To semi-quote a line from the fictional Elaine Benes, “This game was not snack worthy.”
As I patiently waited for just the right inning to enjoy the Chex Party Mix I’d purchased earlier in the day, specifically for the evening’s Pittsburgh Pirates/San Francisco Giants‘ contest, the Giants erupted for five runs in the seventh to add to their already seemingly insurmountable four-run lead. What made the initial lead seem insurmountable was the way Giants’ ace pitcher Matt Cain was setting them up and mowing them down. Allowing just a scratch single by Garrett Jones in the fifth, Cain was on his game and all of the sudden the previous eight and 12 run totals the Pirates had posted respectively in Games 1 and 2 of the series seemed like a distant memory. Needless to say, the unopened snack bag went back into the cupboard, to remain there until the next game, where hopefully it could be fully enjoyed.
This game was not snack worthy.
To put it simply, this was not the Pirates’ night. Even the PNC Park crowds’ rendition of the National Anthem was bad. The poster boy for the team’s dismal performance was pitcher Mike Zagurski, who came into the game with an ERA of 9.00. It did not go down. The newly appointed mop-up man pitched to nine batters, giving up five earned-runs on six hits to pretty much seal the Pirates’ fate. The Pirates’ bats were just as ineffective, managing just three hits total. The best thing that happened was the weather, as earlier rain and cloudy skies gave way to a beautiful sixty-degree night for baseball.
Pirates’ pitcher Charlie Morton, in just his first game back from Tommy John surgery, battled and scuffled for five innings, allowing four runs, of which only two were earned, on seven hits, while walking one. A questionable fielder’s interference call in the fifth on third baseman Pedro Alvarez during a rundown play between third and home cost Morton the two extra unearned runs in his last frame of work and set the tone for the evening. Replays showed Giants’ baserunner Brandon Crawford was out of the base path as he made slight contact with Alvarez in trying to juke his way around him back to the third base bag. Alvarez could only watch as 3B umpire Marvin Hudson sent Crawford home on a fielder’s interference with which would have been the second out of the inning and would have prevented the next batter’s fly ball from turning into a sacrifice fly to plate the Giants fourth run. Morton was rusty, hitting three batters and allowing at least one base runner every inning, but seemed to get more comfortable as the game went on.
Still, despite the 10-0 whipping by the Giants, the Pirates did end up winning the series from last year’s World Series’ champs; and as the old Meatloaf song goes, two outta three ain’t bad.