The Pittsburgh Pirates are in the playoffs for the first time in forever, and have resurrected fan’s faith in their franchise with their stellar play in 2013. A feel good story, the Pirates received an early wake up call in game one against the St. Louis Cardinals.
An inexperienced team in terms of the Major League Baseball playoffs and the spotlight that comes with a postseason berth, the Pirates were dominated to the tune of a 9-1 Cardinals opening victory.
Scoreless through 2 1/2 innings, the Cardinals all but sealed the victory in the third inning. A three-run homer by Carlos Beltran sparked a seven run explosion by the Cardinals. That gap was something the Pirates never came close to closing.
Breaking a streak of 20 straight losing seasons, and a playoff drought that dates all the way back to 1992, the Pirates certainly are an up and coming team in the National League.
Now that they have a play in game as well as a major defeat in their second game under their belt, this team needs to adjust to the pressures of October baseball.
A team that has been able to withstand adversity, manager Clint Hurdle remains confident in his team’s abilities. “Game 164 was rough,” he said. “One of the things we’ve been good at is we don’t overcook things.”
For the Cardinals, a team well accustomed to playoff success, the start was as hot as the strangely summer-like 86 degree temperature at first pitch.
Pittsburgh rookie Gerrit Cole (10-7) is set to take the mound for the Pirates against Lance Lynn (15-10) of the Cardinals for game two on Friday.
A must win game for the Pirates, who can not afford to let an experienced team like the Cardinals take a 2-0 lead in the five game series.
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Exprss