ST. LOUIS – The Pirates are in the process of filing a formal complaint with MLB regarding the inconsistent strike zone of umpire Angel Campos in Wednesday’s game. A ball call on a low pitch to Carlos Beltran upset catcher Rod Barajas and manager Clint Hurdle, who both were ejected. It was just the third overall ejection (and the second for arguing balls and strikes) for Barajas, a 13-year veteran. The formal complaint cannot change anything about the game, but it could be used in future evaluations of Campos’ job performance. Conversely, Hurdle cautioned, a club that consistently files complaints about umpires could be viewed as being too whiny by folks in the MLB office.
»»» A.J. Burnett isn’t going to dwell on the 12-run beatdown he suffered last night. “I stunk. There’s nothing more I can say,” Burnett said. “You move forward. I know what happened. It’s just a matter of getting into the bullpen (Friday) and getting my pitches going back downhill, where they belong, and taking the ball again in five days.”
In his April 21 season debut, Burnett handcuffed the Cardinals for seven innings. The righty allowed three hits, zero runs and got seven strikeouts. Last night’s line: 2.2 innings, 12 hits, 12 runs, one walk, two strikeouts. “I didn’t make any adjustments,” Burnett said. “I was up the whole game. They made adjustments early from my previous start against them. Good teams will do that. I couldn’t get anything down. No matter where you pitch or who you pitch against, if it’s up, it’s going to get hammered. I was yanking curveballs and hitting guys in the feet. Nothing had downward plane.”
»»» St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz offered this gem in today’s paper: “The final score was 12-3, running the Cardinals’ two-game total to 22 runs in their two victories over the Pirates, who may summon James Harrison, Troy Polamalu and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense to provide protection in today’s series finale.” Miklasz wasn’t just poking fun. His point was that even without the Pujols guy, the Cards have a fearsome offense. To wit, they have outscored opponents 60-19 in the first three innings of games this season. “That isn’t baseball,” Miklasz wrote, “That’s a mugging of a defenseless starting pitcher.”
»»» Looking for a bright side? The bullpen scattered five hits over 5.1 scoreless innings. That lowered the pen’s ERA to 2.83. Only two NL clubs, the Padres (2.56) and Reds (2.69), have lower ERAs by their relievers. Juan Cruz, who tossed a scoreless eighth inning last night, has not allowed a run in 9.1 innings. That’s the longest shutout stretch by a Pirates reliever this season.
»»» Brad Lincoln, who tossed 2.1 innings last night, is the only Pirates reliever who is unavailable for this afternoon’s game.
Game 25: Pirates @ Cardinals, 1:45 p.m. ET
Pirates (10-13): 1. Jose Tabata rf, 2. Alex Presley lf, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, . Neil Walker 2b, 5. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 6, Garrett Jones 1b, 7. Clint Barmes ss, 8. Michael McKenry c, 9. Erik Bedard lhp (1-4, 2.48)
Cardinals (16-8): 1. Rafael Furcal ss, 2. Jon Jay cf, 3. Matt Holliday lf, 4. David Freese 3b, 5. Allen Craig 1b, 6. Shane Robinson rf, 7. Tyler Greene 2b, 8. Tony Cruz c, 9. Jake Westbrook rhp (3-1, 1.30)