About the only good thing that can be said about Monday night’s game is that the Pirates did nothing to tempt any of their fans to stay up late. In fact, any fan who stayed through to the end, without having a recap to write, probably has issues that he or she should get addressed. Or a good supply of some sort of substance.
The game wasn’t in doubt for any time at all. After the Pirates went down in order in the first, Trevor Williams ran into trouble that started with a weak infield hit and his own throwing error. A walk and a single left the bases loaded with one out and a run in, and Williams served up a grand slam to Chris Taylor on an 0-2 pitch. After a second out, Williams coughed up another gopher ball to Yasiel Puig.
What followed was eight innings of garbage time, as people with long, round, wooden objects in their hands flailed helplessly at whatever Alex Wood threw. Wood fanned 11 guys with wood objects in just five innings, allowing only two hits and a walk. The Pirates only got rid of him due to his pitch count of 88. A lot of that was attributable to Josh Harrison, who saw 24 pitches in three at-bats against Wood, but nevertheless managed only a ground out and two whiffs.
The Pirates finally showed some signs of life against Cody Stripling in the sixth, when Jordy Mercer singled, Andrew McCutchen doubled, and Jose Osuna singled, bringing in a run and leaving runners at the corners with one out. But Josh Bell and Francisco Cervelli got the game back on message by striking out.
Clint Hurdle meanwhile had finally removed Williams after he allowed two more runs in the third. Williams’ major league career has covered 27.1 IP so far and the numbers have been frightful. I’m not going to bother running through them, but there have probably been pitchers in Home Run Derby with better stats. It’s just not possible to see an argument for Williams staying in the majors any longer. It certainly wouldn’t be responsible, or even humane, to send him out for another start. He’d be much better served by trying to get in some good innings in AAA.
After Williams’ departure, garbage time continued, as Josh Lindblom took one for the team and labored through four innings, 88 pitches, lots of baserunners and four more runs. The wood-holders finished with a total of 17 whiffs. Max Moroff made his first major league start and struck out all three times up, leaving him with five whiffs in five big league plate appearances. Chris Bostick made his major league debut as a substitute for Gregory Polanco and fanned in both of his at-bats. And the farce finally ended with a 12-1 count.
Maybe we could try this in reverse and send the Pirates to Iceland.