It wasn't some wildling that provided the title for this post, though, but some Pirates. When you look at Adam Wainwright's history against them, you can see that this team hasn't been what you'd expect for one of the aces of the staff.
Those are just the last five before last night. There are others that are rough as well, like six runs in four innings on 9/13/08 or 6/2/08, when he was cruising along until he gave up a game-tying grand slam to Jason Michaels. For whatever reason, whether it's the eye patch or all the strange talk, the Pirates so often make Waino walk the plank.
Last night turned out to be more of the same. After Wainwright--who, if you can't tell, gets the Goat last night even though the relievers didn't look much better--allowed two in the first, he seemed to settle down and the Cards put some runs on the board for him. The Hero tag has to go to Allen Craig, who cranked a three-run shot to put St. Louis ahead 5-2. Things looked like they were going to go well for the home team.
By the way, congrats to Carlos Beltran for getting his 2,000th career hit. That was a pretty strong ovation he received and that and Craig's homer were about all the home fans had to cheer for!
Instead, the Pirates were just getting started as Waino gave the lead back after a scoreless fourth, then put the Pirates ahead when he allowed back-to-back home runs. (BTW, explain Pedro Alvarez, will ya? 9-26--.346--against St. Louis with six runs, two home runs, and 11 RBI. Against the rest of the league? 43-2-6--.208--with 27 runs, ten home runs and 29 RBI. What makes him a world beater against the boys in red?)
Of course, though we have tagged Waino with the Goat because he coughed up a lead he should have kept, the relievers came into a fiery situation and got out their gas cans. Eduardo Sanchez gave up a two-run homer after he came into the game in the sixth. Sam Freeman came in with the bases loaded in the eighth and allowed a hit and a walk. He did get out without more damage, which is faint praise, I know, but it's something.
Then Marc Rzepczynski--what can the team do there? Scrabble was so effective last season, but this year, those good outings are few and far between. Andrew McCutchen is very good, there's no doubt, but it'd been nice if Rzep could have kept those in front of him from reaching.
So all in all, the Pirates score 14 runs and the Cards have to turn around and play again today when the temps are over 100. Yeah, this is a great weekend for them.
After the bullpen usage of last night (and, probably, the results from these guys recently), St. Louis sent Sanchez and Freeman back to Memphis and recalled Maikel Cleto and Barret Browning, who will be making his major league debut whenever he gets onto the field. He's been strong at Memphis but I've not heard much about him. We'll see if he's able to carry those AAA outings into the bigs. That's been an issue this year.
I'm late getting this up, so it's almost game time. Still, you want to be prepared, right? I know I don't often do this for weekend games, so count it as a bonus. Lance Lynn goes for the Cards and has struggled in his last two outings. If he has another rough one this time out, it could influence John Mozeliak's thinking on starter vs. reliever at the trade deadline.
At least Lynn has had some success in the past against them. Then again, Pittsburgh is apparently warming up with the weather, overall season standings in offensive categories notwithstanding, and he's going to have to figure out how to manage the heat and focus his stuff today.
Jeff Karstens takes the mound for Pittsburgh. His career numbers aren't quite as stellar.
I was surprised Skip Schumaker didn't play last night, but I expect he's starting today. (Wait, I realize now I've seen the lineup....yep, he's leading off.) With Skip and Jon Jay 1-2 and Matt Holliday on a tear, hopefully the Cards can take an early lead and Lynn can hold it. Going to be another hot one--glad I can watch it from the air conditioning!
The BBA has, as a secondary aim, the goal of producing year-end
awards in a similar fashion to the Baseball Writers of America. These
awards can be found at the official site in October with links back to the voters,
ensuring transparency and, most likely, the onset of some good baseball