Game 27: Orioles 5 Pirates 1 // Game 28: Orioles 6 Pirates 5

Once upon a time, this day was off to a promising start for the Pirates. Charlie Morton cruised through three innings and the Pirates had runners more or less perpetually on base in the early innings against Bud Norris despite only scoring one run.

Then the rain came, Morton lost his edge, and when the Orioles put three runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth it felt like the game was over. It was. The Pirates left 13 runners on base and the Orioles kept adding on.

The Pirates then set out in the nightcap to prove that they could somehow play a game 100 times more frustrating than the first game. They forced Chris Tillman to throw 49 pitches in the first inning (that’s not a typo: he really threw 49 pitches), but left the bases loaded and only scored two runs. They finally chased Tillman in the fifth. He was relieved by Evan Meek (yes, that Evan Meek), who was so inconsistent that a hopped-up-on-cough-syrup Bob Walk sounded completely confounded by what pitches he was throwing. Tillman was awful and Meek was awful, but the Pirates only ended the top of the sixth with a 4-0 lead. Brandon Cumpton then ran out of gas in the sixth and combined with Bryan Morris to give the entire up in one chunk. The Pirates scored again in the seventh, but Bryan Morris stayed on the mound to face Nick Markakis in the bottom of the inning and served up a game-tying homer (Tony Watson can’t pitch in the seventh inning because it’s not the eighth inning, I guess). At this point, the only question remaining was how the Pirates would manage to complete the loss. The answer was: “Stolmy Pimentel serving up a home run to Matt Wieters.”

Let’s summarize that a little more handily: the Pirates lost a game in which the opposing starter threw 49 pitches in the first inning, Evan Meek pitched for the opponent, and they held a 4-0 lead in the sixth inning. They left 15 runners on base.

Image: Mark Turnaukas

There’s no point in pulling punches: the Pirates are a really bad baseball team right now. 

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.