(BaseballStL) -- Since arriving to St. Louis for the start of the National League Division Series, the Pirates have stated one thing over and over again: they aren’t happy to just make it here, they want to win.
The Pirates, a team that hasn’t played postseason baseball since 1992, simply fell flat behind their most experienced postseason player, Game 1 starter A.J. Burnett, in a 9-1 loss to the Cardinals.
Appearing in his fourth postseason, Burnett threw two scoreless innings and then ran into the Cardinals’ freight train offense which pummeled him for seven runs in the third inning. He faced eight batters, got no outs, and received the loss -- all because of one inning.
“Please, put it all on me” manager Clint Hurdle said. “That was my decision. When we win, give the players all the credit; when we lose, give the manager all the blame.”
Before the third inning, the inexperienced Pirates showed promise as Burnett got out of trouble when the first two Cardinals reached on singles to start the second inning. The defense turned a double play with runners on the corners to end the threat with no damage.
Maybe these Buccos wouldn’t have any of those so-called postseason jitters?
The seven-run third inning was mostly on the 15-year veteran Burnett’s lack of control, but the lopsided loss was more than that. The Pirates coughed up three errors, one of which while Burnett was still in the game.
Marlon Byrd committed the first error when his throw from right field hit David Freese near first base and allowed Jon Jay to score and Freese to advance to second base. Clint Barmes, who committed 13 errors at shortstop this season, threw a would-be double play ball in the dirt to first baseman Justin Morneau in the fifth inning -- no further damage was done. Lastly, outfielder Andrew McCutchen allowed a ball hit into the gap by Yadier Molina to go under his glove and to the wall in the sixth inning. The error allowed Matt Adams to score from first base and give the Cardinals a 9-1 lead.
“We had a rough game,” Hurdle said. “Game 164 was rough. We're down one game in the series, and we'll move on.”
Facing a sharp Adam Wainwright, the Pirates only mustered three hits -- the same number of errors.
It won’t be long for the Pirates’ chance to move on from Thursday’s drubbing at Busch. Game 2 is scheduled for noon on Friday.
Scott Bierman covers the Cardinals, Blues and Rams for KMOV.com and its associated mobile apps (BaseballStL, HockeyStL and FootballStL). You can follow him on Twitter @Scott_Bierman for St. Louis sports news and updates.