Well, folks, the St. Louis Cardinals won three of four games against a very good Colorado Rockies team, and I’m ready to trick myself into believing that the playoffs are a possibility. Here’s what happened in the first game of my period of delusion.

First, the lineups.

  • Oh great, the Pirates are using the emoji the Cardinals use for Matt Bowman. The Rays might’ve done this too, I don’t know nor do I want to know. I think there’s something to be said about a bland social media presence from sports teams. Professional sports teams are million-to-billion dollar corporations, so why do we need to delude ourselves into believing that they have the personality of an eleven year-old who Instagrams Fortnite or whatever (I don’t know if this is a thing but it features a lot of buzzwords–epic bacon win!)? My age includes a two and a nine and I will let you speculate the order of these digits.
  • With his first batter faced as a National League pitcher (that the Chicago Cubs traded him during his well-regarded prospect days as part of the Matt Garza trade should be mentioned as frequently and gratuitously as possible), Chris Archer faced Matt Carpenter. Carpenter took two balls and then hit yet another lead-off home run. In Archer’s defense, a lot of players give up home runs to Matt Carpenter these days.
  • In the bottom of the first, things got a bit…not ideal. Adam Frazier led things off with a double. The next batter, Starling Marte, was initially called out but was (correctly) called safe on an infield single on video review. And then, just to be a jerk who deprives me of fun, Gregory Polanco tripled to right field, scoring two runs. Following a David Freese groundout, Colin Moran hit a deep enough fly ball to score Polanco, giving the Pirates a 3-1 lead through one inning.
  • In Chris Archer’s attempted redemption inning, Jedd Gyorko led things off with a walk, while Dexter Fowler singled, after which a Yairo Munoz double scored Gyorko and advanced Fowler to third. A rally looked promising but, well, things can only be so fun. John Gant predictably struck out, and following an intentional walk to Matt Carpenter to load the bases, Yadier Molina had an ugly swinging strikeout. The next batter, Paul DeJong, took ball four on the outside, but because Count Calls, it was called a strike and he later struck out. Depriving a team of a run as a subconscious way of leveling the playing field is extremely cool and good. 3-2 Pirates.
  • John Gant strikes out the side in the second! Yes, one of those guys was a guy who was an American League pitcher three days ago, but still!
  • In the bottom of the third, Adam Frazier led off with a single, and Starling Marte doubled to get Frazier to third, and this is all seeming a bit familiar. A Gregory Polanco sacrifice fly scored Frazier. A David Freese groundout led to some breathing room, but successive Colin Moran walks and Francisco Cervelli and Josh Harrison singles, which put the score at 6-2 Pirates, made me very angry I found myself on recap duty.
  • It was at this point that I left my apartment to go do things besides watch this stupid baseball game full-time. Don’t worry, I’m still watching. But self-care is important.
  • The top of the fifth looked promising! Paul DeJong walked, Marcell Ozuna reached on a Jordy Mercer error, good stuff. And then, with help from some outfield miscommunication, Tyler O’Neill singled and, well, there was a miscommunication. Ozuna apparently thought Paul DeJong was being sent home, which he most definitely was not, and Ozuna got caught between second and third with nowhere to go. So instead of the bases loaded with nobody out, it’s runners on the corners with one out.
  • Jedd Gyorko base hit! DeJong scored, O’Neill got to third, and OZUNA WOULD HAVE SCORED AND WE’D HAVE RUNNERS ON THE CORNERS AND NOBODY OUT AND ONLY DOWN TWO. As it stands at the moment, 6-3 Pirates.
  • And now a Dexter Fowler single. 6-4 Pirates with runners on first and second and I’m going to quit recapping what the score would be if Ozuna hadn’t been picked off the bases because honestly it feels sad. Anyway, Chris Archer got knocked out of a game in which he didn’t exactly pitch well but got a standing ovation from the Pittsburgh fans. Good for him and good for them. They’re excited about what he will become, hopefully beyond his performance tonight.
  • Lol remember back when Yairo Munoz was bad? Well he’s good now. He got a single to load the bases for Jose Martinez, yesterday’s hero. Let’s see if he can duplicate that.
  • Jose Martinez grounded out, scoring a run, and once again, Matt Carpenter was intentionally walked to load the bases for Yadier Molina. I really hope one of these days the Cardinals make teams pay for this. I like watching Matt Carpenter bat, though less than I like watching the Cardinals score all of the runs.
  • Yadier Molina grounded out. Bases loaded stranded. 6-5 Pirates.
  • The Cardinals rallied to load the bases, again, in the top of the sixth. They got an out without scoring a run. Again.
  • In the bottom of the sixth, Tyler O’Neill made a play. It was awkward and weird but whatever the catch happened.
  • Keone Kela is in to pitch the seventh. Turns out Keone Kela is on the Pirates. Who knew?
  • Matt Carpenter doubled. That’s good! Paul DeJong singled to the outfield and Merchant Of Base Running Death Jose Oqeundo sent Carp home, where he was extremely out. That’s bad!
  • *looks up from food* oh man runners on second and third with nobody out in the top of the third. That’s promising.
  • A Jedd Gyorko groundout brought home Marcell Ozuna with Tyler O’Neill advancing to third. 6-6.
  • Dexter Fowler hit a grounder and once again, the runner trying to score was VERY out.
  • Ooh boy, Munoz singles and if Harrison Bader can just draw a walk, we get Matt Carpenter with the bases loaded and two outs. We…got a Bader out. But hey, Carp leads off the ninth!
  • Oh, Dexter Fowler limped his way off the field on not-his-own power. Baseball is dumb sometimes. Francisco Pena is catching. I’m confused and at a bar without sound please bear with me here.
  • Molina is playing first. Gotcha.
  • Munoz is in the outfield and Carpenter is at third base and good heavens I’d have just kept Bader in the game.
  • Jordan Hicks got into trouble. And then Jordan Hicks surrendered the go-ahead run off Adam Frazier.
  • The inning ended with an awkward but effective play by newfound right fielder Yairo Munoz. I would literally die for him. 7-6 Pirates.
  • And nothing doing in the ninth. Pirates win 7-6, assure the stupidity of sports.

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