And to think there was actually a moment when it looked like the Pirates might cruise through this one. Jeff Karstens was dealing in the first, striking out Cameron Maybin and Chase Headley and getting Jason Bartlett to fly out, and then the Pirates got RBI singles from Neil Walker and Ryan Ludwick in the bottom of the inning. 2-0 Pirates - this game is easy!
Well, not so much. The Pirates and Padres exchanged blows throughout the rest of the first three innings, as every half inning after the top of the first featured scoring of some kind. And then the Padres broke the game open in the fourth, as Karstens allowed an RBI single by Luis Martinez, walked Jason Bartlett with the bases loaded, and allowed a grand slam by Chase Headley.
The Pirates promptly loaded the bases in the bottom half of the inning, but Pedro Alvarez just killed them by grounding into a double play to end the inning. It wasn't the first time, either - he'd GIDP'ed in the first inning, robbing the Pirates of a potentially huge inning, and then did it again in the third. (He also came up in the sixth and eighth, registering merely a strikeout and a groundout - boring!) It was one of the ugliest offensive performances in recent memory.
Meanwhile, the Padres kept hitting, adding homers by Kyle Blanks, Aaron Cunningham, and Jesus Guzman. Not that I saw much of that. Disgusted after Alvarez's three GIDP's, I asked my friends in the restaurant where I was eating if they'd mind if we moved to a table away from the TV.