The Yankees beat the Pirates so badly Wednesday night that it appeared to break a man’s spirit.
The Yankees held a comfortable 5-0 lead over Pittsburgh through seven innings, but the wheels came off for the Pirates in the eighth, as Aaron Judge hit a grand slam. By the time the ninth came around, Pittsburgh had put second baseman Josh VanMeter on the mound to pitch – much to the chagrin of Pirates announcer Greg Brown.
After VanMeter gave up three straight singles, Aaron Hicks stepped up to the plate – and promptly dumped a 54 MPH pitch over the left-field wall for the second grand slam in as many innings. Two pitches later, Giancarlo Stanton hit another dinger to make it 15-0 – and Brown was fuming.
“This is ridiculous,” Brown said as the ball flew over the right field wall. That was the extent of his home run call.
In the replay, his broadcast partner said, “At some point, it’s almost like you’re watching a softball game.”
“It’s a joke,” Brown replied.
The scoring didn’t even stop there. VanMeter subsequently gave up a single to Gleyber Torres, and after getting Josh Donaldson to ground into a fielder’s choice, Joey Gallo, then gave up back-to-back singles to Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Kyle Higashioka, allowing the 16th run of the night to score.
The second baseman’s inning ended with him giving up six runs on eight hits.
The end result was a split of the two-game series, though the second game surely felt like five for the Pittsburgh broadcast crew.