What a weird game. It started with Erik Bedard racking up strikeouts, transitioned into a portion where Erik Bedard served up three-run homers, and then all of the Cubs got traded.
I’m not kidding. Bedard had five strikeouts in the first three innings and the Pirates took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth and things looked pretty good at that point. Then, in the bottom of the fourth Bedard served up a three-run homer to Darwin Barney. Knowing that Justin Germano is not a very good pitcher and that the Pirates have been good at scoring runs this year, it seemed like it was OK not to panic about the outcome of the game at that point. That lasted about until the fifth inning started with a Pedro Alvarez error, a Starlin Castro single, and an Anthony Rizzo three-run homer.
At this point, the game went off the rails in a number of ways. Bedard was allowed to stay on the mound for three more batters, an two of them reached base. Chris Resop came into the game and failed to put out the fire. As the inning progressed and the Cubs kept scoring, people started hugging Reed Johnson in the dugout. When his spot in the lineup came up again, David DeJesus pinch-hit for him. Think about this: Reed Johnson lead off the fifth inning, reached base, and scored and by the time the batting order came back to him in the same inning, he was traded.
The Pirates actually threatened to mount a comeback in the top of the fifth but Casey McGehee hit into a double play to end the inning. The game continued normally until the bottom sixth, at which point the Cubs went into the dugout and everyone started hugging Geovany Soto and then Steve Clevenger pinch-hit for him. In the top of the eighth, Alfonso Soriano was replaced by Tony Campana, though apparently there were no hugs and at this point it doesn’t appear that Soriano was traded.
Johnson and Soto definitely were, though, with Soto going to Texas and Johnson going to Atlanta with Paul Maholm. The Cubs won a game 14-4 and traded a full quarter of the position players that they started the game with. If Ryan Dempster is traded before tomorrow’s game starts, they’ll have also shipped out 40% of their starting rotation in 24 hours. At least we had the trades to amuse us and help us to ignore the fact that the Pirates have lost two in a row and given up 23 runs in two games to the Cubs and Astros.