8:15 – After a long day at work and a trip to the grocery store, I’ve put meatloaf in the oven, and I’m ready to listen to the Buccos! What the heck… I’ll try a live game log. I’m listening on XM Radio tonight, so I’ve got the Cardinals’ feed. Bring on John Rooney.

8:16 – Play ball! Duke @ Wellemeyer. Njyer Morgan to the plate. The lineup shows that Ramon Vazquez will be starting third base in place of Andy LaRoche. LaRoche had a nice spring, but he’s struggled in the opening two games, going 0 for 5 with 3 defensive errors.

8:25 – The Pirates tried to put a first inning rally together. They caught a bad break when Ryan Doumit hit a ground-rule double to deep center. If the ball hadn’t left the field of play, Freddy Sanchez would have easily scored from first. After 1/2 inning, Pirates 0 – Cardinals 0.

8:30 – I’m really hoping that Zach Duke turns a corner this season. He starts with a walk.

8:31 – Kahlil Greene grounded out, 5-4-3. Operation: Shut Down Pujols begins.

8:32 – Struck him out! Went down looking.

8:39 – The good guys got on the board first! Moss singled. Vazquez walked. Wilson singled to score Moss! Let’s keep the rally going!

8:41 – After Zach Duke struck out, Nyjer Morgan continues hit hot streak by hitting at RBI single!

8:43 – Freddy Sanchez hit a bloop single, and Jack Wilson read the hit perfectly to leave 2nd on contact a score a run! The Bucs have 3 on the scoreboard, and the Cards sent a pitching coach to the mound!

8:47 – After a Nate McLouth Walk, Ryan Doumit hit an RBI single to right. Unfortunately, he was picked off first base (9-4-3). Tough way to spoil a second inning rally. Adam LaRoche fouled out to third to end the top half of the 2nd inning. 4-0 Pirates. Let’s go Zach!

8:57 – The Cards scored in the bottom of the 2nd, but it could’ve been much worse. Ryan Ludwick got on thanks to a Doumit catcher’s interference. A stolen base and a Rick Ankiel single drove in Ludwick. The key play was a David Freese flyout to Nyjer Morgan. Thanks to a wise defensive shift, the play was an easy out. With a standard defensive alignment, the play would’ve resulted in a hit in the gap and quite possibly an extended Cards rally. 4-1 Bucs.

9:04 – The Pirates got the run back in the top of the 3rd. Moss doubled. Vazquez grounded out, sending Moss to 3rd. A Wilson single drove him in. That’s Wilson’s 2nd RBI of the night. 5-1 Bucs.

9:11 – 3 up. 3 down. One thing that makes this Pirate lead even better is the fact that my meatloaf is ready. Yum.

9:28 – Not much news from the fourth. Pujols made an A+ defensive play to retire Adam LaRoche. Duke retired Pujols again in the bottom half of the inning. Still 5-1.

9:37 – Through 5 innings, Sanchez, Moss, and Wilson are all 3-3. Doumit is 2-3. Not bad.

9:40 – Duke struck out Ankiel, but a Doumit passed ball allowed Ankiel to reach first base. I was worried about this, since we went K-2-3 three times yesterday.

9:46 – The Cardinals scored one in the bottom of the fifth. Great play by Freddy Sanchez to pick up a ball deflected off Adam LaRoche’s glove and throw to the pitcher to get Rasmus out at first. 5-2 Bucs.

9:53 – Put 2 more on the board! Freddy Sanchez “doubled” (sounded more like a single and an error) and Nate McLouth got in first hit of 2009 in a homer to right field. Mmmm… 7-2 Pirates!

10:05 – The Pirates gave up a run in the 6th, but Duke is still pitching strong. 7-3

10:30 – Grabow replaced Duke, and we’re through 7. Still 7-3.

10:41 – Albert Pujols records his 700th career walk. Congratulations?

10:57 – Jack Wilson singled in the 9th to end his night at 4-5. 3 outs away from the W!

11:07 – Nothing’s easy. Tyler Yakes looked bad. Thankfully JoeThurston made a boneheaded baserunning mistake.

11:08 – Enter Mad Capper.

11:11 – Capps gets hit (very) hard, but McLouth robs a homer at the wall! 2 down.

11:13 – Raise the Jolly Roger! No doubt about it. 7-4 Pirates. We’re 2-1!

… until tomorrow.

newbuschstadium
I was in St. Louis just a few weeks ago. It’s a nice town, and Busch Stadium is beautiful. I wouldn’t mind being out there tonight.

The NL Central leading Pittsburgh Pirates looked for their first winning streak of the season this afternoon.  I got to enjoy most of this game on MLB.com’s Gameday Audio.  The nice advantage of Gameday Audio over XM Radio is that you get to choose the home OR away feed.  XM Radio typically gives you only the home feed.  I quickly got annoyed with the Cardinals play-by-play announcer, so it was nice to switch to the hometown feed.

The Bucs started off nicely, with Nyjer Morgan and Freddy Sanchez leading off with hits to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead in the 1st.  Unfortunately, Ian Snell didn’t have much to offer, and this game was “over” in a hurry.  Snell gave up 8 runs (6 earned) in 4 innings of work.  Andy LaRoche has struggled at 3rd base, with 3 errors in 2 games.

Albert Pujols has destroyed the Pirates in these first two games:

Game 1: Double, Single, Fly Out, Intentional Walk, Single

Game 2: Walk, Home Run, Reached on Error, Walk, Single

Oh well.  You can’t win ’em all.  Game 3 of the 4 game series is tomorrow at 8:15 P.M.

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