Michael Wacha vs. Jon Niese

  • Michael Wacha started the game for the Cardinals, and the Pirates got to him quickly after a solid first inning. In the 2nd inning, Gregory Polanco hit a triple off the wall that Stephen Piscotty completely misread. Polanco then came around to score and the Redbirds were down 2-0 early.
  • Stephen Piscotty and Jedd Gyorko really carried the offense today, combining to go 4-9 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Gyorko also provided the Cardinals’ first long ball of the season to give the Cardinals their first lead of the season. The offseason trade that GM John Mozeliak pulled off with the Padres seems to be working quite well so far.

  • Although the Cardinals offense played much better in Game #2, Wacha just did not have his best stuff and ultimately caused the Cardinals to lose. This team relies on its pitching, so Mike Matheny has to be comfortable when his offense provides five runs in the first few innings. Wacha was consistently placing his pitches over the middle of the plate, and did not get much help from his defense.
  • Aledmys Diaz recorded his first major league hit, but made a rookie mistake in failing to turn a double play that ended up costing the Cardinals a run. While we like the fact that Diaz is hitting well in the majors, he has to be able to make the routine plays that save runs at this level.

  • Finally, in a game that lasted 11 innings, the Cardinals bullpen was absolutely dominant. Tyler Lyons, Seung-hwan Oh, Kevin Siegrist, Jonathan Broxton, and Trevor Rosenthal all pitched in to keep the Cardinals in the game while the batting order struggled to produce runs later in the game. We all knew that the bullpen would be good this season, but to see them have this dominant of a performance early in the season is very intriguing. They ran out of gas in the end, but you would hope that the hitters can pick up their bullpen earlier next time.
  • Finally, I would have to say that there were some questionable managerial decisions from Mike Matheny in today’s game. Pulling Matt Holliday, one of your most reliable hitters, in a tie game for a pinch runner was not the best idea. Other Cardinals hitters, such as Randal Grichuk and Yadier Molina, were struggling and Holliday was helping to pick up the slack with his plate discipline.
  • Overall, it would be great for this team to pick up a W pretty soon, but there should be no reason to panic yet. After all, the last time the Cardinals started a season 0-2, they won the World Series….