“You can’t predict baseball,” the old cliché goes. We
learned that for the millionth time on Tuesday night.
I first paid attention to the strangeness of Tuesday night
when, in the top of the second inning, I noticed relief
pitcher Jared Hughes warming up in the Pirates bullpen.
Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Karstens did give up two
earned runs on three hits in the first inning, but he had
only pitched one inning. So, naturally, I concluded that
there was something wrong with Karstens. But, not a moment
later, I questioned my recent conclusion, when I saw
Karstens leave the on-deck circle and head for the
batter’s box. He’s hitting, so he must be okay, I thought.
Four pitches later, Karstens struck out swinging and
headed for the visitor’s dugout as that relief pitcher,
Hughes, trotted in from the bullpen. So much for the duel
between two Southern Californian Yankee draft picks.
And things didn’t get any more normal from there.
A 35-year-old relief pitcher named Jason Grilli got the
win for the Pirates — number 21 of his 10-year career.
And a 37-year-old utility man, John McDonald, hit a home
run — number 21 of his 14-year career.
And it would only be fitting on a night like Tuesday for
33-year-old Juan Cruz — a former D-back — to get the
fourth save of his 12-year-career.
Then again, what should we have expected on a night when
game had three third-period goals scored in a matter of 65
Some other game oddities:
• Tuesday night was the first time in Gerardo
Parra’s career that he has started in right field and
finished the game in center field
• The Pirates’ 3-4-5 hitters (Andrew McCutchen, Neil
Walker, and Garrett Jones) had 10 of their team’s 13 hits
and all five of their team’s runs and RBIs
• Ian Kennedy had a bad home start
• There was a 9-6 putout (Jason Kubel to John
McDonald) on a Jones’ bloop single to right field
And some conventionalities:
Today, the D-backs wrap up their three-game series with
the Pirates at Chase Field. Daniel Hudson (1-0; 8.74 ERA)
is on the mound for the D-backs, facing the Pirates’ James
McDonald (0-1; 3.86 ERA).
With Justin Upton still listed as day-to-day and Chris
Young headed for the
disabled list, the question of the day is a rehash of what
we we were all dying to know in the offseason — what in the world are the D-backs going to
do with four outfielders?