Pittsburgh hurler Erik Bedard has only allowed five runs in three outings this season, but his offense has crossed home plate just twice in those games. The result?
"I've got three losses this year," Bedard said after his last performance, a five-inning effort on Monday in which he yielded just two runs on three hits in a 5-1 loss to Arizona.
On the other end of the spectrum, if not for a bullpen letdown following his last start, St. Louis right-hander Kyle Lohse could be 3-0. Lohse blanked the Reds through seven innings and 90 pitches, but Cincinnati scratched across a run against the Cardinals' bullpen, and St. Louis had to eke out a win in extra innings.
"Kyle, there was no question, that should have been a win for him," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I'd love to see him get that 'W.' I want to see a ton of wins for our starters and a ton of saves and holds for each of the guys individually. There's nothing wrong with having those statistics pile up, because when they happen for them, they're going to happen for us."
Lohse has compiled a 0.89 ERA in his three starts, yet Matheny contended that he made the right decision in pulling his starter on Tuesday.
"He certainly deserved [the win]," the first-year skipper said. "But I'll stand behind the fact that I weighed all that before it happened. I had a pretty good idea just waiting, seeing how it looked. I liked the direction we went, and there's probably a good chance we'll do it again today. I have faith our guys are going to get the job done in the back end of our bullpen. In that particular instance, I could have easily taken Kyle and put him back out there."
Cardinals: Jay, Schumaker could return Sunday
Outfielder Jon Jay and infielder Skip Schumaker were held out of the starting lineup on Saturday for precautionary measures, but both could return to Matheny's batting order on Sunday.
Jay pinch-ran for catcher Yadier Molina during Saturday's 2-0 loss.
Jay exited Thursday's game after he ran into the center-field wall. Schumaker ran into the center-field wall while trying to field what turned into an inside-the-park home run during the first inning of Friday's contest. He promptly departed the game after the play.
"I should have caught the ball," Schumaker said. "The problem was I couldn't breathe. Having an oblique injury, coming off of that and getting your rib cage rattled wasn't exactly what you wanted to do."
Allen Craig, who is recovering from offseason right knee surgery, has moved into the final phase of his rehab process by joining high Class A Palm Beach on Saturday.
Craig will DH for a few games before venturing to the outfield. His rehab stint can last a maximum of 20 days.
"It's hard to put a time frame on that," Matheny said. "We were talking about having him Opening Day, so I've kind of given up on the time frame thing."
Pirates: Burnett makes start in place of Correia
Instead of making his final rehab start at Double-A Altoona on Saturday, veteran A.J. Burnett tossed seven scoreless innings in his Pirates debut. He pitched in place of Kevin Correia, who was experiencing discomfort in his left side.
"We're not sure how Correia got hurt," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He complained of some stiffness and soreness, and with his injury history last year with his oblique, we wanted to get it checked out."
Hurdle said the club will monitor Correia's progress, keeping open the option that the right-hander makes a start on Monday.
Burnett began the season on the 15-day disabled list while rehabbing from surgery on his right orbital bone, which he fractured during a bunting drill during Spring Training. On Saturday, he held the Cardinals to three hits, needing just 76 pitches to get through seven frames.
Pittsburgh optioned right-hander Jared Hughes to Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday to clear space for Burnett on its roster.
Hughes allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in three innings in Friday's 4-1 loss to the Cardinals. He was 0-0 with a 2.08 ERA in five appearances.
"It's been a great opportunity and will continue to be when I get back here," he said. "Right now, it's just whatever is best for the team I'm going to do."
The Pirates have not scored or allowed more than five runs in a game this season. The National League record to open a season is 16 games, set by Pittsburgh in 1965.
Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn, in his first season as a full-time starter, is 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA in three outings.