Cards Clobber Hart, Bucs Bullpen in a Laugher

The losing streak has reached 8 games. Kevin Hart was torched as the Pirates fell behind 5-0 early on. The offense put up a six spot in the fifth frame off of Adam Wainwright. The final three runs scored on a two run bloop triple from Brandon Moss that turned into a little league homer as an error from Skip Schumaker allowed Moss to score.

The lead didn’t last. Hart was pulled with two gone in the sixth and Denny Bautista allowed a three run homer to Albert Pujols. St. Louis tacked on six more runs over the next two innings to pull away easily.

Ryan Ludwick had a career night. He was 5-5 with two homers, two doubles and five runs driven in. Matt Holliday, whose BA is approaching .400 with the Cards, also homered.

Wainwright allowed six earned runs in five innings. Hart gave up five earned runs and seven overall in 5-2/3.

The Good

Well, there was some offense. Lastings Milledge batted clean up and continuest to rake – he had two more hits. Ryan Doumit had three singles.

The Bad

The pitching. Only Chris Bootcheck looked decent. Phil Dumatrait gave up four runs in 1/3 of an IP.

Eight straight losses with two more games against the Cardinals this weekend.

The Rest

Bautista came into the game unscored upon in 2009 over six innings and four outings.

This was just the second time this year that Wainwright allowed six runs or more. He held on enough and got enough support to get the win tonight.

Millege was hitting .396 over his last sixteen games before tonight.

The five RBI tied Ludwick’s career high, as did the two homers. Five hits and 13 total bases established single game marks for his career.

Hart’s ERA with the Wriglies was 2.60. With Pittsburgh it is on the ugly side of 6.00.

This was the 9th time in 2009 that opponents had reached double digits in runs against the Pirates. It was the 10th time that opponents had tallied 15 or more knocks. Those stats for 2008? 23 times giving up 10 or more runs and 20 times giving up 15 or more hits.

 

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Cards Continue Mastery Over Pirates

Chris Bootcheck’s first career appearance as a Pirates didn’t go well. He started the sixth in relief of starter Charlie Morton. He gave up a single and three walks to force in one run. With two outs, he gave up a bases clearing double to Albert Pujols that pushed the game wide open. Pujols had failed twice earlier with runners on base before connecting in the fateful sixth.

Adam Wainwright was effective for St. Louis. He was perfect through three innings. He went 6-2/3, giving up seven hits, one run and no walks. He struck out six. He tossed 83 of his 112 pitches for strikes.

The Pirates made a ‘too little, too late’ bid with a two run homer from Ronny Cedeno in the 9th. Ultimately, Ryan Franklin had to be summoned to get the last out.

Morton was okay. He was in trouble a lot, giving up seven hits in five innings. But they got just one run off him.

The Good

Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones had two hits each. Cedeno singled in addition to his dinger.

‘White Flag’ Joel Hanrahan struck out four in two innings of work.

Lastings Milledge ran hard all night.

The Bad

Umm. The bullpen?

The Rest

This is day one of my annual trek to Pittsburgh. Across Ohio and up I-79. My brother and I stopped off at the Mall at Robinson before coming downtown. I was not surprised to find that most of the stores that carried sports stuff were emphasizing the Steelers and Penguins over the Pirates. The Dick’s store at the mall had jersey t-shirts of Garrett Jones. We both laughed at that.

After that we did the yearly routine. Check in at the Renaissance (three wedding events at the hotel today – I always feel underdressed coming into the hotel in a t-shirt and shorts). Down a couple of doors for some slices from Giovanni’s Pizza (still outstanding and something we look forward to every year). Then onto the PNC.

The banners hanging up around the outside of the stadium are surely different than what they were in April. Garrett Jones, Jesse Chavez, Charlie Morton and Jason Jaramillo all have banners.  

I guess I’m no longer amazed at how poorly the the team markets itself. I’m a diehard and I’m armed with money and I’m eager to buy something. Yet the only thing that strikes my fancy is a $49 t-shirt (http://www.redjacketshop.com/products/RJ623PIP.htm). I’m not that eager to pay so much for a t-shirt. So, for now, I have nothing in my hands.

My brother and I were talking about all the jersey t-shirt opportunities that the team misses out on. They limit themselves to Clemente, Stargell and Maz. I’d buy shirts with John Candelaria, Al Oliver, Jim Bibby, Richie Hebner, et al without thinking twice about it if they were $20 to $25.

Ken the Lemonade Vendor (www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEpQhGajjeU) was in full voice. That’s always a treat.

A woman with the last name of Coonelly sung the National Anthem. Not sure if she is related to Frank Coonelly. She did a nice job. Though my brother noted – very Simon like – that she appeared to scream it in some parts.

I enjoy some of the ways they introduce players on the big board. I especially like the baseball card introduction this year. It is fantastic to hear the hot dog shooting jingle “…so catch yourself some meat.” Cracks me up every year.

Delwyn Young became an instant favorite of my brothers as he was introduced before his at bats by the Biz Markie song “Just a Friend”.

It was a sellout crowd and 7th largest in PNC history. The post-game fireworks and OAR concert are certainly the reasons. We skipped both. Though we can hear and see the fireworks from our room. I think the music has already started, but the fireworks have been intermittent over the past 30 minutes. It is 11:45 right now.  So, not sure how they are dealing with playing with the sound of fireworks booming in the background.

Speaking of music to be introduced by, this was my first visit to PNC Park that didn’t involve hearing Jack Wilson and his signature song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” Kind of sad. I also lament the loss of the between inning ‘mullet cam’ from earlier years at PNC.