Despite Tuesday's loss, Pirates' 9th-inning meltdowns rare
ST. LOUIS — Tuesday's 14-inning, 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals was full of the unexpected, not the least of which was the Pirates losing a game when leading after eight innings.
It was just the second time it has happened this season (58-2), and the third dating to the beginning of the 2012 season (129-3). It also was the first time this season that the Cardinals came back to win after trailing by more than two runs.
The Pirates' bullpen was charged with its first ninth-inning blown save since June 19 at Cincinnati. The event that precipitated the loss was left fielder Starling Marte dropping a routine fly ball. The miscue put Daniel Descalso in scoring position with one out, and he later scored to tie the game.
It was Marte's sixth error of the season, which leads major league left fielders.
After the game, Marte said his left hand felt fine in his first game after being hit by a pitch Saturday, but added that perhaps he was too overconfident as he ran in to make what should have been the second-to-last out of the ballgame.
“He said he feels bad because it feels like it cost us the game, and he doesn't want that to happen to anyone but it happened to him,” bullpen catcher and translator Heberto Andrade said. “It was a hard part of his game (Tuesday), but he's ready to move on.”
Center fielder Andrew McCutchen said it happens to the best of them.
“You hate that it happens to anyone on our team,” he said. “It's just one of those things. You have to shake it off, be ready to hit, maybe get your opportunity or chance and go from there to erase it. We've all been there. I've been there. I've missed balls that I should have caught. You hate that it was in that situation, but you have to shake it off, get ready for (Wednesday).”
The Pirates had their best chance to win in extra innings. McCutchen led off the 13th with a single, went to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on Pedro Alvarez's single. McCutchen stayed on third instead of breaking for the plate when Russell Martin grounded out to short, which manager Clint Hurdle said was what they wanted.
“There's no outs, and it's first and third,” Hurdle said. “If you go contact right there and the ball's hit right at an infielder, you're going to be first and second with one out and the double play's in order. If a line drive's hit at somebody, it's at least a double play if not a triple play. So three things can happen; two of them are bad. We're just counting on our hitter to hopefully get a ball in the outfield, a sacrifice fly.”
It didn't happen. Cardinals pitcher Seth Maness intentionally walked Clint Barmes to load the bases. Josh Harrison grounded into a double play.
The loss was the Pirates' fourth in a row, matching a season high. They entered Wednesday's game leading the Cardinals by two games in the NL Central.
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Pirates plan to carry Hurdle deep into playoffs
- Pirates notebook: Martin feels ‘pretty good,’ will start vs. Giants
- Volquez latest rehabbed arm to get ball on big stage for Pirates
- Harrison’s ‘magic’ has helped to carry Pirates into MLB’s postseason
- Scouting report: Giants at Pirates
- 20 improbable Pirates wins in 2014
- Tekulve to throw out 1st pitch of Pirates’ postseason
- Mercer’s improved defense at shortstop gives Pirates a boost
- Pirates analyst Kent Tekulve recovering after heart transplant
- Pirates notebook: GM Huntington says team will stretch payroll to retain Martin
- Inside the decision: Pirates chose their own adventure