PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 7: Brett Jackson #7 of the Chicago Cubs scores on a throwing error against catcher Rod Barajas #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the sixth inning during the game on September 7, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
I'm trying to come up with something creative for this one, but I've got nothing. I'm not even sure where to start. To say that this game was like a page out the 19-year losing streak does a disservice to most of the losing streak, which didn't feature many games that were this bad. If a bad game is like prune juice, this game was like prune juice concentrate. If a bad game is like the experience of a punk rock fan accidentally listening to some weird Crowded House B-side, this game was like this.
The first two numbers in the Pirates' linescore (two runs, four hits) added up to less than the third number (seven errors). Other than no-hitters (and hey, at least Travis Wood didn't manage to no-hit the Pirates tonight!), I can't recall the last time I've seen that.
The sixth inning shows how things essentially went. Brett Jackson reached on an infield single, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Then Josh Harrison threw to third on a fielder's choice, and Jackson was called safe on an extremely close play. Clint Hurdle came out and argued for about an hour before he finally got thrown out. Then Wood reached on a force attempt when Rod Barajas decided to try to get the runner at second (probably, as some in the gamethread pointed out, because he's shown such talent for throwing runners out at second this year), and made a poor throw. Then Jackson scored when Gaby Sanchez made a poor throw to the plate.
At that point, Jeff Banister replaced A.J. Burnett with Justin Wilson and Barajas with Michael McKenry. It was just a routine double-switch, and of course Hurdle was out of the game at that point, but my first thought was that we might never see Barajas in a Pirates uniform again. That's not going to happen, of course, but it made sense as I was watching. Anyway, Wilson allowed a double and a walk to the only two batters he saw, at which point he was replaced by Chris Leroux, who finally got some guys out. It's amazing to me that the Cubs only got three runs in that inning. But the Cubs made up for it with five runs in the seventh, thanks to two more errors by the Pirates.
The Pirates only had one hit until the bottom of the eighth, at which point they finally scored a couple runs. In the process, they actually looked like they were trying, and McKenry in particular really seemed to want to get the team going, so good for them, and good for him. They didn't look lifeless for the entire game. Just most of it.
Again, though, beyond that, I'm not sure what to say. MLB.com's highlights make a point of not really showing teams doing things that are dumb, so whoever makes them must have been shrugging his or her shoulders at this one. Seven errors. Really. (And by the way, Brock Holt and Starling Marte made two each.) The Pirates haven't played much of their usual Bad News Bears baseball this year. But this game was like a recovering addict coming completely off the wagon. Let's hope the Bucs can climb back on tomorrow.