After watching this afternoon's game for over three hours, I think perhaps the best summary I could give is to simply tell you which pitchers the Pirates used. So, here: Francisco Liriano, Cory Luebke, Arquimedes Caminero, and Rob Scahill. Now when you check the box score, you needn't be surprised that this bunch walked 11 batters, or that Cubs baserunners swarmed Wrigley Field like cicadas. And you won't be shocked that the Pirates lost, 6-0, particularly if you've been paying attention for the past couple weeks.
Liriano gave up a single and a homer on the Pirates' first two pitches of the game, but after that, everything on both sides unfolded torturously slowly. The Bucs, to their credit, did manage to work counts against Jake Arrieta, forcing him to pile up pitches. Unfortunately, and not to their credit, they couldn't cash in on the few opportunities he gave them, the best of which gave in the sixth, when the Pirates loaded the bases, only to watch Arrieta whiff David Freese and Matt Joyce to end the inning. They ended up with just three hits for the afternoon.
The sixth inning was also about when the game, until then a slow-motion disaster barely hidden by the Cubs' own failures to score their many baserunners, fully revealed itself. Liriano, who made little progress today in his ongoing efforts to Throw Some Bleeping Strikes, had just allowed his third run (and thrown his 111th pitch) when the Pirates brought in Luebke, who allowed a walk, a double, and an intentional walk before walking Addison Russell with the bases full. By that point it was 5-0, and Luebke had run his ERA to 9.35. At this point in the season, he has nine strikeouts and 11 walks. I allowed myself to get mildly excited about him before, when he was the talk of Spring Training, but I can no longer see how he deserves a roster spot.
Caminero did get a grounder to finish the inning, but created a mess of his own in the seventh, allowing two walks and, finally, a run on a bizarre tag play. And Scahill -- well, let's hear it for Scahill. He allowed one walk in the eighth, but got a double play to end the inning and didn't take four and a half years before he got to trot to the dugout. Everyone else, ugh.