In this strange 2020 season, the second game between the Pirates and the Minnesota Twins at Target Field was interrupted by ... a drone. In the top of the fifth inning, it appeared in center field, causing a ten-minute delay and much hilarity as various Bucs and Twins pitchers were throwing at it to try to knock it down.
They were about as successful as Joe Musgrove, who lost his third consecutive game as the Twins rolled over the Pirates 7-3.
Big Joe got into trouble almost immediately, walking leadoff hitter Max Kepler, who went to third on a Nelson Cruz single and Jarrod Dyson error. Eddie Rosario singled and Miguel Sano doubled, which brought Cruz home. Luis Arraez sacrificed to get Rosario across the plate to make the score 3-0 for the Twins ... in the first inning. In the second, Musgrove gave up a single to Byron Buxton, who took second base on a Phillip Evans error, advanced on two walks to Kepler and Jorge Polanco, and scored on another Cruz single. By the end of the second inning, Musgrove had thrown 61 pitches a personal record. Not one to pursue, Joe. He somehow made it to the fourth inning, and by the time all was said and done, he had five earned runs, six hits, five walks (another personal record that shouldn’t be pursued) and a mere two strikeouts. Hey, at least he didn’t give up any home runs.
In one of the few Pirates offensive bright spots, Bryan Reynolds tripled in the top of the fourth inning, coming home on a Gregory Polanco sac fly to avoid the shutout. In the bottom of the inning, he continued his stellar defense, gunning down Jorge Polanco at home, but not before Max Kepler scored after Musgrove walked him and Polanco and Sam Howard gave up a single to Eddie Rosario. Nik Turley gave up the final two runs with more walks and sacrifice flies. Dovydas Neverauskas pitched a good inning, and Yacksel Rios acquitted himself decently in the final two innings.
Twins starter Jose Berríos went six innings, giving up one run on four hits, with three walks and six strikeouts. His replacement, Caleb Thielbar, did fine until the ninth, which as we all know is the Pirates’ favorite inning to start scoring. An Erik Gonzalez double started the festivities, and after Dyson popped up there were consecutive singles by John Ryan Murphy, Adam Frazier and Phillip Evans, who capped his three-for-five day with an RBI that scored Murphy. However, Trevor May came in and promptly shut down the rally (and the game) by forcing Josh Bell and Colin Moran to pop up.
The Pirates have not won since July twenty-eighth. That’s all that can be said right now.