Series Preview: The Cardinals

Current record: 65-53, 2nd place in NL Central, 6.0 games back

Up Next: St. Louis Cardinals, 64-54, 3rd place in NL Central, 7.0 games back

Season Series: 4-5 (1-2, 1-2, 2-1)

Notes: The Pirates’ poor play in August has allowed the Cardinals to catch up to them in the races for the division and the Wild Card. Pittsburgh is coming off of its first losing homestand (4-7) of the season. St. Louis’ only trade dealine pick up was RHP Edward Mujica for the bullpen. The Cards feature a great lineup, even with 1B Lance Berkman on the DL. Corner outfielders Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday have been their usual stellar selves while sophomore Allen Craig has been even better at 1B than Berkman.

Familiar Faces: None

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH James McDonald (10-5, 141.0 IP, 126 K, 3.77 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)
vs. RH Jake Westbrook (12-8, 146.2 IP, 92 K, 3.62 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)

Saturday: LH Erik Bedard (7-12, 116.1 IP, 111 K, 4.56 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
vs. RH Lance Lynn (13-5, 138.0 IP, 135 K, 3.65 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)

Monday: RH Jeff Karstens (4-3, 69.0 IP, 50 K, 3.91 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)
vs. RH Jaime Garcia (3-4, 66.1 IP, 51 K, 4.48 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)

No lineup yet.

Tonight’s Lineup
Starling Marte LF
Travis Snider RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Garrett Jones 1B
Michael McKenry C
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Clint Barmes SS
Jordy Mercer 2B
James McDonald P

Cardinals Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 14-5 Win at St. Louis. Lots of late runs. Box score.
Saturday: 7-3 Win at St. Louis. Pedro smash. Box score.
Sunday: 5-4 Loss at St. Louis. Not enough to bail out Bedard. Box score.

Season Record: 42-36, 2nd place in NL Central, 1.0 game back

Notes: Two outstandings games and one disappointing one. Good to see the Jeff Karstens from last year show up. Erik Bedard has not been very good for a month. Jose Tabata scored four runs and was on base six times, which was good to see. Big weekend for Pedro Alvarez with eight RBI, including a grand slam. Andrew McCutchen injured his wrist on Saturday making a diving catch and got Sunday off. He’s expected to be fine.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Tabata, RF 13 4 4 0 2 1 3 0.308 0.400
Walker, 2B 12 3 6 3 2 2 6 0.500 0.571
Presley, LF-CF 12 3 5 1 1 2 1 0.417 0.462
Alvarez, 3B 11 1 4 8 3 1 5 0.364 0.500
Barmes, SS 11 2 4 3 0 1 7 0.364 0.364
Jones, G, 1B 11 4 3 2 1 5 6 0.273 0.333
McCutchen, A, CF 9 5 6 3 1 0 2 0.667 0.700
Sutton, LF-2B 9 1 2 1 0 4 4 0.222 0.222
McKenry, C 8 1 2 3 0 4 9 0.250 0.250
McGehee, PH-1B 5 0 1 1 0 0 2 0.200 0.200
Barajas, C 5 0 0 0 0 2 4 0.000 0.000
Harrison, 2B-3B 3 0 0 0 0 0 5 0.000 0.000
Karstens, P 3 0 0 0 0 2 1 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 2 0 1 0 0 1 1 0.500 0.500
Lincoln, P, PH 2 1 1 0 0 1 1 0.500 0.500
Bedard, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Fryer, PR-LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 —- —-
  Totals 118 25 39 25 10 27 57 0.331 0.383

Batting
Doubles (6): McCutchen (16), Alvarez (14), McKenry (5), Tabata (13), Walker (15), Sutton (7)
Triple (1): Presley (2)
Home Runs (6): Barmes (4), Presley (6), Jones (10), McCutchen (15), Alvarez (15), McKenry (6)

BaseRunning
SB: Presley (8)
CS: Tabata (9)

Fielding
Double Plays: (Harrison-Sutton-Jones)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Karstens(W, 1-2) 7.0 4 2 2 2 7 0 2.57 0.86
Correia(W, 4-6) 5.0 6 5 5 2 3 1 9.00 1.60
Bedard(L, 4-9) 4.7 8 5 5 2 5 2 9.64 2.14
Lincoln 3.0 1 0 0 0 4 0 0.00 0.33
Resop 2.3 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.00
Watson 1.7 3 1 1 0 1 0 5.40 1.80
Hughes, J(S, 1) 1.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Cruz, J 1.0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0.00 1.00
  Totals 26.0 22 13 13 7 24 3 4.50 1.12

Transactions: None

Series Preview: The Cardinals

Current record: 40-35, 2nd place in NL Central, 1.0 game back

Up Next: St. Louis Cardinals, 40-36, 3rd place in NL Central, 1.5 games back

Season Series: 2-4

Notes: Even with Lance Berkman on the DL, the Cardinals have plenty of big bats. Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig all sport an OPS+ of 141 or better. St. Louis’ +69 run differential is the best in the league and second best in the majors. The Bucs are ninth at -6. Lance Lynn has been outstanding this season, but allowed 11 ER in his last two starts.

