Home > Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates > Pirates Sum Up 3-Week Collapse Perfectly, Commit 7 Errors in 12-2 Loss To Cubs At Home

Pirates Sum Up 3-Week Collapse Perfectly, Commit 7 Errors in 12-2 Loss To Cubs At Home

When the Pittsburgh Pirates fell off the proverbial map following last year’s 19-inning game — a controversial loss in Atlanta which led to the creation of this gem — I kind of shrugged it off. I mean, it’s the Pirates; nobody really expected them to hang around for the long haul. They’ve been completely forgettable since the years of the Clinton Administration. They played over their heads; it was bound to end sooner than later. Oh, well. Too bad. Better luck next year.

Then next year came, and the Pirates looked really good. They sucked me in. I was a believer in Andrew McCutchen, James McDonald and A.J. Burnett. I believed that this would be not “The” year for the Pirates, but certainly a year to remember. Finish over .500? Definitely. Get into the playoffs? Sure.

While they had fallen off the pace for the NL Central crown by Aug. 19, the Pirates were still in line for a Wild Card berth. On that day, they played another 19-inning game. But this time, they won, 6-3, over the Cardinals on the road. You just knew that this would bring the Pirates together with enough momentum and confidence to know they can outlast anyone, anywhere.

Or it could just tire them out and lead to another huge, season-crushing slump. You know, either/or.

Unfortunately, the latter is taking shape. Pittsburgh followed up that win by losing three straight in San Diego and they are 5-11 since that late afternoon in St. Louis. They are 10 games back in the Central and 1.5 games behind the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot. Certainly not insurmountable, but after seeing bits and pieces of Friday night’s loss to the Cubs, the Pirates look like a team that might not win again. Ever.

They lost, 12-2, in Pittsburgh to the Chicago Cubs, the second-worst team by record in the NL.

Two runs. Four hits. Seven errors.

Seven.

Oy vey. Sterling Marte had a bit of an issue out there in left field. At the end of that clip above, there’s a great shot of the scoreboard displaying one of strangest lines I’ve ever seen.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle didn’t hide his feelings after the game:

“Our worst game of the season,” Hurdle said. “We stunk. There’s always a sense of pride you take out on the field to play your best … sometimes your best stinks. That’s where we were tonight. Nobody woke up thinking, ‘Let’s go out there tonight and stink up the joint in front of 32,000 fans.'”

Except for the Astros. They do it in front of 15,000 nightly. But only 3,000 of them are awake for the full nine.

The seven errors are the most from the Pirates since 1985 and the most from any team since the Braves in 2004. The Pirates finished one shy of their club record for errors, which was set in 1939. They allowed nine unearned runs, their most in a game since 1988. They committed “only” four errors on that night.

It’s hard to rule the Pirates out for the Wild Card when you look at their schedule — 13 of their 25 remaining games come against the Cubs, Brewers and Astros. But it may not matter; they are finding ways to lose to anybody. They need just nine victories to hit the .500 mark. That would seem to be in jeopardy, too.

As much as I thought this was a different team, these Pirates are playing a lot like the Pirates we’ve seen since the mid-90s. And unlike at this time last year, the 2012 Pittsburgh Plummet really has me bumming.

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