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Pirates fall 7-1 to Reds, extending losing strea ... Zzzzzzz

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

No matter how things might look, the Pirates aren't a terrible baseball team. As Greg Brown correctly pointed out on tonight's broadcast, they easily have a positive run differential even after tonight's 7-1 slumber party, and they're doing that without any meaningful contribution from Andrew McCutchen or Josh Harrison. But these last couple weeks have been torturous. I can't remember a more boring stretch of baseball since the collapses of 2011 and 2012, when I got so bored I start recapping games like this.

But okay. Nobody wants me to do that. So I'll write some nice things. Starling Marte homered. Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez made a great play to erase a hit. Walker and Jordy Mercer turned themselves into pretzels making one of the more impressive and uncomfortable-looking double plays I've seen in awhile. And maybe you could make the case that, despite the fact that they only scored one run, the offense wasn't that bad, that there's only so much Pirates hitters can do to prevent the few line drives they hit from going right to where fielders are standing.

And ... that's it. Jeff Locke dug a hole for the Pirates early, giving up a solo homer to Todd Frazier in the second and then, later in the inning, two singles and a walk, all of which led to a run-scoring double play. In the third, Billy Hamilton singled and Marlon Byrd homered. The Reds' other runs came on a "let's see what happens if we just leave Antonio Bastardo out to face whoever" experiment in the ninth, but that didn't matter. Michael Lorenzen, a rookie with an undistinguished minor-league record making his second career start, had all he needed.

What can you say? McCutchen continues to look like a shell of himself, Gregory Polanco went 0-for-5 with three whiffs, Locke isn't the worst but he's hardly the best, Bastardo hasn't done anything very impressive yet this season, April is April, April is gone, May is here, the Cardinals are over there, the Cubs are close to there, and the Pirates are nowhere. That is what you can say. And then you can mumble something unintelligible about runners in scoring position, and about Gerrit Cole pitching tomorrow, and then you can fall asleep in your easy chair, at 8:47pm, with your dinner still warming in the oven and the game still, technically, being played on the screen in front of you.