Terrible. The Cubs and Pirates took the field and a celebrity softball game broke out. 18 runs, 26 hits, 19 walks, 5 errors, 3 wild pitches, 1 passed ball, and 27 runners stranded in 4-3/4 hours of alleged major league baseball.
Where to start? How about Gorzo starting the game giving up 7 hits and 4 walks in 2-1/3 innings, or Evan Meek closing it by walking 5 (two intentionally) and bouncing 2 wild pitches off of Ronny Paulino?
Or Brian Bixler, the game winning run, freezing at third base in the ninth? Ditto for the coach, Tony Beasley. First and third, less than two outs - doesn't the runner go on anything hit on the ground to keep out of the DP, suicide squeeze or not? EDIT - it was a safety squeeze...it's real safe if no one runs.
Or Luis Rivas letting another ball get through him? Maybe giving up 4 stolen bases and getting caught twice ourselves? OK, one was a pick-off, but still... The list goes on and on.
Plays like those wasted the Bucs coming back from a 7-0 deficit and getting 8-2/3 innings from an overworked bullpen, allowing just one run to score until Meek was the last man left standing.
It's a pity someone had to win this game. But Chi-town did, scoring twice in the twelfth without a hit. Enough said.
Oh well. Maybe Memphis and Kansas will put on a show tonight. The Bucs and Cubbies sure didn't.
On the awards front: Elmer Gray, part time Bucco scout, was introduced on field as this year's winner of the "Pride of the Pirates" award. It's an annual honor given to recognize character, dedication, and sportsmanship. Gray's been in baseball since 1951, when he started with the St. Louis Browns. He came to Pittsburgh in 1984, and has served as director of Baseball Operations and Scouting director for the Pirates.
And in case you're wondering, Billy Maz threw out the first pitch at PNC this year.
On the "What's A Mother To Do" front: The Squeglia clan of Shaler had a problem Saturday. Chris was pitching the opening game of the Slippery Rock - California doubleheader for the 'Rock. Joe, his brother, was pitching the nightcap for the Vulcans. But it worked out just fine. The family switched colors between the games, and peace was guaranteed at the home dinner table when both boys notched victories. Chris won 9-4, yielding 6 hits, and Joe won 10-3, scattering 10 hits. Both had 5 K's. But what are the Squeglia's gonna do when the bros face each other...? (Thanks to David Fink of the Post Gazette for this tidbit.)