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Pirates crush Cardinals like it's nothing

Justin K. Aller

If you're not feeling great right now, you're not a Pirates fan. Before an elated crowd at PNC, the Bucs crushed the Cardinals 6-0 in the feel-good game of the year, sweeping a doubleheader and increasing their lead over not only the Cardinals themselves but over every other team in baseball. And they did it in style.

Brandon Cumpton was fantastic in his spot start, throwing hard and with solid control, and generally preventing the Cardinals from doing much at all. As it turned out, he got a ton of help he didn't need. The Bucs got one on a passed ball in the second, then unloaded in the fifth. Starling Marte led off with a triple, and Jordy Mercer dumped in a single to score him.

Then Andrew McCutchen hit a ball to deep left. Matt Holliday drifted back, back ... and then the ball bounced off the heel of his glove and over the short wall. It got better. McCutchen raised his hand in the air and rounded first about as slowly as any home-run hitter I've ever seen. (Only because Mercer wasn't sure whether the ball had been caught, but still.) And then ROOT Sports showed a replay of the home run, and we saw Holliday's ugly defense in all its shaggy glory, along with a very fratty-looking Pirates fan directly behind him, taking obvious pleasure in Holliday's bad fortune, shouting and flexing like a victorious boxer. In slo-mo.

You think I should be above thinking stuff like this is awesome? Nope! Sorry. That felt great, and Andrew McCutchen is awesome, and I would totally give that bro fan a Natty Ice, and I hope if I were in his Adidas Stan Smiths, I would have done exactly the same thing. We're Pirates fans, people. We've put up with everything for 20 years, and if our team is in first place and some other team who's supposed to be competing with the Bucs comes to PNC and gives up a home run off the heel of a glove, we're going to have some fun with it, preferably too much. We've been on the other side of all this for way too long.

Anyway, the Pirates scored two more in the seventh. They also hit leadoff triples in the sixth and eighth and failed to score either runner, but who cares? Does Jay-Z sweat it if he accidentally gives his waiter an extra hundred-dollar bill? No, no he does not. They're the Pittsburgh Pirates, they're beating the Cardinals over and over, they've got the best record in baseball, and today, at least, they can afford to light leadoff triples on fire. What's up.