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Cardinals @ Pirates 5.11 Recap- Cardinals love their mothers more than the Pirates

Cardinals scratch and claw their way to a Mother's Day victory, and avoid getting swept.

Justin K. Aller

St. Louis Cardinals @ Pittsburgh Pirates

Shelby Miller (4-2, 3.20 ERA) vs. Charlie Morton (0-4, 3.45 ERA)

7:05 p.m. CT
PNC Park - Pittsburgh, PA

Against the opponent (before this game)-

all-time record (1162-1226)
2013 (9-10) (12-12 including post season)
2014 (3-5)

Today's game was the 2413th regular season bout between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates. By winning today's game, the Cardinals close the gap on the lifetime series, which now stands at 1163-1226.

This is only the fifth game that these two clubs have played on May 11.  In 1941, the Cards won 7-4.  In 1947, The Cards took the first half of a double header 10-6.  The second half ended after seven innings in a 3-3 tie.  The last time they met up on the 11th was in 1963.  The Cards dropped that one 3-2

Things we were looking for-

In a fink's series preview, he hoped that Peter Bourjos would get some opportunities to start.  Wish granted.  He started the first two games of this series, but wasn't in tonight's starting lineup.  He did appear in tonight's game and contributed an RBI single and some solid defense.  Maybe he's out of the doghouse.  Time will tell.

Fink also talked about how it's not the Pirate's offense that has been the problem, but the pitching.  Before tonight's game, both have been better than their Cardinal's counterparts, at least by results.

Russell Martin is good.  His absence has been felt so far in the series, with Tony Sanchez starting both games and collecting one hit.  Sanchez was good tonight, though, going 2 for 4 with an RBI.

Things that happened-

Top Halves-

Charlie Morton had a rough first inning.   Allen Craig, Yadier Molina, Jon Jay and Mark Ellis all collected hits, and Jhonny Peralta and Matt Holliday reached by a HBP and an error, respectively.  Matt Adams contributed a sac fly as the Cards sent nine to the plate in the first.  They enjoyed an early 4-0 lead.

After that, Morton settled in, only allowing one walk and one hit in his next five innings.  He exited after six innings.

Morton's final line: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 100 Pitches thrown.

The Cards were able to pick up a couple insurance runs in the eighth.  Adams, Jay, and Peter Bourjos singled, scoring one.  A wild pitch allowed Jay to come home as well, putting the Birds on top 6-4.

Bottom Halves-

Shelby looked good at first.  He gave up a Pedro Alvarez single in the second, but was getting some pretty weak contact overall.  Then he started to struggle with his control.

In the third, Shelby worked in and out of trouble.  A Tony Sanchez single, a Neil Walker hit by pitch, and a walk to Andrew McCutchen loaded the bases.  He was able to get out of it, inducing a flyout off the bat of Alvarez.

The Pirates struck in the fourth.  Miller walked Ike Davis and then allowed a dinger off the bat of Jordy Mercer to make it a 4-2 game.  T. Sanchez singled, but got a little too cocky in his leadoff from first, and got picked off by Yadi.

Miller walked two in the fifth, but was able to keep runs from marring the scoreboard.

He came in to face one batter in the sixth.  He induced a popup from Davis to finish out his night.

Miller's final line: 5 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 95 Pitches thrown.

Seth Maness finished out the sixth with no excitement.

The Pirates pushed another run across in the seventh.  Kevin Siegrist started off the inning.  He gave up a single to Gaby Sanchez and a walk to McCutchen.  Alvarez knocked Sanchez in to make the score 4-3.  Carlos Martinez finished out the inning.  He

Martinez came back in the eighth, and allowed a run on two hits (Davis and Mercer) and an RBI groundout from T. Sanchez.

The ninth inning was scary.  Trevor Rosenthal allowed a leadoff double to Walker, who then came in to score on an RBI single by McCutchen, making the score 6-5.  Alvarez followed with a single.  Rosenthal then walked Clint Barmes on four straight pitches, loading the bases with zero outs.  The mothers were on the Cardinals side, though.  Rosie got Ike Davis to pop out in foul territory behind first base, and then got the weak groundball for the game-ending double play off the bat of Mercer..

Dan N' Al says and VEB says-

My apologies.  I'm working with more limited computing resources and time than usual, so I wasn't able to get this stuff out like normal.  I'll be back to full strength next week.  I'm sure ESPN said some dumb things.  Maybe you all covered it in the gamethread.

Final Notes-

  • Here's the fangraphs chart for this game.  You can just see how scary the ninth inning was.  See it?  Look!
    Source: FanGraphs

    That's a whole lot of red-line leverage index that Rosie created for himself!
  • Once again, Shelby Miller got pretty decent results from a pretty discouraging outing.
  • The same could be said for Rosenthal.
  • Maness' outing was encouraging.
  • Greg Garcia and Peter Bourjos both got hits in their only at bats tonight.
  • Happy Mother's Day

Looking ahead-

Tune in tomorrow as the Cardinals come home and host the Cubbies of Chicago.  Tyler Lyons will be opposed by Travis Wood.

Also, don't forget to stop by On-The-Run at Mobil for your 50 cent drinks tomorrow.  Six is a serious numba.