The Tyler Glasnow Era got off to a solid start Thursday afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium — albeit in a 5-2 loss. Glasnow, in his first MLB start, went toe-to-toe with Cardinal ace Adam Wainwright in a pitcher’s duel that saw the rookie go five-and-one-third innings before turning the reins over to reliever Arquimedes Caminero.
A three-run homer by Stephen Piscotty off Caminero sealed Glasnow’s fate. The rookie right-hander would end up allowing four runs on three hits in his first outing in the black and gold. Glasnow’s first five innings of work were superb, allowing only two hits and one walk while yielding only two runs.
Glasnow walked leadoff batter Greg Garcia to begin the game, but Glasnow followed that up by striking out Aledmys Diaz on a curveball to earn his first strikeout as a major leaguer.
His first Major League punchout.
— MLB (@MLB) July 7, 2016
Following the leadoff walk, Glasnow retired the next nine batters, striking out the aforementioned Diaz as well as catcher Yadier Molina and Wainwright.
The Pirates got on the board first in the second inning after left fielder Matt Joyce led off the inning with a double. Following the Joyce double, Pirates’ second baseman Josh Harrison flied out to right field, allowing Joyce to tag and advance to third base. A weak dribbler by shortstop Jordy Mercer gave Joyce enough time to score and get a lead for their rookie pitcher.
Diaz returned to the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning and parked a Glasnow curveball off the top of the left-centerfield wall for a triple. Glasnow was able to get Matt Holliday to ground out and Piscotty to strike out before facing Matt Adams. A wild pitch from Glasnow squirted under catcher Eric Fryer’s glove, allowing Diaz to score from third base. Adams would eventually fly out to left field.
Reaching on a walk, Mercer became the Pirates’ first base runner since the second inning. Two batters later, Glasnow lined a pitch into left field to get his first hit as a major leaguer.
The Glasnow family observes Tyler’s first career hit. pic.twitter.com/HVxRTdDem4
— vhs (@VanHicklestein) July 7, 2016
In the bottom half of the fifth inning, Randal Grichuk homered to put the Cardinals up a run. Glasnow finished the inning strong, getting Kolten Wong to ground out and Wainwright to strikeout.
The Pirates couldn’t make anything of a two-out double by second baseman Jung Ho Kang in the top half of the sixth inning. In the Cardinals’ half of the inning, Garcia hit a lead-off double off Glasnow. Diaz sacrificed Garcia to third by way of a bunt to get the Pirates the first out of the inning. With a rising pitch count, Glasnow walked Matt Holliday, and Hurdle came to relieve the starter.
Caminero promptly gave up a three-run homer to Piscotty, inevitably sealing the deal for the Cardinals. Caminero didn’t allow a base-runner the rest of the inning.
In the top of the seventh inning, Mercer hit a double with one out, but the Pirates couldn’t make something out of it. Reliever Jared Hughes took the mound in the bottom of the seventh for the Pirates and yielded two infield singles. A sac-bunt by former Pirates’ catcher Michael McKenry moved the runners to second and third before Hughes induced a lineout double play.
Tyler Lyons took over for Wainwright in the top of the eighth inning and allowed just a single to right fielder Gregory Polanco. Hughes shut the Cardinals down with an 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the eighth. And the Pirates couldn’t get anything going against closer Seung Hwan Oh in the ninth and were sent down in order, ending the game.
Mike “Doc” Emrick (NBC Sports) will be joining the MLB Network booth alongside Bob Costas to provide commentary for Friday’s matchup between the Pirates and the Chicago Cubs match-up Friday evening. Emrick has previously called Pirates’ spring training games.
Friday, the Pirates return home for a three-game series against the NL Central-leading Cubs. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with Jake Arrieta scheduled to take the mound for the Cubs and Francisco Liriano for the Pirates. Saturday features a first pitch time of 7:15 p.m. and a pitching matchup of Cubs’ Jon Lester and Pirates’ Chad Kuhl. Sunday features John Lackey for Chicago and Jonathon Niese for Pittsburgh; first pitch Sunday is set for 1:35 p.m.
Image credit: MLB.com