On an evening that saw the Pirates release Gregory Polanco and the Cardinals treat them as mere stepping stones on the way to a wild card bid by shutting them out 13-0 at PNC Park, it was a play in the third inning that really summed up the Bucs’ fortune as of late—or lack thereof.
Michael Chavis, he of the hot bat and winning smile, tried to make a diving catch on an Edmundo Sosa hit. It turned into a two-run triple because as flashy as Chavis tried to make it look, he missed. As a bonus, he injured himself. Capper? He was playing right field, the former home of the beleaguered Polanco. I swore I heard El Coffee laughing and booming I HAVE MY REVENGE ON YOU PIRATES!
Actually, it was Adam Wainwright who continued his non-hittable ways. Two days shy of his fortieth birthday—as Greg Brown repeated ad nauseum—Wainwright pitched another seven-inning beauty, with only three hits, one walk, and 93 pitches. The Bucs, starting with Steven Brault, basically did this:
Squid gave up seven runs on eight hits ... in three innings. Kyle Keller managed to get through two innings. Anthony Banda gave up a run. Luis Oviedo gave up two runs and two wild pitches. Sam Howard, who just got off the IL, gave up three runs. IT’S NOT A CONTEST, SAM. Bryan Reynolds got the Pirates’ sole extra-base hit off Wainwright in the seventh inning.
No one was surprised to see Wilmer Difo come out to pitch the ninth inning, and it was noted that unlike some other Pirates pitchers, he was actually getting the ball over the plate.
It’s nearly September. The Pirates don’t have to play the Cardinals anymore, and Polanco has ridden off into the sunset.
Good. I think.