PIRATES MOVE 1.5 GAMES AHEAD OF CARDINALS FOR FIRST PLACE
Are the Pittsburgh Pirates (64-42) catching the St. Louis Cardinals (62-43) at the right time? Maybe but the Pirates are showing that they might be closer to the level of the Cardinals than many thought.
The Pirates swept a double header today vs the Cardinals, winning 2-1 (11 innings) in Game 1 of the double header and 6-0 in game 2 of the double header to improve to 64-42, a season high 22 games above .500
Taking the first three games of the series, the Pirates have moved 1.5 games ahead of the Cardinals for first place in the NL Central.The Pirates own the best record in baseball as of tonight.
Why the Pirates are such serious contenders in the National League is because of their pitching depth and that was on display again today.
In Game 1, a 2-1 Pirates win in 11 innings, A.J. Burnett (4-7, 2.86 ERA) allowed 3 hits and 1 run in seven innings, striking out 9 and walking 3. In relief Justin Wilson, Mark Melancon, Bryan Morris and Vin Mazzaro combined for four shutout innings before Alex Presley delivered the game winning hit in the 11th.
In Game 2, rookie Brandon Cumpton (1-1, 2.78 ERA) was excellent, throwing seven shutout innings, allowing 3 hits, striking out 5 and walking just 1. Jeanmar Gomez pitched two shutout innings in the eighth and ninth to preserve the win.
“We got two big time starts,” Clint Hurdle said.
The Pirates taking the first three games of the series vs the Cardinals, have limited the Cards to 3 runs scored
and St. Louis is batting .058 and hitting .174 with RISP in the series.
Everyone wants to be cautious this team but in a down year in the National League, the Pirates have the look of a World Series Contender.