Kevin Correia turned in a gem of a performance in a game in front of about eight fans that took place almost entirely after midnight last night, as Bud Selig's Playoff Scheduling Fiasco mandated that the Pirates play the Cubs last night come hell (or literally) high water*. That meant all kinds of strange things happened; for some reason AJ Burnett didn't get on an early plane back to Pittsburgh last night and so the entire Brewer team arrived in Pittsburgh before any of the Pirates did.
Of course, Correia's dominant start against a sleep Cub team (seven innings, two hits, one walk, six strikeouts) means that the Pirates remain 2 1/2 games back of the Cardinals in the wild card race with 16 games to play. That's still somehow tantalizingly plausible, even though the Pirates have been playing awful baseball for almost a full quarter of the schedule at this point. That also leads to plenty of Pirate fan self-torture. Imagine if the Pirates had just gone 4-3 against the Cubs over the last ten days instead of 2-5! Imagine if they did that and just won the extra inning game against the Reds!
This truly has been the most maddening of seasons.
*The reason they had to play last night is this: there is only one off-day scheduled between the end of the regular season and the wild card play-in game. There is already a looming scheduling fiasco should the Pirates or Cardinals end up tied for the second wild card with the Dodgers; the Dodgers have the tiebreaker against those two teams and so they'd be forced to play in Los Angeles on one day and Atlanta the next, as the Pirates and Cards both end their seasons in the Eastern time zone (Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, respectively). That creates a situation in which the Pirates could play in Pittsburgh one day, LA the next day, and Atlanta the third day without bye, which is pretty much expressly forbidden by the CBA. Now take that mess and think about what happens if the Pirates end up 1/2 game ahead of or behind LA when the season ends for the last wild card; you have to also book a trip to Chicago for the Pirates. It's a long shot that the Pirates end up in that position, of course, but there was no way they were going to let that happen. That game was getting played last night.
I think it is time for a change, Clint way of managing is killing this team. Two games in a row he pulls his starter when they only give up two runs. I would like to see a consistant line up everyday instead of this mix and match line ups. I have noticed that the past two months the players have given up on his style of management and have been going through the motions. Im confused you are a contending team and at the trading deadline you dump one of the best bullpen guys, release the other and trade a proven power bat and consistent defensive player.
Neal needs to go instead of trading for talent to get this team over the hump he goes out gets a pitcher who is coming to the end of a decent career, a young player who has not been in the majors long enough to make an impact, a cast off from miami who didnt hit over 250. I love starling marte and think Gerrit Cole will be a good pitcher down the road but to pass up a proven talent like Upton was a mistake.
How in the world could this team go from giving up 13 runs to a mediocre Cubs team (thanks, bullpen) to giving up no runs, two hits, and one walk (thanks, bullpen, including Correia, except not sarcastically this time).
I was one of the 8 (plus or minus 500) fans who waited it out and was there until the bitter end to see the Pirates get this on. Correia was getting a ton of ground balls, and with the soaked field, ground balls were just dying a slow death.
Very interesting game to go to. With nothing to do but drink for 3 1/2 hours until the game started, the fans that stuck around were a rowdy bunch. But then they stopped selling alcohol at midnight or so, so by the end of the game most of the fans were hung over and just wanted the game to end as quickly as possible.
McCutchen swung the bat three times the entire night, fouling off two pitches in his last at-bat before striking out.