Familiar Faces: None

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH Kevin Correia (3-6, 80.1 IP, 31 K, 4.03 ERA, 1.28 WHIP)
vs. RH Adam Wainwright (6-7, 91.2 IP, 84 K, 4.32 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)

Saturday: RH Jeff Karstens (0-2, 17.0 IP, 9 K, 6.35 ERA, 1.65 WHIP)
vs. RH Lance Lynn (10-3, 92.0 IP, 92 K, 3.23 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)

Sunday: LH Erik Bedard (4-8, 78.0 IP, 72 K, 4.27 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
vs. RH Jake Westbrook (6-6, 93.0 IP, 59 K, 3.77 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)

No lineups yet.

Cardinals Wrap Up

Scores:
Tuesday: 10-7 Loss at St. Louis. Bad pitching, bad D, bad umpire? Box score.
Wednesday: 12-3 Loss at St. Louis. Worst game of the year. Box score.
Thursday: 6-3 Win at St. Louis. New team record for K’s. Box score.

Season Record: 11-14, 3rd place in NL Central, 5 games back

All the pitching the Bucs didn’t get in the first two games of the series was used in the finale. Erik Bedard struck out 11 (including seven in a row) in five innings and the bullpen added another six, setting a new team record for a nine inning game. Pedro Alvarez continued to set the world on fire with two more homers amoing his six hits. Andrew McCutchen missed one game and had to leave another one early with the flu.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh   AB    R    H  RBI  BB SO  LOB   AVG
Presley, LF 14 0 1 1 0 4 5 0.071
Tabata, RF 13 4 4 2 1 3 3 0.308
Alvarez, 3B 11 6 6 5 1 1 1 0.545
Walker, 2B 11 2 3 0 1 4 1 0.273
Jones, G, 1B 10 2 4 2 2 1 3 0.400
Barmes, SS 8 0 3 3 0 0 2 0.375
McLouth, CF 8 0 1 1 0 2 4 0.125
McKenry, C 7 0 0 0 0 3 7 0.000
Navarro, SS 5 0 2 0 0 1 2 0.400
McCutchen, A, CF 5 1 1 0 1 0 2 0.200
Barajas, C 5 1 1 0 0 0 2 0.200
Harrison, PH-2B 3 0 2 2 0 0 0 0.667
McGehee, 1B 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.500
Bedard, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000
Burnett, AJ, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000
Morton, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000
106 16 29 16 6 21 32 0.274

Batting
Doubles (7): Barajas (3), Barmes 3 (6), Tabata (4), Jones (4), McGehee (4)
Triples (1): McCutchen (1)
HomeRuns (2): Tabata (1), Alvarez 2 (7)

BaseRunning
SB: Tabata (4)

Fielding
Errors: Jones (1), Barmes 2 (6), Alvarez 2 (5), Barajas (1)
Double Plays: (Barmes-Walker-Jones), (Jones), (Harrison-Navarro-Jones)

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Bedard (W, 2-4) 5.0 5 2 2 2 11 0 3.60 1.40
Morton (L, 1-2) 4.3 8 6 5 2 5 1 10.38 2.31
Lincoln 3.3 3 0 0 1 3 0 0.00 1.20
Hughes, J (H, 2) 3.0 3 3 1 0 2 1 3.00 1.00
Burnett (L, 1-2) 2.7 12 12 12 1 2 2 40.50 4.88
Grilli (H, 5) 2.0 1 0 0 3 3 0 0.00 2.00
Cruz, J (H, 3) 2.0 2 0 0 3 2 0 0.00 2.50
Hanrahan 1.0 1 1 1 2 2 0 9.00 3.00
Resop 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Watson 0.7 2 1 1 0 1 1 13.50 3.00
25.0 37 25 22 14 32 5 7.92 2.04

Transactions: None

Sunday 4/22 Pregame

Gametime: 1:35

St. Louis, 10-5, 1st place in Central
Pittsburgh, 6-8,  3rd place in Central

Pitchers:
Kyle Lohse: 2-0 (3 starts), 0.89 ERA, 20 IP, 11 SO, 10 H, 2 BB
Erik Bedard:  0-3 (3 starts), 2.65 ERA, 17 IP, 10 SO, 17 H, 6 BB

The Pirates have scored only 29 runs, last in the NL. Next on the list is Philadelphia at 42 and Cincinnati with 49.

However, the Bucs have only allowed 39 runs all year, best in the NL. Next is Philadelphia at 40, with Washington and St. Louis tied at 45.

Today’s Lineup:
Nate McLouth LF
Jose Tabata RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Neil Walker 2B
Garrett Jones 1B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Clint Barmes SS
Michael McKenry C
Erik Bedard P

Correia Hurt, Burnett activated.

I’m posting this from my phone so please forgive the lack of links. The Pirates have announced that tonight’s starting pitcher, Kevin Correia, has been scratched due to discomfort in his left side. A left oblique injury forced Correia to miss the end of last season.

Starting in his place will be A.J. Burnett, who was supposed to make his final rehab start tonight in Altoona. A corresponding roster move will be announced before the start of the game.

Update 4/22, 10:58: Jared Hughes was optioned to AAA to make room for Burnett. Added links.

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