Pirates: 1. Duffy, 2. Wilson, 3. Sanchez, 4. LaRoche, 5. Bay, 6. Nady, 7. Paulino, 8. Bautista, 9. Snell
Ian Snell (0-0, 3.00 - 11 K, 1 BB, 0.83 WHIP)
Cardinals: 1. Eckstein, 2. Duncan, 3. Pujols, 4. Rolen, 5. Edmonds, 6. Kennedy, 7. Molina, 8. Schumaker, 9. Looper
Braden Looper (0-1, 4.50 - 3 K, 1BB, 1.50 WHIP)
- Now that I look at the Cardinals' lineup. Man, they are struggling. Outside of Pujols and, to an extent, Rolen, they don't have much. Edmonds is slowly dying off, Kennedy in the 6th hole?...and Molina hasn't figured out how to hit yet in any of his major league seasons. How did any combination of team made up primarily of these guys win a World Series?
1st Inning: Snell with a strikeout and allows a hit. Smooth first inning. Duffy actually draws a walk, setting the table for a little something. Stumble by Looper and Duffy doesn't even have to move to second on a steal, he walks over after the balk. Jack smokes one, but right at the second baseman for an out. Well Tracy doesn't bunt Wilson and now Sanchez can't get Duffy in, nor can he get him to third. This could be a wasted opportunity. LaRoche grounds out on a full-count pitch. Should be 1-0, but the Bucs will head to the second inning still scoreless.
2nd Inning: Some solid defense for the Bucs. Sanchez makes a play at second and is followed by a shoestring grab in the outfield by Bay. The guys are talking about Kip Wells not getting a nice ovation today by the Pirates fans. It doesn't matter to me. I like that the fans show enough support in their team to dislike an opposing guy that failed constantly with them. Snell picks up his a ground out to end the top half. Bay strikes out on a ball in the dirt. Ugh. Nady hits one to the track...WTP - warning track power. And Paulino continues to struggle, going down on strikes. 0-0 into the third.
3rd Inning: Snell cruises through the top. Three up and three down. Bautista tries to sneak a grounder through the middle of the infield, but it doesn't happen. Snell resides in Bradenton now, I like that. So during the off-season, his home is the off-season training facility of the team. Duffy doubles to right field as Schumaker fails to make a running play on the little lefty's hit. Ends Loopers no-hitter chances! Wilson fails to do anything again with Duffy on second. SIGH. Scoreless into the fourth.
4th Inning: Pujols doubles. It happens. Rolen drives him in. Must be nice to get someone in from second base. Kennedy steals second on Paulino. It's the ninth stolen base on the Bucs already. Teams are 9-for-11 in stolen bases. LaRoche shows his patience and draws a one-out walk. Bay singles him to second. And Nady follows that up with a routine double-play ball. This is getting ridiculous. 1-0 Cardinals into the fifth.
5th Inning: Snell picks up the first two outs of the inning. Eckstein singles to prolong it. Eckstein steals second as a ball pops out of Paulino's glove. This is going to be a fun year on the bases if this keeps up. Snell gets out of it after giving up a walk. Time for the offense to do something. Snell's got Bautista on first and needs to bunt him over. He gets it down. Now here we go with another runner on second. Duffy flies out. Inning over. 1-0 Cards into the sixth.
6th Inning: Edmonds doubles, but is thrown at third trying to steal. Paulino nails him by a mile. Remember, though, Edmonds is getting old. Snell ends the inning. Eckstein moves to his left to make a nice play on Wilson to start off the Bucs' half of the inning. Sanchez grounds out - two outs. LaRoche pops out to Eckstein. Pirates once again do nothing at the plate. Did I mention Braden Looper was pitching this game for the Cardinals...Braden Looper. Cardinals 1-0 into the seventh.
7th Inning: Looper will bat with two outs in the seventh. Interesting, though I guess he is shutting the Bucs down. But still. Snell deserves to at least pick up a no decision in this game. He's holding down the defending champs in the home opener, but the offense is simply doing nothing. Bay drills one high in the air to the pitcher's mound for the first out. At least Nady gets to first by any way possible -- gets hit by a pitch. Oh wow and looky here. Paulino grounds into yet another double play. Cardinals 1-0 into the eighth.
8th Inning: Snell out, John Wasdin in. It's a shame for Snell. Another solid performance, though. Hopefully we can pull something out for him and not let him go home with this loss. Paulino doesn't block a ball in the dirt and Eckstein moves up. Bad defensive day for Paulino. Wasdin and Marte end up giving more runs. This game is pretty much over since the offense failed to show up. Bautista grounds out with Ryan Franklin now on the hill for the Cardinals. Nate McLouth to pinch hit. McLouth singles. Again, he's the guy to show up. Duffy Ks. Wilson Ks. Cardinals 3-0 into the ninth.
9th Inning: Bayliss relieves Marte to clean up the ninth. Strikes out Molina. Schumaker flies out. Taguchi strikes out. An inning and two Ks for Bayliss -- I can respect that. Trying to make Izzy blow a save. Not going to happen with a leadoff groundout by Sanchez. And the rest is history, not even worth mentioning. Pirates go down in the home opener behind a strong effort by Snell.
1 Dog - John Wasdin - We sucked but we were still down only one until Wasdin came in and did nothing good on the mound.
2 Dogs - Jack Wilson - This is simply his lack of getting Duffy over in the first inning. That could have been the run we needed. Also leaving Duffy stranded at second another inning.
3 Dogs - Ronny Paulino - Terrible behind the plate. Terrible with the stick. Two double play balls to end innings. Stolen on twice and a passed ball. Ugh.