04/13/2023 – By Ethan Smith – @mvp_Ethan on Twitter
I. Am. Inevitable.
The Pittsburgh Pirates secured their first shutout victory at Busch Stadium on Thursday night with a 5-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, the first shutout for the Buccos in St. Louis since 2013 and the first time since 2018 that the Pirates have won eight of their first 13 games.
Vince Velasquez bounced back in a big way after a rough set of outings to begin the season, pitching six scoreless innings for the first time since 2021, adding in six strikeouts and 18 swing and misses against a strong Cardinals lineup which would also be his largest mark in that category across his career.
Pittsburgh would finally get the scoring going in the top of the sixth as Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Santana would hit back-to-back doubles to begin the inning and gives the Pirates a 1-0 lead. McCutchen would add a sacrifice fly to score Ji-Hwan Bae in the seventh to extend the lead to 2-0.
Connor Joe and Rodolfo Castro would hit back-to-back homers in the top of the eighth, both their first homers of the season, to extend the lead to 4-0 for the Pirates.
Jordan Montgomery would have a solid outing as well for the Cardinals, pitching 6 1/3 with five strikeouts and two earned runs, proving he’s the Cardinals most and arguably only consistent starting pitcher thus far this season.
Duane Underwood Jr. would follow suit for Velasquez with a scoreless seventh, something that has become a trend for Pittsburgh as it seems some roles have begun to be defined in the Pirates bullpen with Underwood Jr appearing in the seventh quite a bit as of late.
Colin Holderman would enter in the eighth and pitch a scoreless inning despite letting the bases load up before getting a line drive out from Nolan Gorman to preserve the Pirates four run lead heading into the ninth.
Ke’Bryan Hayes would double and score on a wild pitch in the ninth to extend the Pirates lead to five.
Dauri Moreta would come on in a non-save opportunity in the ninth to secure the victory for Pittsburgh and take the early lead in the four-game set in St. Louis.
The Pirates and Cardinals continue their four game set tomorrow as RHP Johan Oviedo(3.18 ERA) faces RHP Jake Woodford(9.00 ERA).
News & Notes
- Vince Velasquez throws six shutout innings for the first time since 2021: 6.0 IP, 6 SO, 2 BB, 3 H
- Jordan Montgomery final line: 6.1 IP, 5 SO, 2 BB, 6 H, 2 ER
- Bryan Reynolds had a scheduled rest day
- Connor Joe hit his first HR as a Pirates and Rodolfo Castro hits one right after for his first of the season
- Ji-Hwan Bae saves multiple runs with highlight plays, or as I like to call them, Highlight Bae’s, in center field
- Andrew McCutchen adds another RBI to his season total, scoring Bae on a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning
- First Pirates shutout at Busch Stadium since 2013