Pirates Recap: Bucs Split Series With Cardinals After Extra Innings Loss

The Pirates went to extra innings against the Cardinals for the second day in a row. This time around, they couldn’t keep St. Louis off the board in the tenth inning, dropping the game 5-4.

Mitch Keller gave the Pirates a solid outing, going six innings with three runs allowed. Keller had a 3-1 lead going into the sixth inning, and gave up two runs on a home run by Lars Nootbaar. This continues a trend of Keller pitching well, but running out of steam during the end of his outing. That hasn’t hurt him every time, but cost him today.

The Pirates got on the board first with a sacrifice fly by Bryan Reynolds, scoring Ke’Bryan Hayes in the first. Hayes led off the game with a triple. They added runs in the second on an Austin Hedges single, and in the sixth when Tucupita Marcano reached on a fielding error, scoring Canaan Smith-Njigba.

Duane Underwood Jr., Colin Holderman, and David Bednar all pitched scoreless innings, but the Pirates couldn’t add another run, sending the game to extras.

The Pirates scored in the tenth inning after two groundouts scored Andrew McCutchen, who was the runner on second.

Wil Crowe came on in the bottom of the tenth, getting Nolan Arenado to line out to left. After walking Willson Contreras, he gave up a ground rule double to Nolan Gorman, tying the score and putting the winning run on third.

The Pirates responded by putting Ji-Hwan Bae, their center fielder, at second base, giving them a five man infield. They shifted the outfield to left for Jordan Walker, leaving right field completely open. Walker tried putting a few pitches to right, but ended up striking out looking for the second out.

Tommy Edman hit a two out hard grounder through the right side, bringing in the winning run for the Cardinals.

The Pirates are 9-7 after splitting the four game series with St. Louis. They head to Colorado next to start a three game series tomorrow.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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With news coming the Twins are looking to extend Lopez for 4/$73 million, is it time Pirates get serious about doing something similar for Keller?


Absolutely, I posted 4/$64 M last week.
IMO, MK fronting rotation is as important as BRey protecting ENDY in the middle of the line-up.
Bae, Cruz, Endy, BR, etc

After 2 years of watching the Indians and Curve, I am convinced the Pirates themselves did not watch enough. I have posted and preached the game changing abilities of JBae endlessly. He either led off or batted 9th with Cruz following but regardless, if healthy he PLAYED EVERY DAY as the starting 2nd basemen and already has factored into W’s
FO said they were in to win every game and play best 9
Was BC serious or simply saying the right thing?
Are they a better team? Yes,
Will they be better next year, Yes

Been on board and backed new FO and rebuild since they took over
Outside of a couple senseless trades one for options Joe and Choi that wat or not and now regretting
The line-up cards are better because of the roster
No Van weezer means he can’t hit clean up for a week,
However BC helped him with a panic like signing of Choi
Numbers down, injured, then benched during Rays push for the PS
BC didn’t think Shelty would use him to clean up and protect a living legend in the Burgh, welcome home 22
Cutch has BB > K’s and Choi doesn’t know what LOB means let alone count that high in English. Gets better
Shelty was on a mission to one up himself so facing a LHSP he bumps platoon Choi hitting 0.53 to the 3 hole behind some POW dude
How did that work out?
Choi went deep, Shelty felt like Aristotle for a day
Reynolds 1-4 with 3 borderline strikes total to select from
The Cards were hoping someone could slow BRey (yay you sheltless}

Lastly, 2 issues
Both in regards to yesterday’s game
Cards have a struggling RH on the mound that is slow to the plate
For Bae not to start or have a PA in this game is reprehensibe

You can’t let the worst hitter in MLB step to the plate twice after PH for Jack Suwinski, EVER (don’t want to hear L/L, analytics)

I feel like Bae and Suwinski should be getting experience in these situations rather than Joe and Hedges.
At the end of the day or (loss) isn’t it the kids not the jabronies who should be learning how to slay Red birds?


I don’t get why you’re bent out of shape pinch hitting for Jack when a lefty is on the mound. How is that a wrong move? Suwinski is a tough play right now. Is he an every day big leaguer? Idk. Yea, it’s nice to say he hit 19 home runs last year but he is at best a platoon bat right now. The guy has such a hard time making contact. If the Pirates were a better team, he is still in minor league baseball without a doubt. Could he become a 2 win player? Possibly… but I’m not counting on it. Bae has had some exciting moments so far and hopefully he continues to mature and get better. It’s not like he is only getting two starts a week.

It’s early in the season, take a breath.


If you place a high value on sentimental attachment to players, then I say sure.


Love Mitch that much, do you?


I’d like to see an extension at the end of the season if Keller continues to produce. Still have plenty of time to talk extension since he isn’t a FA until 2026.


