The Pirates lost 5-2 against the Cubs on Monday, but first things first: Following an early rain delay, there was another long delay early in the game when a fan standing too close to the netting behind the plate got hit in the head with a well struck foul ball. She was placed on a stretcher and removed from the ballpark. The Pirates issued a statement saying she was conscious and alert while emergency personnel were moving her, so hopefully everything is okay.
Anyway, the Pirates got a run in the first on a hard-hit single by Gregory Polanco, a stolen base, and a single by Andrew McCutchen. Neil Walker then doubled McCutchen to third, but the Bucs couldn't continue their rally. They stayed ahead for several more innings thanks to an effective start from A.J. Burnett, but the Cubs tied the game in the fifth on an RBI single by Kris Bryant. (Oh yeah -- the Pirates have to deal with Kris Bryant now.) Miguel Montero then singled, but Starling Marte made a terrific throw to gun down Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo was initially ruled safe, but the Pirates won a challenge, and the call was overturned. The Cubs then issued a challenge on the grounds that Francisco Cervelli was blocking the plate, but the call -- the second one -- was upheld, and the inning ended with a 1-1 tie.
Arquimedes Caminero relieved Burnett in the seventh. Pretty much everything about Caminero is exciting, but the flip side of throwing 152 MPH is that if the batter can turn on that pitch, he can hit it a long way. Caminero got two quick outs, but then gave up a hard-hit double to Jorge Soler, who, it turns out, can hit a 152 MPH fastball. Caminero then walked Rizzo.
Then came the play that defined the game. Bryant belted a ball to the gap in left-center, and Soler came around to score. Then Cervelli bungled
Walker's Jung-Ho Kang's throw home, and Rizzo scored. (Thunder notes in the comments that the ball likely took the crazy hop it did off of Bryant's bat, which was near the plate. I couldn't tell that at the time from the angle on the broadcast. Still, Cervelli should have moved the bat before the throw arrived.) Caminero backed up the play and threw to third to catch Bryant in a rundown between third and home, but Josh Harrison threw home and Cervelli bungled that throw, too, allowing Bryant to cross the plate to make it 4-1. Just an awful play, and I felt guilty for thinking it wouldn't have happened if Russell Martin were still back there.
Anyway, Jonathan Herrera hit an RBI single off Antonio Bastardo the following inning, and Marte hit a solo homer off Zac Rosscup with two outs in the ninth, and nobody was in the ballpark, and there was a lot of "Woo"-ing, and the Pirates lost 5-2. Whatever. At least we don't root for the Reds.