(Busch Stadium) A night after scoring seventeen runs, the St. Louis Cardinals struggled to push a single tally across the plate as they fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 on Friday.
“It’s funny how that usually happens,” Kolten Wong said. “Hats off to Trevor. He pitched a really good game. Kept us off balance the entire night. We put together some hits, man. We just couldn’t drive them in.”
The Cardinals had nine runners reach at least second base, but it wasn’t until the seventh inning that Paul DeJong pushed an infield single to the right side of a shifted infield to drive in the tying run off Pirates starter Trevor Williams (2-1).
“One of the best performances we’ve seen against us this year and he deserves credit for that,” Mike Shildt said. “He did a nice job. Made a lot, a lot of quality pitches all night and was able to make pitches and we weren’t able to execute when we had runners on base. That’s what it came down to.”
Other than allowing a lead off home run, Adam Wainwright was equally strong on the mound. The Cardinals right-hander pitched a season-high seven innings and struck out eight batters.
“That’s the thing I’m going to have to keep proving, is that third and fourth time through the lineup I’ve still got enough gas left to go out there and get those guys out,” Wainwright said. “I’ve got to re-earn that. If I keep going out there and putting up zeroes, and I keep getting guys out, and I’m efficient, and my pitch count’s down, that’s how you earn those last couple innings.
“If guys are barreling balls all over the place and you’re in the middle of the plate, then you’re not going to get the chance to pitch those last few innings. If you’re making quick innings about things, you’re executing pitches, if you’re not looking up and being satisfied with six, then hopefully they’ll let you go seven, eight, nine.”
This was the third start of the season for Wainwright limiting the opposition to only one run. He also did not allow a walk.
“It was a shame we couldn’t do more for Waino in the situation,” Wong said. “He pitched his butt off, did everything he needed to do to keep us in the game, and we just weren’t able to kind of scratch some runs together.”
On to start the eighth inning, Andrew Miller (1-2) allowed a season-high three hits and the winning run to score.
“I didn’t pitch well, I lost the game,” Miller said. “There’s an ‘L’ next to my name. Waino pitched his tail off, we played good baseball. I gave up a run in the eighth inning. We lost the game, my name’s attached to it. There’s nothing to walk out of here with my head held high about.”
“No, he didn’t at all,” Wainwright disagreed. “He hadn’t pitched in a few days and he’s got his fastball command back. And he’s got his slider command back, which when we know he’s throwing strikes he’s really, really good. He gave up a couple soft hits. The first guy that got on really set the tone for that inning. He didn’t hit that ball hard, he just found a hole. That’s what they did, except for Frazier in the first inning, they found a few holes.”
–Wainwright and Yadier Molina moved into 9th place in MLB history with their 250th start as battery mates. They tie Early Wynn and Jim Hegan who accomplished the feat with Cleveland in 1949-57.
MARTINEZ IN MEMPHIS
–In his third rehab appearance, Carlos Martinez threw a scoreless seventh inning for Memphis (AAA) tonight. Registering 97mph with his velocity, Martinez struck out a pair of batters and threw a total of 11 pitches.
photo credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports