Sunday, May 25, 2008

Game 50: Pirates 6 Cubs 5

When I said, "stealing a series from the Cubs," I didn't know the Pirates were going to take it quite as literally as they did during today's game. I mean, there's sneaking out a win and then there's hitting the game-ending pop-up into left field, only to have Alfonso Soriano eschew his sunglasses and let the ball pop out of his glove, resulting in a tied game in the bottom of the ninth.

The weird thing about this game is that that Soriano play wasn't necessarily even the weirdest sequence of events. I mean, in this game, Luis Rivas hit two home runs. Luis Rivas. Hit two home runs. Paul Maholm then imploded with a four-run third, but pitched his way into the eighth anyways because of the 14-inning game last night. That eighth inning looked like the crucial one because it lead to the Cubs' fifth run, which should've been decisive except for Soriano.

Of course, after the Pirates tied it up that really just set the stage for Jason Bay to get his second extra-inning walkoff single in about 16 hours when he clubbed a Jon Lieber pitch into left-field to score Chris Gomez from second. I can't really think of a Pirate I've been happier for than Jason Bay in a long time (and it's not because I've spent so much time sticking up for the guy). He takes a lot of flack that I don't think he deserves, mostly based on his reserved demeanor, he went out and played almost every day last year despite an injury that had to have been killing him, and this year he's back and just knocking the snot out of the ball. His OPS in May is close to 1.100 and he's come up in big situations not just this weekend, but all month.

This season really has been a roller coaster, hasn't it?