Keep it simple.
Sometimes it's hard in baseball, with all the permutations in game coupled with all the way to analyze it afterwards.
But the second game in the Pirates vs Cardinals NLDS can be summed up in one decision:
Top of the 2nd, Mike Matheny chooses to intentionally walk Jordy Mercer, the 8th place hitter, to face P Gerrit Cole.
1. Why start Lance Lynn if you don't think that he can get an out against the 8th place hitter in a line-up the first time he faces him?
2. If it's 0-0 in the top of the 2nd inning and you're intentionally walking people to get to the pitcher, do you not have confidence that the Cardinals can score more than 1 run?
The two biggest gripes Cardinal Nation has been stewing over the past several hours basically comes down to Lance Lynn (why did he start) and the offense (where did it go).
That one play kind of sums up how Matheny thought the game was going to unfold. He started Lynn over Shelby Miller… didn't feel good about it, though. He knew Gerrit Cole was good… too good for the Cardinals to score many runs on.
Pittsburgh came to St. Louis looking for a split. They got a split. And the Cardinals are looking at going into a wild scene in Pittsburgh the next two games with rookies taking the mound.
After his first full season as a Cardinal, we didn't expect THIS from Rick Ankiel in the post-season. But we got it. Would expect anything bad from Joe Kelly or Mike Wacha… who knows, though?
Point is, the Pirates have the edge in this series. The Cardinals had a great chance to salt this one away, or at least ensure a Game 5 in St. Louis with a solid effort on Friday.
They didn't come to play.
And they owe everyone in St. Louis 1/2 of a vacation day.
Since the DeWitt's aren't going to be going around talking to your business about that, then the least they can do is show up for Game 3.