Welcome to Takeaways & Throwaways. Shortly after every Pittsburgh Pirates game, come to Pirates Breakdown to see our flash recap format. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the game, without making you read the same boring recap you can see anywhere else.
FINAL: St. Louis Cardinals 2, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
- Andrew McCutchen shifted back to his old position in center field and did not miss a beat. He made a number of nice catches on hard hit balls in his return to his original position. With Starling Marte set to miss the next 79 games, McCutchen should see the bulk of the playing time in center field, and tonight was a good sign that he is ready for the task at hand.
- McCutchen had a nice night at the plate as well, going two for four with a single and a double. It seemed like McCutchen was extra charged up tonight, and he’ll be even more important to the team’s success now that Marte is suspended until after the All Star Break. But perhaps this will be motivation for McCutchen and he’ll return to the MVP-like player he was just a few years ago.
- Chad Kuhl put together a very nice start, limiting the Cardinals to two runs on three hits and a walk. He struck out three and lowered his ERA to 2.60. He induced six ground outs and starts such as this one show that Kuhl has the stuff to be a strong back end of the rotation option for the Pirates.
- Perhaps the ripple effects of Marte’s suspension were felt immediately. In the bottom of the first inning Dexter Fowler drove a ball deep to right field and Adam Frazier could not field it cleanly which allowed Fowler to reach third. He eventually scored when Stephen Piscotty hit into a fielder’s choice. Frazier is more than a capable fielder, but if the Pirates were able to trot out their normal outfield alignment, the ball may have been caught.
- In the seventh inning, Kolten Wong laid down a perfect bunt and the Pirates had no one covering first. Wong’s bunt would have been difficult for most teams, but there was a lot working against the Pirates. the lefty Wade LeBlanc fell towards the wrong side of the mound and Josh Bell is still learning the position. Fortunately the Pirates were able to end the inning with the very next hitter.
Line Of the Day:
Chad Kuhl took a tough loss but still turned in a great start on Tuesday night. He earned a quality start by limiting St. Louis to just two runs over six innings and added three strikeouts to his season total. He threw 48 of his 76 pitches for strikes and only generated six ground ball outs, but this was the kind of start that Kuhl can build off of when he takes the mound the next time out.
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The three game series in St. Louis wraps up tomorrow at 1:45pm when Gerrit Cole (1-1, 5.29) and Michael Wacha (1-1, 3.00) face off. Cole earned his first win of the season the last time out, limiting the Chicago Cubs to just two runs on six hits and a walk to go along with five strikeouts. Wacha took the loss in his previous trip to the mound against the New York Mets, but had a good outing. He gave up four runs (three earned) in six innings and struck out eight and walked two.