This is a tough one to process, just because of the weird way that it unfolded. Because of the 50 minute rain delay that came with one out in the top of the ninth, this whole game feels like it boiled down to the part of it that game after the delay. That part was dramatic, for sure, with Pedro Alvarez ripping the first pitch he saw after the delay for a game-tying three-run homer, then Jason Grilli getting hit hard in the bottom of the ninth to give the Rockies the run they needed to win pretty easily.
The problem is that remembering the end of the game ignores the bulk of it and it’s the bulk of it that was more important tonight. Jeff Francis and Josh Roenicke held the Pirates to just one run (a Jeff Karstens’ RBI single at that) over eight innings despite only striking out one hitter, because the Pirates ran the bases like idiots and failed to really square up on the ball at all despite not being fooled by either Rockie pitcher. Jeff Karstens pitched well in his seven innings, but like AJ Burnett yesterday he had a bad inning that was greatly enhanced by terrible Pirate outfield defense from a person that’s not really an outfielder. In this case, the Rockies hit some seeing eye singles off of Karstens and Josh Harrison took an awful route to an Eric Young flyball with an awful lot of air under it.
Which is to say that despite the focus-shift that the rain delay forced, this game was a rehash of the Milwaukee series. The Pirates did dumb things in the field, partly because they’re always playing at least one non-outfielder in the outfield and they refuse to call Starling Marte up for reasons that make increasingly little sense, they did dumb things on the bases, and they didn’t do enough at the plate to make up for either. I don’t care if it’s only a few games after the All-Star break; this is not how good teams play baseball.