Pirates Postgame Commentary: August 27 (DH) vs Cardinals

By COMON Network Team

Final Score (Game 1) – Pittsburgh Pirates (8-19) 4, St. Louis Cardinals (11-10) 3 – F/8 (extras)

WP: Chris Stratton (2-0) LP: John Gant (0-2) SV: Richard Rodriguez (2)

Final Score (Game 2) – Pittsburgh Pirates (9-19) 2, St. Louis Cardinals (11-11) 0 – F/7

WP: Cody Ponce (1-1) LP: Johan Oviedo (0-1) SV: Nik Turley (1)

For the first time since 1967, the Pittsburgh Pirates swept a doubleheader in St. Louis, taking the games by finals of 4-3 (F/8 innings) and 2-0 (F/7 innings). The Pirates sweep the mini series and now get ready for the Brewers. The pitching was solid all day between starters Chad Kuhl and Cody Ponce, and their friends in the pen.

Game 1 went to the visitors as the Bucs started the scoring in the 4th inning on a Jacob Stallings single that plated Cole Tucker. After Yadier Molina’s solo homer, his first of the year in the fifth, the game would be tied through the seven scheduled innings. Pittsburgh broke through for three runs in the top of the eighth. Tucker singled pinch-international-tie-breaker-rule runner Jarrod Dyson home. Bryan Reynolds plated Tucker with a base knock and scored himself on a fielding error on Stallings’ grounder. The Cardinals got two back in the home half, but stranded the tying and winning runs on base as Richard Rodriguez picked up a save, his second.

The only runs of game 2 were scored in the third inning. Singles by Erik Gonzalez and Adam Frazier scored JT Riddle and John Ryan Murphy, respectively. Cody Ponce picked up his first win in his first major league start. Nik Turley earned his first big-league save.

That’s it for the matchup, as the Pirates now head to Milwaukee for a four-game, weekend-wrap-around set with the Brew Crew. First pitch Friday night is slated for 8:10 p.m. ET.

COMON Network Team Commentary

KYLE DAWSON

  • Chad Kuhl didn’t have his best command in game 1 of the doubleheader, but he managed to work around four walks and some traffic, and, really, only made one big mistake on the homer by Yadier Molina. He threw 81 pitches, 44 for strikes, but lowered his ERA to 2.52 by allowing just the one run on the homer in six innings of work. The Pirates needed that. The starting pitcher needs to keep this offense in the game, because who knows when and if Josh Bell will start contributing, and outside of the 8th-inning single, Bryan Reynolds was a bit lost and has struggled. Gregory Polanco was 0-for-4 in the game while the 8 and 9 hitters didn’t give the Bucs anything either.
  • In game one, Jacob Stallings did his part. He not only had two hits and an RBI, but his batted ball in the eighth turned out to be the difference. He’s been, maybe outside of Colin Moran, who’s now on the IL, the best Buccos’ hitter.
  • How good was Cody Ponce in his first big-league start tonight in game two? He allowed five hard-hit balls according to the Baseball Savant feed. He chucked 51 strikes in the 77 pitches he threw in the start and didn’t allow a run. That’s excellent work. Nik Turley picks up his first big-league save too. Kudos all around to the pitchers in the twinbill tonight by the Arch.
  • The lineup was all over John Oviedo too. The group compiled double-digit hard-hit balls against the Cards’ starter, even though it wasn’t an overly impressive night offensively. Adam Frazier’s RBI single was a really good piece of hitting, and hey, Josh Bell had a hit. Let’s see if they can go to Milwaukee and turn it on offensively a bit.

Player of the Game – Chad Kuhl (PIT) Game 1; Cody Ponce (PIT) Game 2

JOE SMELTZER

  • Not that there are many to choose from, but the Pirates’ win in game one of today’s doubleheader was probably their most impressive of the season, with the reason being that they won by doing the little things well. The Bucs got a good start from Chad Kuhl with several solid defensive plays behind him. When the team needed hits, it got them, leading to a three run 10th inning. Perhaps most impressive is that the Pirates didn’t buckle in the bottom of the 10th, when it looked like the game was getting away from them. Bad teams aren’t supposed to win games like this.   
  • It would have been nice if Cody Ponce’s first major league start ended with an abbreviated complete game, and it looked like he had a realistic chance of doing so until he departed in the sixth. Complete game or not, the kid looked alright. He was aggressive, he pitched to contact, and he worked out of it whenever he got into trouble, which didn’t happen often. If Ponce keeps this up, acquiring him for Jordan Lyles could go down as Neal Huntington’s last good trade.  
  • The Pirates have won five of their past seven games and, aside from two drubbings in Chicago, are playing their best baseball of the season. The downside? Every win decreases Pittsburgh’s chances of drafting Vanderbilt’s Kumar Rocker in 2021.  

Player of the Game – Jacob Stallings (PIT) Game 1; Cody Ponce (PIT) Game 2

DONNY CHEDRICK

  • How SWEEP it is. That’s refreshing. A double header sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals as the Pirates won 4-3 then 2-0 on Thursday evening. The two wins put the Buccos at nine on the season. Unfortunately, still dead last in the NL Central and the least amount of wins in all of baseball. The Angels and Red Sox need to look over their shoulder though. Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.
  • A great day for starters. Game one saw Chad Kuhl go six innings, giving up just one run on four hits. Cody Ponce went nearly six shut out innings (in a seven inning game) allowing just five hits as he picked up his first MLB win in game two Thursday. It’s easier said than done, but this is the formula. We know the Pirates’ bats aren’t great, but quality starting pitching can help this team string some wins together.
  • I mentioned Jacob Stallings being a nice surprise yesterday. He had a run batted in during game one today. But Erik Gonzalez is another pleasant surprise for this club. Started both games of the DH in St. Louis. Didn’t tear the cover off the ball, but had two hits and contributed to a pair of wins. In a year when Josh Bell and other 2019 bright spots have struggled, Gonzalez is trying to have a redemption year.

Player of the Game – Chad Kuhl (PIT) Game 1; Cody Ponce (PIT) Game 2

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