The Cardinals offense would get the first look at Joe Musgrove, acquired in the Gerrit Cole trade, in 2018, making his season debut.
Musgrove would toss a scoreless opening frame, giving up a long single to Carp off the Clemente wall in RF. Musgrove worked around the one out single, striking out Cafecíto and getting Swags Ozuna to fly out to LF.
John Gant countered Musgrove, oddly enough, working a quick first inning. Gant’s last couple of starts he’s slowed his pace down on the mound, the first inning reminded me of the 2017 Gant-like pace. Gant started his outing off striking out back-to-back batters, Harrison on the nasty vulcan-change and Polanco on a high 95 mph heater.
Musgrove had an even quicker inning in store for the top of the 2nd, getting out of the inning after a mere 4-pitches. Gyorko lined a single into LF on the second pitch, Fowler lined out on a nice play to Meadows in CF, and Peña grounded into a 1-6-3 double-play on the first pitch he saw, ending the inning in the blink of an eye.
Josh Bell opened the bottom of the 2nd with the first hit of the game for the Pirates, a single past a shifted Kolten Wong at second base.
Tommy Pham made a spectacular play in CF for the first out, sprinting coming in to rob Dickerson of a single. Gant ended the inning with his 3rd strikeout, retiring Austin Meadows on a letter-high 94 mph fastball.
Musgrove and Gant kept humming along thru the next couple of innings, the only hit coming courtesy of Ozuna, an excuse me infield single with two outs in the 4th.
Gant may have very well had his best inning in the bottom of the 4th, ending the inning with back-to-back strikeouts. Gant’s vulcan-change took another victim in Cervelli and then showed his best stuff with the strikeout of Josh Bell to end the inning on a 96 mph fastball after showing him a nasty change and curve to set him up.
The Cardinals looked like they were about to grab the lead in the top of the 5th after a leadoff double from Dex off the Clemente wall. Peña moves Dex over, making weak contact on the first pitch, grounding it to Bell at first. Kolten Wong wasn’t able to bring in Fowler, striking out on a slider in the dirt for the second out. Musgrove escaped the inning with no harm, fanning Gant on a slider for his 5th strikeout.
Gant, again, tallied two strikeouts in the bottom of the 5th, getting Moran and Mercer after giving up a leadoff single to Dickerson. Gant got Mercer looking on a filthy slider up in the zone to end the inning.
The wheels would fall off of Gant in the bottom of the 6th, surrendering 3 runs, recording only one out before being relieved with Cecil.
Musgrove led the inning off poking a single to RF before Harrison drove him in on an RBI double to RF, making it 1-0 Pirates. Polanco grounded out to Wong, advancing Harrison to third, who would score on a Josh Bell sac-fly after Cervelli was hit by a pitch. Dickerson then ripped a double off the lefty, Cecil, to RF for an RBI triple, giving the Pirates a 3-0 lead. That’s all they’d need, go figure.
Ozuna (2-4) led off the top of the 7th with a double down the RF line, past Bell at first base. This was the second inning in which the Cardinals would hit a lead off double and not score. Fowler led the 5th inning off with a double, too.
Musgrove earned his 7th strikeout of the night on Trap House Gyorko for the first out before getting Fowler and Peña to ground out, stranding Ozuna at third.
The Pirates would strike for 3 more in the bottom of the 7th. After Cecil allowed a leadoff single to Meadows, Brebbia would come in for relief.
Let’s just make this short and sweet, the Pirates would hit 3 infield singles in the inning, Cervelli clearing the bases for a 3-run double to RF off Brebbia.
Tommy Pham would contribute for the only run of the game for the Redbirds, a solo HR to RCF. And it was a missile. Pham connected on a Feliz fastball, sending it 414 feet at 106 mph off the bat.
Greg Holland gave up 2 runs in the 8th, extending the Pirates lead to 8-1.
The bullpen shuffling on this road trip could get interesting soon.
This is where this crap shoot would end, turning the page to tomorrow afternoon.
Jack Flaherty (1-1, 2.31) will look to get run support, since that’s hard to come by these days, as he faces off against Trevor Williams (5-2, 3.05).
First pitch 3:05 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers! (More than normal)
Game 48 is 'in the books'
by Stew // @StewStilez