USA TODAY Sports
The Pirates walked 15 batters and allowed 14 hits in a loooonnng 16-6 loss to the Red Sox Thursday.
Now, if you just woke up from a four-day nap (and who hasn't done that recently, amirite?) and you didn't know who pitched today, you'd probably be thinking to yourself, "Okay, 15 walks. Who could possibly be responsible for this? I know! Jonathan Sanchez, Andy Oliver and Justin Wilson! Boom!" And you'd be right, sort of, because Sanchez and Oliver, by far the two most walk-prone pitchers in big-league camp, and Wilson, probably the third-most walk-prone pitcher in camp, combined for nine of them.
But you wouldn't have expected to see Zach Foster's name in the box score. The Pirates for some reason sent Foster, a former 49th-round draft pick who struck out 26 batters and walked 32 for Class A+ Bradenton last year, out to pitch in the third, when the Red Sox still had some credible big-league hitters in their lineup. Foster actually bailed out Sanchez by striking out Jose Iglesias (which tells you a lot of what you need to know about Jose Iglesias, who was rumored to be part of the Joel Hanrahan trade talks this winter), but the Bucs sent him back out in the fourth, and he walked everybody, Oprah-style. You go to first! You go to first! You go to first! EV-'RY-BO-DY GOES TO FIRST! Er, except you, sir. You go to second. And you, you go to third. And that fellow over there can go home. Yes, really, sir. Go ahead.
To paraphrase someone from the comments, "Foster: Australian for walks." Foster walked in two runs in the fourth. The poor guy. And then Roman Colon walked in another.
You know what, though? It's the last day of February. Maybe it's the Bucs' version of New Year's Eve, where you get in one more crazy night of partying before, for real this time, you're going to sober up and eat some organic vegetables and maybe go hiking once in a while. Tomorrow it will be March. And in five weeks it will be April. Soon, Jonathan Sanchez and Andy Oliver and Zach Foster will be back in the minors, or out of the organization. And Jameson Taillon pitched the first two innings and allowed one run while striking out three batters, which I'll take.