In the same way that Don Henley once wrote, “Nobody on the road. Nobody on the beach. I feel it in the air. The summer’s out of reach,” a .500 season is officially out of reach for the Pirates. Edwin Jackson beat the Pirates and Charlie Morton this afternoon. Pittsburgh scored just two times. In a microcosm of the entire season, the offense score just two runs, struck out ten times and didn’t draw a single walk.
Rafael Furcal doubled off Morton to start the game and would score on a double from Allen Craig. The Pirates would even it up with their own doubles in the third. Michael McKenry scored courtesy of Alex Presley.
St. Louis would take the lead for good in the next inning. Lance Berkman walked to start the inning. Craig was plunked. One out later, Yadier Molina doubled in both runners.
Presley doubled to start the sixth inning and was doubled in by Derrek Lee with two gone. Pittsburgh put the tying run on second base with one out in the seventh in the form of pinch runner Chase d’Arnaud. But Ryan Doumit and Josh Harrison both whiffed. That would be the last runner the Pirates would get on base. Six of the final eight Pirate batters whiffed.
Jackson allowed eight hits in 6-2/3 innings. He gave up just two runs and struck out eight. Jason Motte pitched the ninth for the save. Charlie Morton allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings. He walked three and whiffed six.
Lee had three hits. Presley doubled twice.
Morton was good enough on many days.
Five of the eight hits were doubles. This was the sixth time in 2011 the Buccos collected five doubles and the first time since 7/17 against Houston.
The aforementioned whiffing and lack of walking.
Getting only a pair of runs.
Morton falls to 2-5 against St. Louis. Jackson is 4-0 in five career starts against the Buccos.
Barring a catastrophe, this should be the Pirates best season since they won 75 games in 2003. The best season since then was just 72 wins in 2004.
Morton is just 2-7 in his last 14 starts.