Tonight the Pirates sent recently shoulder fatigued Gerrit Cole (7-4, 3.69 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 3.61 xFIP) to face off against Lance Lynn (14-8, 2.78 ERA, 3.06 FIP, 3.72 xFIP).
The early innings were dominated by Cole striking out a lot of Cardinals batters and not allowing a hit for his first 5 2/3 innings.
Lynn loaded the bases in the second, giving up a double to Russel Martin and walking Starling Marte and Clint Barmes. He got Cole to tap back to him for a 1-3 ground out to end the threat.
In the top of the third, Matt Carpenter did his dead level best to break up the no-no, driving a deep fly to center. But that's where Andrew McCutchen patrols. Cutch made a nice catch, hurling his body at the wall. Keep this in mind, it comes up again later.
Scalawags went ahead in the 4th. Lynn loaded the bases, walking Neil Walker, giving up a single to Russel Martin, and hit by pitching Starling Marte. With one away, Clint Barmes grounded to Carp who went to second for the out, but Wong threw wide to first missing out on the double play and allowing Walker to score. It wasn't hit very sharply and would have been a tough double play in any case. 1 - 0 'rats
In the 5th, Oscar Taveras continues to curse the BABIP monster. He ripped a grounder up the middle. Exactly up the middle. So up the middle it ricocheted off Cole's foot, to second for an easy ground out.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>"What do I have to do to get a hit, man?" <a href="http://t.co/b7dve15l3t">pic.twitter.com/b7dve15l3t</a></p>— viva el birdos (@vivaelbirdos) <a href="https://twitter.com/vivaelbirdos/statuses/504425999933517824">August 27, 2014</a></blockquote>
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In the bottom of the frame, Josh Harrison hit a big fly dinger to left for a 2 - 0 Bucco lead.
In the top of the 6th, that nice catch of McCutchen's in the third? Apparently he injured or re-injured himself when he hit the wall. Cutch was lifted with left rib discomfort, replaced with Jose Tabata.
Also top 6, Kolten Wong finally breaks up no hitter, taking one down the first base line just past a diving Pedro Alvarez.
In the 7th, Alvarez was also removed due to a foot injury. The lineup Pittsburgh puts together tomorrow should be interesting.
The Good Guys were able to muster some offense in the 7th. Matt Adams lead off with a double to center. Jhonny Peralta singled, putting runners at the corners. Jon Jay presided over a Matt Batted In sac fly. Then the stars aligned for one brief shining moment to allow Taveras the courtesy of hitting a single. Runners again at the corners, recently recalled Randal Grichuk was sent in to pinch hit for Lynn. His single to right center ties the game! Yay!
Lynn's line for this evening: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 105 pitches
Sam Freeman took care of a 1-2-3 7th with 5 pitches.
And then there was the 8th. Seth Maness relieved Freeman. After allowing singles to Sanchez and Marte, and with two outs, he was left in to face pinch hitter Ike Davis. Lefty pinch hitter Ike Davis. Lefty pinch hitter Ike Davis who owns a -27 wRC+ against left handed pitchers this season (h/t Dave Barry from the gamethread), 61 wRC+ for his career. The resulting dinger put the Pirates up 5-2 and put the game out of reach. Matheny had Randy Choate ready to go, but sat on his hands and gave Davis the better match up. Ballgame.
<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=953946&type=livewins&num=0&h=300&w=500&date=2014-08-26&team=Pirates&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="300" width = "500" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/livewins.aspx?date=2014-08-26&team=Pirates&dh=0&season=2014">FanGraphs</a></span>
Adam Wainwright and Jeff Locke are on the hill tomorrow for some sunshine baseball. First pitch at 11:35.