The Pittsburgh Pirates
Welcome to Takeaways & Throwaways. Shortly after every Pittsburgh Pirates game, come to Pirates Breakdown to see our flash recap format. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the game, without making you read the same boring recap you can see anywhere else.
FINAL: St. Louis Cardinals 2, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
- Ivan Nova tossed another gem for the Pirates, showing just how important it was for the team to bring him back this season on a multiyear deal. He did not issue a free pass, something that fans of the Pirates have been used to seeing since he joined the club last summer. He was also incredibly efficient, inducing many groundballs that resulted in quick innings.
- Tonight’s game featured a lot of stellar defensive plays by both clubs. In the fifth inning David Freese made a tremendous barehanded play to throw Greg Garcia out at first. With the continued absence of Jung Ho Kang, Freese has given the team great value on both sides of the ball dating back to last year. Even if Kang does make it back to the states at some point this season, Freese is going to make a very strong argument to be in the lineup each day.
- In the seventh inning Stephen Piscotty tried to stretch a single into a double and tested Startling Marte’s arm at his new position in center field. Marte quickly got the ball into Josh Harrison and Piscotty was dead on arrival. Fans should be prepared to see this a lot this season, or perhaps not, as opponents realize that a change in position is not going to affect Marte’s ability to throw out runners.
- Gregory Polanco came off the bench and plated the team’s only run, driving Josh Bell with a double to the left field gap. Polanco showed in just one at-bat how he can change the game, and him being healthy will be huge for the Pirates this season.
- Coming off of a sweep of the Chicago Cubs, it is a little disappointing to see the bats go quiet against a struggling St. Louis Club. The hitters managed just four hits and only one (a double by Francisco Cervelli) that went for extra bases at least until Gregory Polanco came in as a pinch hitter in the ninth. However, tomorrow is a new day and a new game, so hopefully the bats will wake up before it is time to leave St. Louis.
- In the seventh inning, Randal Grichuk took off for second and a combination of a bad throw by Cervelli and an inability to keep the ball in front of him by Josh Harrison resulted in Grichuk advancing to third base. In a game when the offense is able to put some runs on the board, an error such as this does not resonate as much. But on Monday the Pirates had very little wiggle room and this mistake resulted in a run.
Line Of the Day:
Ivan Nova was the star on Monday. He went eight innings and limited the Cardinals to just two runs, and the home run he allowed to Kolten Wong was the only real mistake he made. He allowed just five hits and struck out three while walking none. However, the most impressive aspect of Nova’s start was how efficient he was. He threw 78 pitches and 56 of those went for strikes.
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The Pirates drop a well-pitched affair to the Cardinals 2-1. Who is your Pirates player of the game?
— Pirates Breakdown (@pbcbreakdown) April 18, 2017
The Pittsburgh Pirates continue the series vs the Cardinals with an 8:15 PM fist pitch. Chad Kuhl will face off against Mike Leake. Take a look at our match-ups to watch for some juicy nuggets on the Pirates vs. Leake.