On April 3rd, 2016, the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals opened up the 2016 MLB season for the entire league at PNC Park at 1:05. For the Pirates and Pirates fans, the season couldn’t have started any better, and for the Cardinals and Cardinals fans, there are many questions that need answered.
The game started with Francisco Liriano striking out five in a row from the first to third innings. Liriano looked absolutely stellar the entire day, as he went 6.0 innings with 0 runs allowed, 3 hits allowed, and 10 strikeouts in his first win of the 2016 campaign. The only downfall of his day was the 5 walks he gave up which is actually a significant amount in just 6 innings. He had command of his fastball, and his strikeout pitch was just far too much for the Cardinals to handle. The bullpen looked stellar as well, as Watson and Feliz each went for one inning a piece without allowing a single hit. Melancon came in for 9th in a non save situation, and surrendered a run when he allowed two hits and a walk. Fortunately, he was able to close out the game without any more damage. It wasn’t just the pitching that was phenomenal today as the bats were certainly working against a perennial CY young arm in Adam Wainwright.
Wainwright allowed 6 hits and 3 earned runs in 6 innings pitched. His stikeout pitch, which is usually lethal, was off today as he only struck out 3 Pirates. Francisco Cervelli was the player of the game a triple, a single, and a walk. It was actually the new guys who really helped out today. David Freese went 2-4, and John Jaso went 1-4 with an RBI. Gregory Polanco showed what he is going to do all season as he went 2-3 with a double, and a walk. This is the year Polanco breaks out for an All-Star caliber season. Out of all the outfielders, he actually played the best today. Marte and McCutchen both failed to get a single hit today, and Marte left 5 runners on base. No need to worry though, these two guys will be at the top of their game this year.
Overall, the Pirates started off the season with a great win against the Cardinals, but there are still 161 games left to play.
On Tuesday, April 5th, the Pirates face the Cardinals again with Jon Niese facing Michael Wacha for the Redbirds.
Burgh Blog Writer
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