Wow. What an exhausting game. Here is a list of things that happened in this game in roughly chronological order:
1. The Pirates took a 3-1 lead early in the game.
2. Liriano gave up the cheapest three run homer I’ve ever seen:
3. The Pirates immediately came back and scored five runs in a merry-go-round inning where they just kept getting hits. I was washing dishes during this inning, so I’m assuming that had something to do with it.
4. The bullpen promptly blew their 8-4 lead when Vogelsong/Watson gave up two in the eighth and then Melancon gave up a two-run homer to Goldschmidt (his second homer of the game).
5. The Pirates put in Kyle Lobstein to pitch the bottom of the tenth and he somehow escaped from having a guy on second with no outs.
6. The Pirates left Kyle Lobstein in to pitch the eleventh and he somehow escaped from having a guy on second with one out.
7. The Pirates had a brilliant chance in the twelfth with Cervelli on second and one out, but he got thrown out at third after a pickoff attempt trickled past the second baseman.
8. Despite this mishap, the Pirates managed to score two runs after McCutchen walked, scored on David Freese’s third double of the game, and Freese narrowly made it home before Marte got thrown out at second trying to stretch a single to a double. Here’s the huge double from Freese:
9. In the bottom half of the inning, Nick Ahmed got tossed for arguing balls and strikes after Neftali Feliz struck him out (he had a good argument, the pitch wasn’t a strike). Since the Diamondbacks had used all their position players already, I tweeted that at least we’d get to see a pitcher play in the field if the Diamondbacks tied it up.
10. The Diamondbacks tied it up. Zack Greinke came in to pinch hit for the previous pitcher, Tyler Clippard, and ripped one down the third base line for a single. He was promptly replaced by a pinch runner, another pitcher, Shelby Miller, who represented the tying run. Some stuff later it was tied up and they were still threatening with runners on the corners with one out. Somehow, Feliz struck out Brandon Drury, intentionally walked Paul Goldschmidt (including a pitchout that nearly went over Chris Stewart’s head), and struck out Yasmany Tomas to make it to the thirteenth now tied 10-10. Here’s the pitchout that was probably the scariest moment in a game full of scary moments:
11. Nick Ahmed’s stupidity led to the D-Backs playing Shelby Miller in left field, where had to make plays on two different balls in the inning.
12. The Pirates quickly struck for a run and made the weird decision to pinch hit Jon Niese for Feliz, rather than Cole. Niese worked a really good at bat and eventually got a single to bring home a second run, proving me and a bunch of Twitter nerds wrong.
13. The D-Backs were sunk in the bottom half of the inning when, after getting one out, Arquimedes Caminero was able to face pitchers in back-to-back at-bats, striking out Patrick Corbin and Shelby Miller to end the game. Nick Ahmed was seen kicking himself in the dugout.
List format is really the only way I could process this weird of a game; thirteen items for thirteen innings! There isn’t much to say here other than that the Pirates’ bullpen blew a great lead that had been given to them with two innings to go, nearly lost the game in the tenth and eleventh, blew another great lead given to them up 2 in the twelfth, and then finally shut it down after all of that had happened.
I’ll probably be able to process this all better later, but this was one of the weirdest baseball games I’ve seen in a long time and was an absolute roller coaster of emotions. Jeff Locke will likely continue that roller coaster of emotions tomorrow when he pitches against the Rockies. I suspect this will be his last chance to maintain his rotation spot.