I’ve been watching baseball long enough to know that teams lose the last game of a series where it seems like they’ve just been steamrolling over the other team semi-regularly. It happens.
The Pirates, though, seem to be trying to make crashing and burning in final games into fine art.
Once again, the long ball was the harbinger of doom for the Bucs as the Nationals beat them this afternoon at PNC Park, 6-2.
Luis Garcia got the Nats Homer Party started in the second inning, drilling one into center field off Bryse Wilson in the first. However, the Pirates came right back, albeit on a smaller scale. Wilmer Difo and Anthony Alford both singled off Patrick Corbin, and Ben Gamel ground into a forceout of Alford while reaching base. Wilson helped himself with a sacrifice bunt that scored Difo and tied the game. A sacrifice came into play in the next inning as well, as Kevin Newman hit a trip-trip-triple and Bryan Reynolds sac-flied him home to give the Bucs a 2-1 lead.
But then came the fourth, with two outs, which unfortunately these days for the Pirates means something like this:
Alex Avila smacked a round-tripper into right off a Wilson slider. Adrian Sanchez doubled, and Corbin pulled a slightly better Wilson and singled. This brought a mound visit by Oscar Marin, who must have told Wilson to hang a four-seamer to Lane Thomas, because Wilson did precisely that and Thomas took it yard to right for a 5-2 Nats lead. The Nats added one more run in the seventh, with Yadier Hernandez singling Juan Soto home off Luis Oviedo.
Wilson lasted 4.1 innings, and as everyone gathered on the mound, Greg Brown asked plaintively if any Pirates pitchers could last past the fifth inning.
I don’t know, Brownie—can the Pirates ever win on a Sunday when I’m covering a game?
And why do I think we’re both doomed to disappointment?