The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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October 6, 2013

NLDS Notebook: Pressure falls on Morton today

(Continued)

PITTSBURGH — q q q

Blackout: The Pirates are again asking for a “blackout” today, and why not?

Pittsburgh is 2-0 at PNC Park and the atmosphere has been fantastic, with most of the 40,000-plus fans dressed in black and twirling towels and Jolly Roger flags.

Count Matheny among those that are impressed by the atmosphere in the city, which has waited 21 years for a return to the postseason.

“I thought the atmosphere was great,” the Cardinals manager said. “We love the excitement and the noise. We anticipated the Pirates fans would be excited and loud, as they should be.”

q q q

Justin time?: After hitting .260 with no home runs in 25 games for the Pirates after being acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Justin Morneau has hit safely in each of the first four playoff games with the team and is batting .308 in the postseason. He went 1-for-4 on Sunday and scored the Pirates’ second run.

He was lifted for a pinch runner after reaching on a fielder’s choice in the eighth inning.

Going back to 2006, when he was in the American League division series with Minnesota, Morneau has hit in six consecutive postseason games, but the 2006 American League MVP still hasn’t been a typical cleanup hitter for the Pirates.

He has only driven in three runs for the team.

q q q

Power outage: When Carlos Beltran homered in the eighth inning of Sunday’s game it marked the first time in 13 games that a St. Louis batter went deep at PNC Park.

Prior to that, no Cardinal had homered in Pittsburgh since Matt Holliday did it on Aug. 27, 2012.

Eric Knopsnyder is the editor of The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/eric_knopsnyder.

 

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