Cheap Seats

Game 23: Pirates 5, Cardinals 3

I know one thing for sure: The Cardinals aren't going to win many games in which the bullpen gives up five runs.

Unfortunately on Saturday the progress the St. Louis bullpenners made in getting their act together came unraveled in a four-run seventh frame.

Prior to that, Jake Westbrook had overcome the hard luck he's carried against the Pirates, hurling seven shutout innings while his teammates scratched together two runs, one in the first and one in the sixth.

Joe Kelly, who has been pressed into seventh inning duty with Edward Mujica's ascension to the closer's role, was charged with four runs in an inning of work. He surrendered a two-run tying homer to struggling Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin. And even after that, he was unable to settle, giving the Pirates the lead after loading the bases with one out.

The Cardinals scored once in the bottom of the ninth and had the tying run at the plate with two dead. But Matt Holliday couldn't keep the rally going.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Westbrook pitched six strong innings with no runs allowed on six hits and no walks. He struck out six.

Cardinals Play of the Game: Jon Jay doubled in the sixth to score what seemed like an important insurance run at the time. The run turned out not to matter much. But the gap stroke was a sight for sore eyes as Jay seems to be coming out of his terrible slump. The hit raised his average, which was .205 two days ago, to .226.

Lowlight: Mitchell Boggs came into Saturday's game in mop up duty and couldn't record an easy frame even under those circumstances. With two outs he gave up a walk and a single before he was able to snare a line drive back up the middle to at least get out of the inning with no runs allowed.