Maybe there’s something in the water in Pittsburgh. It could be anywhere. The Ohio… the Allegheny… the Monongahela… But it’s something, somewhere, because baseball players’ brain cells are dying at an alarming rate.
On Thursday, it was Will Craig who forgot that a first baseman can get an out by stepping on first base with the ball before the runner gets there, instead of chasing Javy Báez until the Cubs stole a run and Báez wound up on second base.
In the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, it was the Pirates who benefitted from a brain fart. Pittsburgh had the lead already on a homer by Adam Frazier, and Kevin Newman and Frazier were on first and second, respectively, when Bryan Reynolds came to the plate against Austin Gomber.
On the 3-2 pitch, Frazier and Newman took off. Gomber threw inside for ball four, loading the bases. Or, at least, it would have loaded the bases had ex-Pirate Elías Díaz not chosen to try to throw for an out at third base that did not exist. Rockies third baseman Josh Fuentes, naturally, was caught off guard by the throw coming his way, and gave it a cursory wave as the ball sailed into left field, allowing Frazier to jog home.
It was already a lousy enough day for the Rockies, who lost the first game of the doubleheader, 7-0. A 4-0 loss in the nightcap dropped Colorado to 3-22 on the road this season, outscored 128-59 with 10 shutouts… and only getting worse with whatever is messing with players in Pittsburgh now. Maybe it’s the French fries on the sandwiches.