We’re at a real tense part of the season, folks. September wins might be worth the same as April wins, but late September losses in the heat of a wild card race feel much more costly. The Brewers beat the Cubs in a 10-inning affair earlier, so we start the game tied with them for second place in the division. Lance Lynn takes on Gerrit Cole.
The game started off on a very positive note. Matt Carpenter singled, and Tommy Pham jumped all over a middle-middle fourseamer, blasting it to straightaway center to put the Cardinals up 2-0.
That was pretty well where the good stuff ended. Lynn did not have it tonight. He gave up a double to Adam Frazier on a meatball, served up after his 0-2, 1-2, and 2-2 pitches missed waaay wide right. He walked Starling Marte on five pitches, then gave up a single to Andrew McCutchen on the ninth pitch of a hard grind of an at-bat. Lynn finally retired a batter by striking out Josh Bell, but David Freese knocked the next pitch (a ball) for a 2-RBI single. Gregory Polanco singled, Elias Diaz singled, Jordy Mercer tripled, Cole grounded out, and Adam Frazier walked before Matheny finally pulled the plug.
Josh Lucas relieved Lynn and threw a wild pitch, scoring Mercer. Marte was bound and determined to prove the wild pitch wouldn’t have mattered anyway, and hit a very convincing triple to drive the point home. By the time Lucas staunched the wound, the score was 8-2 Pirates.
The Cards made an honest try of it after that, but 8 runs is a lot. Adam Wainwright pitched the 2nd and 3rd innings, and got a leadoff single and scored in between all that. Sam Tuivailala pitched a couple innings and did pretty well, giving up only one run.
Matheny shuffled the B-squad in during the 6th inning, probably looking to give some of the more banged up fellas a rest running down this last grueling stretch of high-impact games. Apparently he tied an MLB record by using 6 pinch hitters in a single inning. Ironically, the B-squad scored 3, chased Cole, and burned A.J. Schugel before the inning was over. When the dust settled, it was 10-6 Pirates.
Most of the action had ended, though. David Freese drove Josh Bell in with a double in inning the eighth, and the score held to the end at 11-6 Pirates.
With this loss, the Cards slip back to 3rd in the WC2/NLC races. At press time, it’s 2-0 Padres over Rockies, so hopefully that will hold and the only thing lost on the Rockies will be the chance to gain a game.
Tune in tomorrow! Even with this tough-feeling loss, we did not really lose much steam in the Fangraphs Playoffs Odds:
The 23/15 is today, and I’m presuming that it accounts for our loss because it’s a slight downward bump from yesterday. Just not devastating. Like when we traded places with MIL a couple days ago. If we can get back to winning tomorrow, it’ll all be alright.