Game Recap: Pirates Don’t Get Sweep — No, Really

The Pirates had their ninth chance to sweep a series this year, so you don’t need anybody to tell you how it came out.  Just the score, which was 3-0 for the Cardinals.

The Pirates’ offense against Adam Wainwright was at its most pathetic.  He’s probably insulted at having to pitch against them.  In 23 innings against them this year, he’s allowed a .128 average, with just one walk.  This game was a laugher for him.  The only hits in his eight shutout innings were a single by Gregory Polanco and a double by Kevin Newman.  Wainwright fanned nine and walked none.

Steven Brault had a solid outing, still limited to four innings.  He threw 81 pitches, allowing five hits and two walks.  The only run against him came on a ground ball by Yadier Molina that just sneaked through the infield; it was so weakly hit Kevin Newman would have refused to be credited with a hit for it.  Brault also had a web gem on a safety squeeze attempt.

Kyle Keller followed Brault and had one of his best outings for the Pirates, allowing just the obligatory gopher ball over two innings.  Keller’s been scored upon in six of his last seven outings; in the one in which he didn’t allow a run, he faced only one batter.  Overall, he’s allowed earned runs in 12 of 20 games with the Pirates, but he’s apparently on the Polanco Plan, so he’s earned more of the opportunities.

Nick Mears threw a scoreless inning, then Anthony Banda (aka Waiver ID #47328B6) came in for the eighth.  He held the Cards scoreless for two batters.  Luis Oviedo didn’t get in because he’s already pitched a whole inning in the last eight days.  Plus, it’s risky to use a guy who’s pitched scoreless ball in his last three outings when you have guys like Keller and Banda available.

Alex Reyes pitched the ninth.  Yoshi Tsutsugo struck out for the fourth time in the game.  Ke’Bryan Hayes and Bryan Reynolds had two-out singles to run the Pirates’ hit total all the way to four, but Colin Moran lined out.