I dont have time right now to look up service time, etc. but with lopez and webb deals feels like keller should be pretty reasonable to lock up


Ok I decided to look this up, webb essentially has the same service time as keller and lopez one year more so all deals involve buying out some arb time. Both webb and lopez get essentially the same AAV at ~$18M. Obviously we wouldnt go nearly that high with keller as he has a hugely reduced track record. Would some cost certainty and betting on upside of 5/45 be worthwhile? Would really depend on the risk tolerance of both sides and whether keller thinks he can be real and if the bucs think he could still have another level or two to improve. It is aggressive for the club but could be a fantastic bargain if he can be a ~3.5 or better the next 5 years


If those were the terms, I’d jump on that.




Bummer to lose the finale, but I’ll take a split at St. Louis. Get those bats going!


6 consecutive Quality starts from the rotation, 2 by Keller. Pirates are tied for 2nd in QS’s with TB and Cle.

Very encouraging.


The Pirates are playing competitively and have gotten some timely hitting and pitching to contribute to the 9-7 record. But, I have a few questions about the roster management.

We promoted Tucupita Marcano; is there any reason why Mathias is still with the Pirates instead of being returned to AAA? Castro, Bae, and Marcano should be able to handle any SS/2B/Util needs. An additional IF such as Mathias is useless, and he’s now hitting .067, 1 for 15. Why not an additional RP?

Same with CSN. He has done much better than Mathias, but he needs steady AB’s and we need to get Swagg’s up.


They are playing competitive baseball, you are right mate, run differential, sss, is negative but they have there heads above water and battling…. Dont get too concerned about roster mgmt., injuries will continue to change that dynamic🤷‍♂️👍


Im guessing their argument for mathias is to have a RH bat to play against left handed starters as last year our lineup was super unbalanced with LHH. His start isnt showing too much promise, but it wasnt a terrible gamble based on his career numbers in small sample size and current needs of the roster


That could be their thought, but three current starters are switchhitters (Reynolds, Santana, Castro) and the Pirates are deeper this year with major RH contributors so far in Connor Joe and ‘Cutch. Toss in one of our two RH hitting Catchers and we have a lineup with 6 RH hitters without the guy who is 1 for 15.


Theyve been rolling out 8 RH most night against LHP since cruz got injured, is that getting too cute especially if the dude doesnt hit? Probably but Im guessing thats the game plan


Yep, there he is in the starting lineup. BC is just so frickin predictable


Still might work out. Too early to pull the plug even though he hasn’t looked good.


Bummer loss as the plan worked, 6 solid by Keller, three BP guys put up zeroes… the best laid plans….such is life, go beat up Colorado today Buccos🤷‍♂️👍


I still can’t believe Nootbar was able to keep that HR ball fair.It was on the inside edge of the plate at the top of the zone. Clearly he was looking for a pitch in that quadrant. Nothing to do but tip your cap to Lars on some excellent hitting.


Pirates should be on the phone right now with any team with bullpen issues. Crazy to think but Crowe and DUJ would probably be an upgrade for some teams bullpen. Crowe even has an option left which should hold some value.

I would much rather see Yerry DLS, Mlodzinski, Bolton, or even Bido given the opportunity. And Zamora Stuff+ was trending way up and top 10 in RP’s in Spring Training. And Alldred has also looked good.

I would give Zamora the shot when Zastryzny and DeJong are back healthy. I don’t know why both aren’t DFA’d as we speak. It would be ridiculous to think either would be claimed.


It would be nice to not see DUJ and Crowe not pitch meaningful innings this year. I’m hoping we get a couple guys from AAA by mid season.


You’re overreacting to a couple bad outings. It’s way too early for consequential trades, or even DFA’s of RP’s who don’t seem to have what it takes. RP’s who are struggling will get put on IL to allow them time to rest or work on their craft in hopes they rediscover what made them successful before. This is the tactic the Pirates should and will employ this time of year.

The season is far too long to jettison RP’s just because they’re currently not meeting expectations.


I hope you’re right. I just don’t see it with DeJong or DUJ. I actually think Crowe isn’t that bad. But he shouldn’t be put in high leverage situations anymore.

I didn’t mind them using him in the 10th inning the other night. The only RP’s that seemed to be available were Crowe and Jose Hernandez. I would’ve went with the experience too.


The thought of Hill in Coors field might keep me awake tonight, the (possible) horror.


I don’t know what you’re talking about Tim. The Pirates most certainly reverted to a traditional 3 man OF for Edman since there was 2 outs. If they had kept Bae on the IF for Edman, he might’ve had a play on the ball.

I think you may’ve been deceived by Bae thinking he had a play at the plate even though the runner had scored by the time he threw towards home.


Good plan.

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