On Thursday evening, it was apparent that the formerly NL-leading St. Louis Cardinals wanted nothing to do with being swept in a 5-game series by a division rival.
The Cardinals dominated every aspect of the game on Thursday, culminating in a 13-0 victory over the Pirates that saw them snap a 7-game losing skid. Rookie hurler Joe Kelly allowed just 3 hits (4 walks) over 6 shutout innings, and the bats took it from there.
St. Louis somehow did 13 runs worth of damage without the benefit of a single home run during the game. The team combined to generate 5 doubles, but it was the 12 singles and 4 walks that pounded the Pirates into submission. Tony Cruz led the team with 3 hits on the day, but Jon Jay, David Freese, Matt Holliday, and Allen Craig each put up 2 hits and scored multiple runs during the offensive barrage.
Despite a terrible week-plus of action, it was far too early to panic in Cardinals country. Even after a 1-4 series with Pittsburgh, the Cardinals trail only by 1.5 games in the NL Central, and in actuality, still portray the 2nd-best record in all of the National League. They will certainly miss Yadier Molina while he is resting on the disabled list, but the Cardinals are a deep, talented bunch and they aren’t going away easily.