8-29-21 By Craig W. Toth (aka @bucsbasement on Twitter)
In a season where the Pirates are well on their way to 100 losses, there are going to come from behind victories similar to the one on Thursday night, high and low scoring affairs where Pittsburgh comes out on top less often than competitive teams around Major League Baseball, games where they look like they are on top of the world and contests when it seems like it is the first time they have ever stepped on a baseball field. Each game will feel different, but more often than not, the Pirates will lose.
Now, throughout the years I have been told, in every sport I have ever played or watched that a loss is a loss or a win is a win, no matter the score. However, some losses, like the one last night just seem to hit different than others; and from the comments I saw around Pirates Social Media, I feel like I may not be alone in this sentiment. Many voiced the belief that this was the worst game, and in turn the worst Pirates loss, they had witnessed all season. Worse than the two 14 to 1 defeats suffered at the hands of the Reds on April 6th and May 10th, worse than the 20 to 1 loss to Atlanta back on May 21st and worse than almost being no-hit in the hitter friendly confines of Coor’s Field on June 29th.
Maybe, it’s because it is just the latest in the line of horrendous losses by the Pittsburgh Pirates on the season-with all of the others meshed together or in the back of our minds-or maybe, just maybe it’s because this belief is true.
From the moment the Pirates took the field last night, things did feel a little bit different. No it’s not first time they had a starting pitcher who got rocked, couldn’t manage even the slighted bit of offense for the majority of the game, or had a position player take the mound to close out the game. These have become more common place than any Pirates Fan would care to remember. No, it was the aura of defeat that surrounded PNC Park like a cloud before the first pitch was even thrown.
I know I am probably being totally over dramatic, but as a fan of this team, I am pretty sure you might know what I mean, or may have felt the same thing at select times throughout your history of cheering on a team that that has had four winning seasons in the last 28 years; and truthfully 29 after Friday night’s loss.
Sometimes these games just hit differently.
News and Notes
- There are probably more than just a few fans that are elated that the Pirates officially cut ties with their longest tenured, but obviously struggling right fielder Gregory Polanco. Less than a week removed from the swirling ball of crap created by the original misrepresentation of the Pirates decision to put Polanco on outright waivers, and only a couple days since Polanco had to sit in front of reporters defending himself to the “DFA Chanters” from the previous night’s defensive gaffe, the Pittsburgh Pirates released Gregory Polanco. Now, I don’t care what side of the aisle you are on concerning Polanco and what his immediate future should have been with the Pirates as we all know he was being bought out for $3 million at the end of the season. I just know there is no way that any of you can say that the “collective” they handled any part of this situation appropriately. From Ben Cherington to Derek Shelton and from the person who leaked the original story to the reporter(s) who ran with it before even bothering to learn what outright waivers actually meant, because getting that “first” on Twitter is much more important.
- In a corresponding move for the active roster, Cole Tucker and his .223/.350/.373 slash line with 6 homers were recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. He has shown more patience at the plate recently, as evidenced by his two walks on the night, but sooner rather than later, the bat has to play.
- Also before the game, Dillon Peters was placed on the 10-Day IL with a lower back strain; replaced by Sam Howard. Howard would give up 3 runs on 4 hits, with 2 strikeouts and a walk his return appearance to the bullpen.
- Michael Chavis left the game with right elbow discomfort; potentially from a diving attempt in right field on Edmundo Sosa’s second triple of the night.
- Colin Moran broke up Adam Wainwright’s perfect game in the bottom of the 5th, so there’s a small victory.
The Pirates and Cardinals will meet again today at 1:05 PM EST to close out both the four game and season series.
Wil Crowe (3-7, 5.46 ERA) is on the bump for Pittsburgh. Opposing him is Kwang Hyun Kim (6-6, 3.27 ERA) for St. Louis.