20…..to zero. That was not a Packers-Steelers score where the extra point was blocked. That was a Pirates-Brewers score. It was the worst loss in the history of the Pirates franchise.
And I was there to witness it.
Some friends and I came to the park on a whim on Thursday. Some of my classes were canceled due to a journalism conference my professors attended in Baltimore. I couldn’t think of a better way to sepend my semi-day off than at PNC Park. Outside the stadium it looked like many others had the same idea.
There was a packed line for tickets. Whether it was the gorgeous spring day, playing hookey or killing time before the Penguins playoff game later in the day fans flocked to PNC Park. At least thats what it seemed like on the outside.
13,634 fans actually turned up, which is abysmal. Maybe we as fans deserved the pain that would be bestowed upon us for the next three and a half hours.
The Brewers looked like a team filled with baseball legends. They treated the Pirates like Little Leaguers teeing off for hit after hit which turned into run after run.
Four homeruns were hit in the ballgame. All off the bats of the Brew Crew. Jim Edmonds, George Kottarras, Prince Fielder and public enemy number one in Pittsburgh, Ryan Braun all blasted bombs into the bleachers.
The Pirates were swept by the Brewers and Pittsburgh natives let other Pittsburgh natives know it.
I just had to laugh at the guy who was rubbing the broom in every Pirate fan’s face around him, but really, what the heck? This is why I can’t be a diehard Penguin fan. I bet this guy did not cheer for the Pirates in the late 90’s early 2000’s. Yet they start winning and hes a full-fledged fan. Give it a few years, the Pirates are competitive, he will be back with avengence in a Pedro Alvarez t-shirt.
After that game however, how can I be so sure that my Bucs will ever be competitive? In that Brewers series the Pirates were outscore 36-1. The Pirates have a Majors worst 7.35 team ERA. More than one run higher than any other team. The offense is below NL average in most categories across the diamond according to Post Game host Rocco DeMaro.
There is no light at the end of the tunnel it seems. Watching that game hurt me, the few hundreds who joined me to see the final out, and 25 men who donned that Pirate jersey.
Reliever Brendan Donnelly said they should be ashamed to wear the black and gold. I can’t help but agree. Starting pitcher Daniel McCutchen cried while being interviewed. Outfielder Ryan Church simply said “I got nothin’, I’m embarrased.”
We all are Ryan, we all are.
I’m not letting go of that ticket stub. The worst loss record stood for 100 years. I will be sure to tell my grandkids about that day, the day I witnessed the worst loss in Pirates history. My grandkids won’t believe there were actually bad years as a Pirates fan, whilethey are celebrating a World Series dynasty.