It’s no question Chris Carpenter is back. Earning his first win since late 2006 Carpenter came out and dismissed the Pirates like they were a little league team.
Carpenter went 7 innings only allowing one hit which also came in the seventh inning. The former CY Young winner struck out seven Bucco batters.
Freddy Sanchez, who has been the hottest Pirates at the plate and leads the team with a .444 BA said plain and simply that Carpenter was “filthy”
Crapenter’s superb outing overshadowed Pirate starter Ross Ohlendorf’s solid outing. Ohlendorf went six innings allowing two earne druns on six hits. He was surely effective, but just fell apart in the 6th inning due to shaky defense from Sanchez at 2nd.
If Pirate starters can continue to remain effective like Ohlendorf was today, there should be no problem wiining ball games. Holding a team, especially the Cardinals, to two runs is no easy feat and the Pirates should not feel too bad about this loss. I’m not one to hang my head for moral victories and the Pirates should feel the same. As a major league ball club runs should be put on the board and one hit is something that should never happen again. The offense is surely not what it was last year with Bay and Nady, but with the seasoned vets we have in the lineup, everybody should be a threat.
Well now that one series is in the books let’s look back at the GOOD the BAD and the UGLY from the first 4 games.
THE GOOD: NYJER MORGAN
There’s nothing better than silencing your critics. Morgan has had his share of haters throughout his entire career and rightfully so, he had big shoes to fill. It’s never easy to step into the starting role of a major league left fielder. More so, it’s hard to replace a perenial All-Star. After the departure of Jason Bay the Pirates needed someone to step in and act as a Bay. While Morgna lacks the pop of Bay he provides a spark at the top of the lineup and speed in the field. After a Sportscenter top 10 play from Thursday’s game and a .316 batting avergae for the first four games Morgan is proving his worth and shushing the critics. HE BELONGS HERE.
THE BAD: IAN SNELL
Out to prove last season’s dismal performances were a fluke, Snell got off to a horrendous start. After Maholm’s 6 inning one earned run outing on opening day Snell came out the next day and fell flat. Snell only made it through 4 innings after being thrown to the showers. Number 45 gave up six earned runs and Cardinal batters abused him for 9 hits. Not only did Snell’s era skyrocketed to 13 after just one start he also had trouble finsing the strike zone. He only walked 3 batters but gave the hitters favorable counts to work with. Now the Cardinals have a history of toying with Snell . Pujols took him deep as well Chris Duncan. He was rocked to all parts of the field and had no command at all. Snell pitched in the World baseball classic and did somehwhat fine. He didn’t pick up any wins and only allowed a few runs in the big games he pitched. A shortened spring training could be a valuable excuse for Snell. However, with the rest of the rotation doing well Snell will have to step up for his own sake.
THE UGLY: DEFENSE
Ugly is a very generous term for the play of the Pirate denefense. Apalling, Grotesque, Hideous and Putrid also come to mind. Missed pop flys, bases over thrown, bassed balls. O MY. 3 erros in 2 game for Andy LaRoche, overthrows by Sanchez and John Grabow and inexcusable passed balls and a freaking catcher’s interference call by catch Ryan Doumit. Even Nyjer Morgan, who has been very crisp in teh field has over run some balls and misjusdged teh flight path of fly balls. It’s very dementing for a fan to see the sloppy play by these guys. I can only imagine how manager John Russell and even the pitcher’s feel when routine plays are bothced. It’s very shameful.
Heading down the Ohio River, Pittsburgh will take on the Cincinatti Reds for a three game series over the weekend.
4. espn.com (ap photo)