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6/23/2017 Recap: Cards Drop Heartbreaker to Late Pirates Rally

Waino shines as Martinez and DeJong homer, but late Pittsburgh surge capsizes Cards

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Work has detained me, so trivia legend and recap alumnus extraordinaire avs18fan graciously agreed to handle the 'cap tonight. What follows is entirely his.

Recap 6/23

Cardinals v. Pirates

(Best read in the voice of Red Barber. Or possibly Jim Brockmire.)

Adam Wainwright toed the rubber for the Cards this evening, and looked better than his most recent previous outing. He induced a grounder and two fly outs in the top of the first.

Jameson Taillon took the hill for the Pirates in the bottom of the first, and was equally efficient in dispatching of the Cardinals' first three batters.

Then in the second, we got some action! Josh Bell homered to make it 1-0 in the Pirates' half, and Jose Martinez, outfielder extraordinaire, knocked a two-run dinger in the bottom half after Gyorko worked a lead off walk. Good guys 2, bad guys 1.

The third inning included a bit of fascism from both pitchers, and what I mean to say is, each finishing their respective halves with a strikeout and no runs.

In the fourth, DeJong did his best Three Stooges impression and fired an ill-advised throw into the Cardinals dugout after being unable to tag the advancing runner. Both runners advanced, and we had 2nd and 3rd with one out. McCutchen grounded to 2nd for out number two and Freese scored. Tie game. The bottom half was mostly uneventful with a Diaz single in the midst of three strikeouts.

On to the fifth! Two Ks and an line out for the ol' Wagonmaker in an efficient top half. Fryer had a lead off walk in the bottom, was sacrificed to 2nd by Waino, and then a whole lot of not much else. Game still tied two apiece.

The Pirates went down quickly in he top of the sixth, and then in the Cards' half they started to get something going with a Piscotty lead off single. However, the base-running reared its ugly head after a Gyorko pop up when Martinez hit a liner to right, Polonco made a great catch, and Piscotty decided he should just run as opposed to going halfway. Easy prays double play. Danny Mac and Horton tried to sell it as "taking a chance" but I think this was more "manager-approved aggressiveness" which we've seen before.

It's the 7th inning and Waino is still pitching! Pretty nifty! And he was pretty effective, seeing four batters, and getting three outs with a walk mixed in.

The Pirates brought Hudson in relief to start the bottom half of the seventh. Diaz hit a shot to the warning track to lead off, but McCutchen was there to catch it. DeJong up next, AND SOCKS AN OPPO DINGER!! Which earned him a dugout hug (patent pending) from Waino. Garcia pinch hit for Wainwright after a Fryer walk and grounded meekly to first, but advanced the runner. An intentional walk to Carp followed, and the Pirates, taking a page from the Matheny playbook, made a double switch.

~pitching change interlude (please hum your favorite tune here)~

Juan Niasco is in and Pham is up to bat, two on and two out. Elias Diaz is now catching, completing the double switch. A hard liner to right and Polonco makes his second diving catch - inning over, 3-2 Redbirds.

The top of the eighth brings us Rosenthal! How do I know this as I write it during the commercial break? Because if it's one thing Mike knows, it's bullpen roles. But I digress.

Rosie Ks Diaz for out number one and my Ottoneu team rejoices. Next batter is Frazier, who knocks a single, and my Ottoneu team weeps. Harrison up next (whom I also own), and works a walk, leaving me kind of conflicted. Polonco steps to the plate and hits into a force out. Runners at the corners, two out, and Freese up to bat. A base hit to right scores the tying run and it's still runners at the corners, two out.

Another pitching change brings in Cecil to face the right-handed-batting switch-hitter Bell, who promptly lined out to center. Tie game, 3 all. I get a beer from the fridge.

Bottom of the 8th brings Piscotty to the plate, with Niasco still pitching. He strikes out. Gyorko up next and he walks on five pitches! Martinez steps in next, after a loving and endearing pat on the back to the Pirates catcher. I'm sorta buzzed so maybe he was just saying hi. Anyways. Martinez does this bouncing hip thrust as he waits for the pitch. It's reminiscent of the Carpenter lean, but much more sexual in nature, and, on second thought, I might be more than just buzzed. After working a full count, Martinez hits a single to right, moving Gyorko to third - runners at the corners with one out and Diaz up!

A Pirates pitching change brings in Felipe Rivero to face Diaz. Rivero brings the heat, firing fastballs at 102 mph and Diaz lines out to third. Two on, two out.

DeJong up and flies out to shallow right, with Polonco making a sliding catch, skimming across the outfield grass like a Basilisk lizard running across water.

The top of the 9th brings in Oh who makes two quick outs before surrendering a solo shot to right center by the dreaded, dreadlocked Jaso. 4-3 Pirates. And then a deep fly to center to end the inning..

Will the Pirates hang on to win? Or will the Cardinals display some trademarked devil magic and make a comeback? Stay tuned!

~Ovaltine commercial~

Bottom of the ninth, Cards trailing 4-3. Rivero remains in the game, as does Jaso, and Fryer steps to the plate. He walks, and the tying run is on. Huffman pinch hits for Oh. There's nothing sexual about his batting stance. That's disappointing. He strikes out.

Carp to the plate! He leans! He pops out to second. Sigh.

Pham to the plate! He seems very focused. Can he save the day once more? He throws his bat and it is unusable. He works on his new bat while Rivero looks annoyed. The plan is falling into place! He digs in and............ strikes out.

There is no joy in Mudville.

Final score: Pirates 4, Cardinals 3

TL/DR

Waino had a quality start and pitched pretty well for 7 innings - that's good!

Bell hit a solo home run - that's bad.

Martinez hit a two-run homer - that's good!

DeJong committed an error which set up the Pirates to easily tie it up - that's bad.

DeJong hit a solo home run - that's good!

Freese ties it with a base hit - that's bad.

Jaso hits a solo homer - that's still bad.

Jaso's dreadlocks contain potassium benzoate.

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Can I go now?

Quote of the Game, sponsored by Existential Dread

As usual, ayvsi finds voice for our collective heart cry in Cardinals Nation.