In yet another disappointment to kick off the 2011 campaign, the Cardinals give up another tough loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pittsburgh came in to Busch Stadium today and handed the Cardinals their fourth loss out of six total games this season. Like most of the other games (Game 2 blowout being the exception) the Cardinals had a good showing from the pitching staff and defense, but again failed to capitalize on opportunities and put some points on the board.
They are missing that spark, some moxie has left them early on. The last few years I have watched as the Cardinal players come in to put quite a solo effort, but you have to remember, this is a team game. Players are always showing up it seems and yet for some reason we still have major trouble stringing these wins together.
Not to take anything away from them, both starting pitchers had impressive outings in this duel. Chris Carpenter pitched six solid innings and allowed only one run on eight hits. Kevin Correia was greatly impressive, in only his second start with the Pirates he went seven innings and only gave up five hits. Correia has had his share of problems the last few season, but it really was a coming out party for him this early on, going 2 for 2 thus far with a 1.38 ERA. Granted, those games were against the Cubs and Cardinals respectively, both clubs are talented but at this time let’s just say both of them are having their difficulties early on and Correia will be one of those interesting prospects to keep an eye on the rest of the season.
Albert had yet another “off day” in respect as to what we typically expect out of him. Pujols went 1 for 4 and is now batting just .182 on the season, he also managed to record an error in the 4th to allow Lyle Overbay to advance to second and eventually score.
We have heard this name circulating a bit too, Pirates second baseman Neil Walker came in the 5th inning and blast his second home run of the season just squeezing inside the right field pole.
The one bit of promise in the game came in the bottom of the 9th as Yadier Molina drove in his third RBI of the season. You knew any type of run they might have brewing was going to be short lived and thus the game ended as so with Joel Hanrahan getting his 4th save. The Pirates ended up winning 3-1 to bring their record to 4-2 on the way to their first homestand beginning tomorrow afternooon against the Colorado Rockies.
The Cardinals (2-4) enjoy a day off tomorrow in preparation of their first road series of the season that begins Friday as when they travel to San Francisco to take on the defending champions.