Cardinals Sweep Pirates (17-25) in 2 Game Set 8-5, Cahill Exits with Injury, Polanco Gold Star Night

Nobody likes getting beat up by big brother. The Pirates for the majority of the modern era have looked up to, with awe, the Cardinals, and the games often play out like that. Every once in a while little bro lands a shot, but it’s not long before the elder puts him back in his place.

Heading in to a matchup with Trevor Cahill squaring off against Early season Cy Young possibility Jack Flaherty, you don’t feel overflowing with hope exactly, but again, he got beat up early and often.

He lasted 1 inning plus, giving up 4 ER in that inning with 2 BB and 2 K. He left with an injury and Duane Underwood was called on to replace him.

I guess he thought he had to pick up where Trevor left off because in his three innings of work he gave up two more earned runs, 3 walks 4 hits. Duane showed some really good stuff early on in the season, but he’s really started losing the handle on his repertoire. The Bucs seem to want to pitch him through it, and I agreed for the first couple weeks, I saw enough that he’s worth trying to help him get back to it, especially since he has no options. I don’t think he’d clear waivers, but they may need to find a way to get him hidden a bit like they’ve done for Oviedo and get him in the lab a bit. Stuff is there, just lost the handle.

The Bucco bats were really quiet against Jack Flaherty, with the exception of Polanco who blasted a two run shot on a night when the ball just wasn’t flying.

They did get to the bullpen, touching them up for 3 more runs in the 7th, again Polanco came through with a clutch single. Adam Frazier did his part too, as usual getting on base 3 times, man is he fun to watch right now.

Down 8-5 in the 9th Kevin Newman led off with a Kevin Newman special, drilled a ball into the ground and beat the throw to first. Reynolds struck out and Polanco followed suit. Reyes is so slick, and he finished the job striking out Vargas to sweep the series.

New Series in Atlanta tomorrow, Wil Crowe vs Drew Smyly in game one at 7:20

News & Notes

  • It’s getting close to pull the plug time on Michael Perez. It’s one thing if you’re killing it on defense and don’t hit. Or you’re a personal catcher for an ace and don’t hit. But if you’re actively not handling pitchers who shake you off as often as they nod, diving wildly at pitches making them look worse than they actually are, sometimes turning strikes into balls, at some point, you better hit. It’s just not happening, and what’s in AAA isn’t impressive, but he has options, send him down and try Susak or Hudson. Why not?
  • Trevor Cahill left this game early in the second with a calf strain. This actually (while I’d never wish injury on a player) could keep the Pirates from making a bad move or hasty. Kuhl will now have a place and if he’s not ready, Yajure will get a few, at least. I’m even jumping here to say he’ll go on the IL, I have no knowledge he will, it just seems too good an opportunity.
  • Sam Howard when from somebody we didn’t expect anything from when he arrived in 2020 to a very Tony Watson looking lefty reliever in the back end of the pen. Consistently good and has a knack for getting big strikeouts.
  • Illdemaro Vargas singled in the 7th on the first pitch he saw as a Pirate
  • Gregory Polanco is actually heating up, he’s seeing the ball right now and the offense is far too weak to pass up playing him right now.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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