When the Cubs took at 3-0 lead, I was ready to say, "Well, you can't win every night."
When the Pirates hit three homers in a rowin the fourth to tie the game upand then went ahead in the sixth, I was ready to say, "Maybe there's something special about this Pirate team."
Then Jason Grilli served up a two-run homer to Anthony Rizzo and Neil Walker only got his fly ball to the warning track in the bottom of the ninth and the Pirates lost 5-4.
Maybe the best way to talk about this game is to point out that the Pirates (and baseball in general) have been awfully resistant to narratives this year. They caught fire in early August and seemed ready to sprint past the NL Central, then came back to Earth. Just as everyone was ready to pronounce the collapse, the Pirates got hot again, then fell apart again, then got hot again. And that was all before tonight's game.
I suppose the simplest truth from this game is that the Pirates have been awfully narrative-resistant this year and that no single game is worth getting bent out of shape about. And that with all of that being said, one of the big things that was supposed to help the Pirates down the home stretch of this season was the return of Jason Grilli, and Grilli has not looked even close to his old self since coming back off of the disabled list.
And as I was typing this up, Oliver Perez just entered a 1-1 game with one on and two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning, walked two batters, and threw a wild pitch to gift-wrap a 2-1 win for the Cardinals. The Pirates are back in second place. with 15 games to go.
"Maybe there's something special about this Pirate team."
I will never understand the thinking that most announcers and sports fans show. No offense, but sports are not magic, despite what the movies say. They are grown men throwing a ball around.
Grilli's lower velocity is definitely a concern, but the first two
batters of the inning didn't seem to notice the lost mph. They looked
PitchFX says the umpire got that ball right. It was close, but it was outside. The one that Rizzo hit, that was a damn good pitch, right on the edge in the lower inside corner with lots of movement; the guy just nailed it, is all. A moonshot.
Son of a gun, I'd told Mrs that I was going to take last night off, and I wound up checking the score on MLB At Bat and then watching the rest of the game after the bang-bang-bang. Oh well.