A night like tonight was wasted on the emptiness of the ball park. Touching moments like Gregory Polanco kneeling between the giant 2 and 1 in right field and saying a little prayer. Players lining up clad in their nameless uniforms with 21 blazed on the back. Even the video tribute was lost in translation a bit.
In a way, it could have been a good thing, because knowing Pittsburgh, many of those who were there would have found their way to the parking lot by the 6th inning. Kudos to the ball club for doing something like this, but these things are done for the fans, and right now, fans can’t be there.
I wrote a piece on Clemente today featuring 21 quotes from 21 himself. The comments on Facebook were so beautiful, fans sharing memories about watching him play at Forbes Field and Three Rivers Stadium. Some shared stories about their brush with greatness, others talked about remembering exactly where they were when they heard he was lost. After reading all those touching thoughts, I found the fact no fans could be there to honor him vocally crushing.
Well, let’s talk baseball that actually was played today shall we? Dane Dunning for the Sox and JT Brubaker for the Bucs. Two young arms with a ton of upside. Two young pitchers who have yet to get terribly deep into a ball game. Unfortunately, only one offense ready to take advantage of that.
The gory details aren’t pretty, but the Sox came to hit. They put 7 runs on 7 hits in 5.1 innings of work on Brubaker. He started the game retiring the first 6 he faced and gave up a homerun to McCann in the third. The fourth things really started shaky and he wound up giving another four runs up.
Now, something a little strange, and that’s all I can really use to describe it. Brubaker was at 86 pitches and the Pirates sent him back out for the 6th down 5 runs. On one hand, I want to see these guys allowed to get deeper into games, on the other, he was down five runs and got shelled. This would have been the type of game you might actually want to see Neverauskas go if only because the game was out of reach fairly early.
After giving up another homerun to McCann in the 6th Tyler Bashlor replaced him and gave up a run of his own to make it 8-0
I wish I could find a story line in this one to really sink my teeth into, at one point I was hoping the Sox would score 21, at least that would be kinda neat. The Pirates simply never threatened to be in this game. It was uninspired baseball all around for the home team in this one and if I were allowed to attend I might have felt compelled to ask them to start measuring pulses in the dugout.
In the bottom of the 8th the Pirates made some noise but it only amounted to one oddball run, scored on catcher interference with the bases loaded. Unfortunately Josh Bell lined out to center to end the rally.
Bucs Lose 8-1
News & Notes:
- Adam Frazier extends his hitting streak to 12 games.
- Bryan Reynolds has plated center field for the last two games and looked pretty good doing it.
- Begging for positives? Um, Tropeano continues to impress. Two scoreless again from him tonight. Even this is bathed in the reality he is not likely to be part of this club next season although he’s shooting his shot.
- Tim Anderson is a perfect example of why you be patient with a prospect. Came up in 2016 and performed well batting in the 280s then struggled mightily in 2017-2018 batting .257 and .240 respectively, then last season, his 4th full season he broke out batting .335. Think about that as the Pirates introduce young players and even apply it to someone like Bryan Reynolds. Development doesn’t stop when you put on a MLB uniform.
- Reynolds continues to look more comfortable batting right handed. Last season he was nearly indistinguishable from either side.
- Jason Martin has had very limited opportunity, but this is a guy who needs to see some at bats and have something positive happen.