Cards, Pirates even this weekend in series


As Cardinals rookie Shelby Miller prepares to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates today, the teams are even this weekend with one game a piece in the series.
April 16, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jake Westbrook (35) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Image Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
This is the second game against the Pirates for Miller. In his last outing against them on April 17, Miller got the loss after going 6 innings, striking out 6 but allowing 6 hits and 2 runs. Miller is 3-1 this season with a 1.44 ERA. He has struck out 26 and walked 7. I’m hopeful that it will be a good game today.

The Cardinals are batting .340 with runners in scoring position, which leads the league, but a have an overall dismal batting average of .257 in general.

On Friday, Lance Lynn was as dominant as he could have been as the Cardinals went on a route to a 9-1 victory over the Bucs. Sure, the Cardinals benefited from Pirates lefty Jonathan Sanchez being ejected in the first inning and forcing the Pirates to the bullpen for the rest of the game but the offense backed Lynn up with 9 runs scored during the game. The Lance Lynn we saw on Friday night is the Lance Lynn that went to the All-Star game, rather than the Lance Lynn that blew some key games in the postseason. But I digress…

In Saturday’s afternoon contest, Joe Kelly was all the difference in the game as the Cardinals went down 5-3. Jake Westbrook threw 6 solid innings of shutout ball with 6 strikeouts. He allowed 6 hits as well. When Westbrook left the game, the Cardinals had a slim lead but it was a 2-0 lead nevertheless.

Once Westbrook exited and manager Mike Matheny went to the bullpen, it soon went downhill. In one-third of an inning, Kelly managed to allow 4 runs to score on 3 hits, including a home run from Pirates catcher Russell Martin. It was, in essence, a wasted start from Westbrook. What should have been his second win this season turned into a no-decision for the veteran in the rotation.