was not the case and the Cards lost 6-4. It did not help that the Cardinals had to get out of a bases loaded jam in the very first inning, though. Not easy to go on the offensive when on one's heels.

Next up is another evening game starting at 6:05 central vs the Pirates: Lance Lynn v Edinson Volquez.