Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Pirates and Royals: LIVEBLOG

The worst team in the NL. The worst team in the AL. Bad young guys. Cagey veterans. The wreckage Allaird Baird left behind. The destruction Dave Littlefield is creating. Mark Redman. Kip Wells. The most anticipated return of an 18 game loser in history. David Glass. Ogden Nutting. There is only one way to chronicle this amazing event. LIVEBLOG. Check back for updates as they happen, new stuff at the top.

Welcome to the carnage, Deadspin readers.

11:35- And of course, thanks to all of the brave souls who stuck all, or any part at all actually, of this one out with me.

11:29- Some fun stats: the Pirates committed 3 errors tonight, walked 11 batters, gave up more runs than hits, threw a wild pitch, allowed a passed ball, and gave a win to Mark Redman and his "5 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs (all earned) 5 walks" line. All told, our pitchers threw 168 pitches tonight (!) and only managed to get 89 of them across the plate. If you remove Matt Capps, it's 75 out of 151 (less than 50%). Just an ugly, ugly game. Actually, the Royals were pretty bad in their own right, but just about anyone can find a way to win when the opponent walks them 11 times.

1:27- Jack Wilson homers, allowing Greg Brown to remind us that it is the Pirates first run since about 12 years ago, waay back when they held that 5-1 lead. They only mustered three hits from that point on. Freddy makes the last out and the carnage is over. 10-8 Royals.

11:18- In case you forgot what team we were up against, the Royals just saw 28 pitches from the White Flag. He only manged to throw 12 of them for strikes. He walked three (3) batters in one inning of work. Still, the Royals only managed one hit and 2 runs out of the fiasco, both on sac flies. And we're now losing to them 10-5.

11:04- To add on to the list of embarassing oddities committed in this game (most of them by the Pirates), Angel Berrora just stole two bases on the same play. He broke for second (after singling off of Vogelsong, of course), slid in with Paulino's throw, and headed to third after it skipped in the dirt. How did Vogie respond? Why exactly how every other Pirate pitcher has responded to adversity tonight, by walking the next batter.


11:00- Joe Randa got a hit, no one else did anything noteworthy. We're headed to the bottom of the 8th and somehow this game is looking at ending only a little over three hours after it's 8:10 start time.

10:52- Umm, Marte threw some pitches. Some Royals made outs, I think one of them got a hit. I swear I saw Reggie Sanders stealing a base, but the universe didn't end so my eyes must be decieving me. Only an inning and a half left, unless we score three and drag this thing out.

10:40 PM- Peralta strikes out Sanchez and Bay back to back. Jack Wilson made an out, but I'm pretty sure they didn't even show it on TV. The Pirates are clearly throwing in the towel and putting up the white flag. Surprisingly, they haven't put Vogelsong in yet. Side note: wouldn't "White Flag" be a great nickname for Vogelsong?

10:34- Capps got a 1-2-3 inning. Amazing. I missed the first two batters as I was pouring myself said drink. Castillo made a nice play to get the third out. It doesn't make up for his earlier transgressions. Stunningly, we are not out of this game.

10:28- After Ronnie Paulino walks to lead off the inning, Nate McLouth hits into a double play by swinging at the first pitch, the Bautista takes a ball and hits a pop-up. Peralta (the Royals new pitcher) threw only five strikes that inning, walked a batter, and still got three outs in 10 pitches. Amazing. I think I'm going to pour myself a drink.

10:24- Redman is out. The Royals' pen is awful, but so was Redman. Somehow, he's in line to get a win.

10:22- Capps comes in and lets two of Grabow's runners score, probably out of spite. He also makes an incredibly stupid play on a bouncer back to him with the bases loaded, but somehow gets an out at the plate. Freddy, Castillo, and Craig manage to not screw up a double play and keep the damage at 2. 8-5 Royals after 5.

10:15- Grabow lasted much shorter than Kip Wells, he leaves with the bases loaded an no outs in the fifth after Bautista tried to make a diving play but somehow the ball bounced off his chest while he was diving. I think I'm going blind from watching this evil, like it's coming from the Arc of the Covenant or something.

10:10- You know how when good players make a fantastic play in the field they often lead off the next inning and they always seem to get a big hit so the announcers can say "As so often happens..."? Well, Jose Castillo has just pulled the opposite. He got picked off to end last inning, then pretended to be a croquet wicket on Mien...awwf&$#it's grounder. Grabow responded with a walk... what else?

10:07- Castillo gets picked off to end the top of the 5th (sweet Jesus, it's only the top of the 5th). If you are somewhere where you can't watch this game, I cannot stress enough how awfully played it has been. As just pointed out by the broadcasters, Mark Redman has thrown 99 pitches (only 53 strikes) and walked five batters through five, yet is in line to get the win.

9:59- Grabow does the exact opposite of what he was brought in to do and walks in the go ahead run. Tim Timmons is very inconsistent behind the plate, but I don't think that's the problem. Thankfully, Grabow gets an inning ending DP that we manged not to screw up. The Royals are now officially playing worse than any baseball team I've ever seen with a lead in a game. Of course, that title was formerly held by the Pirates about 10 minutes ago. It's an insult to baseball that someone will actually get a win out of this thing.

