4-8-22 By Craig W. Toth (aka @BucsBasement on Twitter)
Every time my number is called to do the game recap for our site, I start to experience the same emotions I imagine a candidate running for office must feel; as they prepare for an impending victory or concession speech. Just before the game starts, in my mind, two separate storylines are intertwined; the first ending with the Jolly Roger being raised, while the other results in something that happened 101 times during the 2021 MLB Season for your Pittsburgh Pirates.
Even on a day like yesterday-Opening Day-when I can barely contain my excitement, mental drafts of a Pirates victory or loss battle for supreme dominance over the duration of a 9 inning contest, until one ultimately prevails.
In the Pirates matchup with the Cardinals from St. Louis, it was JT Brubaker’s familiar struggle in surrendering the long ball-this time to Tyler O’Neill to make it 4-0 Cards-that steered the narrative of the early storyline; along with another premature injury to Pittsburgh’s young superstar third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes. Last season Brubaker allowed 28 homers in 124.1 innings, good for a rate of 2.05 HR/9-5th worst in the league. And, as you all probably remember, Hayes exited the second game of last season with a wrist injury; not appearing in a Pirates uniform until 2 months later on June 3rd.
In the end the Cardinals tacked on a few insurance runs, and the Pirates failed to muster any consistent offense as they fell to the Redbirds 9-0 to open the 2022 MLB Season.
News and Notes:
- The biggest story of the day was Ke’Bryan Hayes’ 8 year/$70 million contract extension, BUT then he got hurt. Currently Hayes is day to day with a forearm spasm. Luckily, it sounds like he avoided any major injury as he isn’t feeling any pain.
- Wil Crowe might have found a permanent place in the bullpen. Over two innings he struck out 3 and walked two, while not allowing a single hit or run.
- The Pirates left 17 runners on base and were 0-5 with RISP. In 2021 this was a constant struggle for Pittsburgh as they combined to bat .220 as a team with RISP, good for an overall 72 OPS+.
- Duane Underwood, Jr. left the game with a tight hamstring. Obviously it’s not the shoulder inflammation that ended his season last year, but it definitely looked uncomfortable as he tossed a couple of pitches in front of Shelton to see if he could stay in.
- We got shut out. Pitching kinda bad, hitting kinda bad and fielding kinda bad. Could be a kinda long season.
Today is the obligatory off-day for Pittsburgh following the opener. The Pirates and Cardinals will be back at it again tomorrow-Saturday April 9th-from St. Louis in the second of a four game series; with Mitch Keller toeing the rubber against Miles Mikolas.
One thought on “Pirates Manage Zero Runs As Cardinals Dominate”
Park disappointed me in the field. He was not making the throws or snags in key moments.
Two or three innings can be a valuable niche. Crowe definitely can fill that.