The Pittsburgh Pirates lost today to the Cardinals, who completed the three game sweep.

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 

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Takeaways

  • Gerrit Cole turned in another solid start as he pitched six quality innings and only gave up two runs, both solo home runs by Dexter Fowler. He allowed six hits and two walks to go along with eight strikeouts. After a rough debut against Boston, Cole has turned in quality starts in his last three outings and has lowered his ERA to 4.70. His next start will be against the Chicago Cubs at home on Tuesday, who he defeated back on April 14th.
  • Josh Bell slugged his first home run of the season in the fourth inning, providing the only run for the Pirates during the afternoon contest. Bell had been struggling and pressing at the plate during the early weeks of the season, so perhaps the home run will give him the confidence that he needs to be an impact bat this season. Given the news that came down yesterday, Bell is going to be counted on to produce even more now that Starling Marte is suspended until after the All Star Break.
  • John Jaso made two good catches in right field in the sixth inning, showing off his position versatility that the team worked on in spring training. Given that the Pittsburgh Pirates will be without the services of Starling Marte for the majority of the season it’s good to see Jaso performing well since he is going to most likely see considerable action out in right field.

Throwaways

  • If there is any aspect of Cole’s start (and most of his starts this year) to pick on, it is the fact that Cole has been giving up too many home runs. Full stop. He’s given up five home runs in his four starts, and fortunately the two that Fowler hit were both solo shots. If there had been men on base when Fowler sent those baseballs over the wall, the Cardinals could have run away with this game.
  • It’s a shame that Cole turned in a great start and the team was not able to give him enough runs to win the game. The Pirates dropped all three games to St. Louis by the same score: 2-1. It’s only one series in the first month of the season, but like with the starts from Ivan Nova and Chad Kuhl, it’s tough to see such good starts go to waste.
  • In the top of the eighth the Cardinals committed two errors to allow Francisco Cervelli and Josh Harrison to reach. After Josh Bell flew out for the second out, Andrew McCutchen walked to load the bases. Gregory Polanco grounded out to first to end the inning, leaving the bases loaded. This is a problem that carried over from Tuesday, as the PittsburghPirates left 10 men on base in that game. 

Line Of the Day:

Other than the two home runs that he served up to Fowler, Cole had a great outing. He recorded another quality start and has cut his ERA almost in half since his debut in 2017. He threw 62 of his 91 pitches for strikes to record eight strikeouts. But more importantly, Cole kept his cool when things did not go his way and kept the Pirates in the game while he was on the mound.

WMichael Wacha (2-1, 2.41 ERA); L – Cole (1.2, 4.70 ERA); STrevor Rosenthal (1, 2.70 ERA)

Up next

After an off day on Thursday, the Pittsburgh Pirates will welcome the New York Yankees to PNC Park to begin a three game series on Friday at 7:05pm. Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 12.15) will take the hill for the home team while the visitors will start CC Sabathia (2-0, 1.47). In his most recent start against the Chicago Cubs, Glasnow lasted just five innings and gave up six runs (four earned), which was a step in a right direction after his disastrous first start of 2017. Sabathia on the other hand tossed a gem the last time out, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals while allowing one run on three hits and a walk to go along with six strikeouts in seven and a third innings of work.

 

Ethan Obstarczyk

Ethan is a lifelong Pirates fan who resides in the east end of Pittsburgh. When not talking about, writing about or watching baseball, he also enjoys watching football and hockey along with movies and listening to some of his favorite bands. He can also be found on Instagram (ethanobstarczyk) and Untappd (Ethan_O).