Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call – Pirates beat themselves
Welcome to the Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call, a daily feature here at RumBunter.com. Every morning at 9 AM, one of us will give you our random thoughts on the goings-on around the Pirates’€™ organization, and we’ll throw out a few links to some good Pirates-related items your way from around the web as well.
The Pirates have no one to blame but themselves
The Pirates came into last night’s game essentially needing a sweep to have a shot at the division title, and that outcome didn’t seem out of the realm of possibility. But Pittsburgh did everything in its power last night to lose that game, and they did. The team left more men on base than I thought possible, including three bases-loaded situations, and couldn’t drive in one run. Instead, the Pirates were forced to remove J.A. Happ from the game early when he was rolling, made a costly defensive error in center field (or errors) that gave St. Louis a run, and ended up falling to four games back of the Cardinals in the Central. Barring a miracle, the Pirates have all but cemented their place in the Wild Card game.
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It’s games like last night that you think the Pirates probably didn’t deserve to win. They ended up leaving 16 men on base (the all-time record in a nine-inning game is 20 by the way), and had chances to drive in these runs with less than two outs. Andrew McCutchen continues to slump, as his average may dip below .290 before season’s end. Gregory Polanco made a silly base-running mistake when he ran to third from second on a ground ball and was tagged out. And he and McCutchen couldn’t find a way to pick up a baseball that was hit into center field in the ninth inning, leading to what ended up being the game-winning run for the Cardinals.
Now, the sky isn’t falling, and this is still a very good team. Catching he Cardinals in the Central was always a long shot at best, and it is still mathematically possible. But a date with the historic Jake Arrieta is seemingly the outcome out this remarkable 162-game season, which hardly seems fair. Hopefully baseball finds a way to fix its playoff system by next season, though my guess is they won’t.
Prayers for Stephen Piscotty
The game became a secondary focus for fans and players in the bottom of the seventh inning when outfielders Peter Bourjos and Stephen Piscotty collided on a fly ball hit to left-center field. Piscotty seemed to fall head-first into Bourjos’ knee at full speed, and Piscotty immediately fell motionless to the ground. He ended up being taken out of the game on a stretcher, but was able to give a wave as he left.
You almost never see injuries like that in baseball, and it was a scary one. Piscotty is a young player that has been a big part of the Cardinals’ success this season, and you never want to see anything like that in a sport, especially one that involves less contact than other sports. Here’s what the Cardinals said last night about Piscotty after he was taken to the hospital:
Here’s hoping and praying that he makes a quick and full recovery.
Around the net
In case you were wondering if Neil Walker would play first base at all this season, manager Clint Hurdle never seriously considered him there, even as a backup. Read more about this from Rob Biertempfel here.
And if you happened to miss this bit of news, Andrew McCutchen recently said that his dreads are gone forever. Those dreads were such a defining part of his character for so long, but I honestly don’t mind that he’s not bringing them back.
Attention: the season isn’t lost. I’ve always believed that to be the best you have to beat the best. This team can beat Jake Arrieta. Wouldn’t beating him and the Cubs make the season that much more remarkable? I think so, at least.