9:53- Kip does the unthinkable and out-labors Redman. He's out after 3 and 1/3, leaving a 5-5 game with the bases loaded and John Grabow coming in and only one out, which is terrifying. Coming into this game I expected the ugliest game ever and this thing is delivering, in this inning alone we've seen Castillo double clutch on a double play, another double play ball zip up the middle with Jack way out of position (even Wehner knew where he should've been), a third possible double play sneak under Jack's glove, two walks, and passed ball that just kind of popped out of Paulino's glove.

9:37- Despite Redman's laboring as no pitcher has labored before (a whopping 87 pitches through four innings), we fail to score when Jason Bay weakly grounds to third with the bases loaded. He's back in another slump, for sure.

9:23- Kip Wells makes quick work of the bottom of the third throwing only nine pitches to retire both cans of alphabet soup and Reggie Sanders.

9:15- Randa flies out to center, Craig Wilson accepts a four pitch walk from a Mark Redman that he put the fear of Thor into with his 440 foot first inning homer but then is quickly erased by Castillo's double play. Some might say it's a bad thing Redman is settling down. I say it's a good thing because he gets to stay in the game longer.

9:10- Rory confirms around 90 for Kip's fastball in the comments (per the Royals feed from MLB.tv). Kip is still working seemingly everyone to a full count. Ge gets Stairs to ground out, and Emil Brown to strike out before a walk, a single to Berroa (hitless in his last 14 at-bats or so), a 2-run double by Buck, and an RBI single by DeJesus in which he again reminds everyone it's a Pirates/Royals game by getting hung up between first and second and eventually tagged out. After two innings Kip has thrown 47 pitches and only 23 strikes.

8:57- McLouth hits a leadoff double. The top of the lineup threatens to strand him there, until Freddy Sanchez (finally batting in the top third of the lineup where a .350 average belongs) singles him in. Jason Bay ends the inning with a flyball to center that DeJesus badly misplays before making a stumbling catch, as if to remind everyone that this is in fact the Pirates and Royals.

8:49- From Murphy in the comments, this is too good not to be on the main page:

So, two runs being scored on wild pitches in the first inning is not something that would happen somewhere that wasn't either A) any given little league team I was on or B) Pirates-Royals matchups.
8:46- Kip walked the first two batters by doing what he's been doing the last two years, ignoring his fastball and throwing junk. He finally broke down and threw a 3-1 fastball to the guy that stole the World Series ball, which he promptly hit into a double play. He would've gotten out of the inning scot free, except that Ronnie Paulino let a low and away curveball go five-hole on him for another "wild pitch." Kip responded by whiffing Reggie. There's no velocity on FSP tonight, which is pissing me off, but Wehner says Kip is throwing "mid to low 90s." Besides the control issues he looks pretty good, but that doesn't really tell us much, yet.

8:34- Royals lineup: DeJesus (CF), Grudzaoiesanrklak (2B), Mienal;kjfalkjdfsawcz (1B), Sanders (RF), Stairs (DH), Brown (LF), Teahen (3B), Berroa (SS), Buck (C). What a mighty trio of ex-Buccos in the heart of that lineup. Realizing that this will be 100 pages long if I keep updating at this pace, I will save updates for big events or between innings.

8:32- Craig Wilson The Mighty Thor, god of thunder, hit an 800 foot homer off of Redman. Redman then walked Castillo before getting out of the inning after around 35 pitches. Meanwhile, Kip Wells is sitting in the dugout, almost positive that the blood clot actually burst and killed him and he's now pitching in heaven.

8:22- Jason Bay sac fly, Joe Randa gets a standing ovation from the 10,000 or so people in attendance. And then a Mark Redman wild pitch scores Sanchez. If there is one member of the 2005 Pirates I don't miss at all, it's definitely Mark Redman (or Tike Redman, or Matt Lawton, or Daryle Ward, or...). Randa singles and the crowd actually cheers.

8:19- Freddy Sanchez doubles, Jack Wilson goes to third (he reached on an FC). Have we talked about just how impressive Freddy Sanchez is with the bat this season? Meanwhile, Wehner is shocked that the Royals will apparently pitch to Bay. John, this is Pirates and Royals. Don't expect much common sense this week.

8:16- Greg Brown is talking about stacking the deck against Redman with righties. This ignores the fact that McLouth was placed in the lineup instead of Casey, who actually hits lefties better than righties.

8:15- There is a horse-shoe of dirt behind the home plate area at Kaufmann Field. May I inquire why?

8:12- Redman hits Bautista. Would you have it start any other way?

8:10- The lineup: Bautista (CF), JWilson, Sanchez, Bay, Randa (DH), CWilson (1B), Castillo, Paulino, McLouth. Randa is starting because of his "good career numbers against Redman." I've said it a million times, when you're as old and broken down as guys like Randa, JHernandez, and Burnitz, career numbers do not apply.

8:01- Greg Brown actually referred to this game as "anticipated." We get him and Wehner on TV tonight. They are reminding us that Kip Wells lead the league in losses and walks last year. They are forgetting that Mark Redman had the worst second half in the history of creation. Oh, this is going to be good.