No-hitters happen. We know that. Most of us know they even happen to good teams. Whatever. We've been over it.
What's nice is that bad feeling goes away quickly. There's another game the next day and the ignominy fades, grouped away with all the other data points in a 162-game season.
What happened Sunday, though... It didn't help. The Pirates followed getting no-hit by getting walloped by the Nationals, 9-2, in probably even uglier fashion than Saturday's loss.
This one was a disaster before we could even get to any possible Jose Tabata-related drama. Charlie Morton couldn't get out of the first inning, allowing nine runs on eight hits while getting two outs.
It started with Bryce Harper hitting a monster two-run home run to the second deck of Nationals Park. Clint Robinson doubled on a play Tabata could have handled better in right-center field, then Robinson scored when Jose Lobaton plopped a single in front of a deep-playing Andrew McCutchen. Michael Taylor's infield single scored Lobaton. Corey Hart couldn't handle Morton's pick-off throw to first and Taylor got to third. He, of course, scored on a Gio Gonzalez double -- a weak flare Hart couldn't quite get to. A three-run homer by Yunel Escobar, the 11th batter of the inning, put a nice bow on top of things.
Vance Worley, Antonio Bastardo and Arquimedes Caminero did pitch 7 1-3 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits in the process. Hart hit a two-run homer in the ninth to break the Nationals' shutout.
It was as ugly an inning, or a game, I can remember this year. For the knee-jerk crew, it's sure to fuel whatever fire started by being no-hit by a great pitcher. All the stuff we were saying about one bad game (or two or three) still applies, of course. The Pirates are still good, of course. It just wasn't a fun, reassuring day (Johnny Cueto vs. Jeff Locke next -- yay!).
The one nice thing was there was no retribution taken towards the Pirates or Tabata. That wasn't too much of a surprise after Clint Hurdle's pregame comments suggesting the controversy was more among fans than the players involved, and Max Scherzer signed a couple lineup cards for Hurdle to have auctioned for charity. It was surprisingly refreshing, whatever your stance on Tabata's HBP.