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Cardinals at Pittsburgh: Game 3 April 6th, 2016

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The Cardinals looked to snap out of it and salvage a win in Pittsburgh to start the season with a Mike Leake Cardinal debut

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

John Jaso - 1B Matt Carpenter - 3B
Andrew McCutchen - CF Stephen Piscotty - RF
David Freese - 3B Matt Holliday - 1B
Starling Marte - LF Brandon Moss - 1B
Francsico Cervelli - C Yadier Molina - C
Gregory Polanco - LF Kolten Wong - 2B
Josh Harrison - 2B Jedd Gyorko - SS
Jordy Mercer - SS Jeremy Hazelbaker - CF
Juan Nicasio - LHP Mike Leake - RHP


Pittsburgh starter Nicasio began a little sloppy, going 2-2 vs Matt Carpenter. As usual, Carpenter fought off a lot of pitches at the plate. The count went full to begin the game right where they left off yesterday, in a taut fight. And much like last night, they went the distance but failed. Matt Carpenter struck out on a pitch that could have been a ball but ended up a strike.

Nicasio settled down a bit vs Piscotty, but went 2-2 again in the count. This time he served up some nasty and struck out Stephen with a rad looking breaking ball (slider). Then Bearded Matt came up and chopped one up the middle, nearly reaching first in time... it was close enough for a review (Mike didn't have unlimited reviews like opening day, so he didn't challenge). 1-2-3 Cards went in order but at least they fought.

Leake's first out as a Cardinal was a flyout to none other than Jeremy "Hazel" Baker, oh wait, that's Jeremy Hazelbaker (Dan said it weird when announcing him the first time). But then the next batter dropped one in front of Hazelbaker, none other than McCutchen, the Pirates best player. He was like, I bet I can just drop one in in front of Hazelbaker, and he was right on the money.

David Freese hit one off his foot during his at bat that rolled into the fair area of the field but was called foul because it was footed. Freese belted one out to Piscotty, but Stephen was ready for it, caught it, and launched a rocket to first base and if McCutchen was not paying attention he might have gotten picked off from the outfield. 2 outs.

Then dang ol' Cervelli was up. I later noticed that the effects of Mike Leake's pitching made me listless, so I missed the next part. Cervelli got on base somehow. Actually, I didn't know how the bases got loaded either, but they did. The count was 3-2, as I came out of my k-hole or whatever happened, but Leake walked a guy in, which is the worst thing you can do really.

I spoke of Nicasio being a little wild, but apparently Mike Leake wanted to make him look like Greg Maddux. The way he got out of it though was catching a very much scorched line drive off of Josh Harrison that looked practically like it was thrown straight at him by Nolan Ryan or something. But he got out of a huge mess with only giving up 1 run so I suppose caution there was nice.


Yadi also scorched one at the pitcher but it was more of a fast arch that the pitcher dodged and Harrison ended up grabbing up to throw out Molina. Then Kolten Wong looped a single into the outfield, and Gyorko was up (I was impressed by his home run last night). After a not terrible at bat, Gyorko ended up striking out.

The Pirates tried to drop one in front of Hazelbaker again to begin the latter half of the 2nd, but Hazelbaker made a Hollywood-esque catch. The end of the inning was pure Leake as it ended up being only a 6 pitch inning! If you would've blinked twice, you would have missed this inning.


To kick off the 3rd inning of the 3rd game, Jeremy Hazelbaker, a rather tall lanky guy but looking like he could crank a few home runs, battled Nicasio. Jeremy was not able to do much better than the jaguar tamer, if at all. With 2 outs, Matt Carpenter tried to get something started on offense, as the lineup turned over just one off kilter. Which means, Carpenter flied out to center and the next Cardinal that would bat would be Piscotty.

Home turf then got the turn to offend Mike Leake. McCutchen battled to a full count but flied out. Leake worked towards 2 outs but ended up hitting Marte and pinged him in the side of the rib cage, causing much pain. It took Marte a while, but he stayed in the game and cringed when he would run back to the base. The next batter lined out to left field.


The only thing noteworthy about the Cardinals offense in the fourth inning was that if Moss didn't just get under one, he would've clobbered a home run with much violence. But instead it was a monster pop fly out.

Yadier flashed his THOU SHALT NOT abilities vs Polanco (a very fast man) and threw a bullet to Kolten Wong who didn't really apply the tag well, but the call was upheld after being challenged and he was out. Harrison got on base, and advanced on a low throw that Moss couldn't catch. The inning looked to be headed towards trouble, but the timing of it was such that the Pirates pitcher was up at an opportune moment and was not able to get a hit.


Yadi flied out to left field to begin the fifth. Then another out. Gah!

And then I had to go to Quenchers and do a show.


The weirdest part about it is that when I got home after midnight, my Roku box had started playing the game again, even though I had had it paused in the 5th inning. I suppose this glitch saved me some time, because, alas, the Cardinals offense could not muster anything very offensive. The band I played with was called Nebulous Peril, and that sure is what the Cardinals season is starting out like. I detect a lot of confusion, a nebulous roster with the injuries, and a lot of peril going on trying to keep up with the Cubs and of course, the Pirates who just swept us.

The end score was 5-1 Pirates, and the Cardinals ended up starting out the season by getting swept in Pittsburgh. How embarrassing. I hope they are better than this. I don't have the heart to write any more about it at this time. Til next week I guess. I just wish I could have come home to some better baseball and watched the rest of the game, but I suppose the Roku saved me some heartache by glitching out.