If this game had a theme song, at least for the Pirates, it would be this:
It’s bad enough that the Bucs have lost eight in a row, going down to the Cardinals 3-1 at Busch Stadium this afternoon in the first game of a doubleheader. What made it worse is that it was an absolute circus of a fourth inning that sealed the Pirates’ fate, and rookie shortstop Diego Castillo was the ringleader.
Things started out okay at least as far as the Bucs’ defense went: JT Brubaker was on the mound, pitching to newly-minted MLB catcher Jason Delay. Paul Goldschmidt did hit a homer off one of JT’s sinkers in the third to put the Cards up 2-0, but Goldschmidt’s been a beast as of late, so there’s that.
But then came the fourth.
After Harrison Bader ground out to Ke’Bryan Hayes, Yadier Molina, that well-known gazelle, also ground out, this time to Diego Castillo, who promptly threw it past Michael Chavis so Yadi managed to lumber to second. Edmundo Soto also grounded to Castillo. This time Castillo threw it over Chavis’s head. Although Chavis actually nabbed the ball, it wasn’t in time to tag Soto. In the mound gathering, Brubaker was clearly going “I got you, fam” to reassure Castillo, struck out Brendan Donovan, then went on to balk against Nolan Gorman. Problem was that the umpire called Yadi out at second without calling the balk. Yadi, as Yadi is wont to do, complained loudly. The umpires gathered. The out call was reversed, and the balk was called. Derek Shelton boiled out of the dugout but apparently didn’t drop brutal enough profanities to get him kicked out of the game. Brubaker walked Gorman, and then Goldschmidt … well, here’s how MLB Gameday described it:
Paul Goldschmidt reaches on a fielder’s choice out, shortstop Diego Castillo to second baseman Yu Chang to catcher Jason Delay to third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes to shortstop Diego Castillo to catcher Jason Delay. Yadier Molina scores. Edmundo Sosa out at home. Nolan Gorman to 2nd.
Somewhere, Benny Hill is applauding.
There were four Pirates errors in this game, and Castillo made three of them. The other was made by Daniel Vogelbach, who came in to relieve Chavis in the eighth. To be somewhat fair, this was his first time in the field this year, but still.
The lone bright spot of the Pirates’ offensive day was this:
Yu Chang - Pittsburgh Pirates (1) pic.twitter.com/cBjcQQAQG9— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) June 14, 2022
Yes, that Yu Chang. I don’t know which was more surprising, that he hit a home run or that the Pirates’ Twitter failed to note it. #YuLose
There was also this, which the Pirates’ Twitter did note:
Welcome to The Show, @CanaanSmith_! pic.twitter.com/aBxUF4hQ4t— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) June 14, 2022
We have arrived at the Land of Canaan, and he rewarded us by doubling in the bottom of the ninth inning. Second base was as far as he got, though, as Cal Mitchell lined out to end the game.
Castillo’s been up long enough so that rookie nerves really shouldn’t come into play with his errors. There are times I feel that Shelty thinks he’s giving badly performing players a vote of confidence when he continues to play them.
Back-to-back errors that cost an already faltering team another game? That doesn’t make me feel confident, how about you?