This game was disgusting. I turned it off for about an hour after the Reds five-run fifth inning because watching that inning nearly made me physically ill. I’m not kidding. It’s almost as if the Pirates players read my post about ERA this morning and went out of their way to prove that it can be a virtually meaningless stat. With the bases loaded and one out, Paul Janish hit a weak grounder right in front of Ryan Doumit; Doumit fielded the ball, stepped on home plate, and threw a strike to Garrett Jones, who couldn’t hold on to the ball as he collided with Janish at first base. Doumit got charged with the error, the inning didn’t end, and five runs (all earned) scored. Duke wasn’t great tonight, but he didn’t deserve his fate.
What was maybe the worst part of the inning, though, was watching the Pirates botch bunt coverage with runners on first and second and no outs. When Johnny Cueto squared to bunt, Neil Walker and Jones charged, Delwyn Young moved to cover first, and Ronny Cedeno moved to cover second. That left no one at third, which was the base the lead runner was moving towards. It didn’t end up mattering because Cueto squared around to bunt and moved the runners over, but had he been paying attention the lead runner could’ve moved to third without even a bunt. Coupled with Doumit and Jones (OK, mostly Jones, I don’t know why Doumit got that error)’s sloppy play, it was just a brutal inning to watch.
Then, things got worse. The game was already over in the eighth inning, when I tuned back in, but I flipped the game back on in time to watch Carlos Fisher enter the game for the Reds, walk Steve Pearce on four pitches to load the bases, walk Andrew McCutchen on five to score a run, and then watch Brian Bixler take one strike, then flail at three of the next four pitches (all of which were borderline at best) for his ridiculous 24th strikeout in just 39 attempts this year. It was horrible.
The next two days are going to be among the most embarrassing days in the history of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Beautiful PNC Park is going to be almost completely empty because of the G-20 summit and the Pirates are going to trot an apathetic excuse for a baseball team that will almost certainly be drubbed by an awful Cincinnati Reds squad. Honestly, I’m sad just thinking about it.