the pittsburgh pirates have suffered 20 losing seasons in a row. the last time they had a winning season was 1992 when their manager was jim leyland, who now manages the tigers. the pirates have assured themselves of at least a break-even season and their next win clinches a winning season. we'd hoped that it was going to be wednesday night. we made plans for a short-term babysitter so we could watch the end of the game at bw3 (it not being broadcast on any of the local networks here). but we canceled those plans when early in the game the pirates found themselves behind 7-2. and they did not win.
so we watched, off and on, the tigers game against the red sox. it was brutal. there was something in the ether and the red sox hit eight home runs in total against a variety of pitchers. david ortiz had a home run for his 1999th career hit and a bit later had another hit for his 2000th career hit. another 20. (the hr tied him at 47th on the all-time hr list at 426.) the final score: red sox 20, tigers 4.
this was the first time in franchise history the tigers allowed 8 home runs in a game. the last time the red sox hit 8 home runs in a game was naturally on a july 4th, in 1977 (7/4/77). fireworks aplenty.
the pirates really wanted to avoid 21 losing seasons because 21 was roberto clemente's jersey number. in relation to this i learn that tom walker, the father of current pirate neil walker (my pirate), was *this close* to joining roberto clemente on the fateful flight that claimed his life. tom walker was briefly a tiger. the team he spent the most time with in his brief career was the montreal expos, where his jersey number was 20.
tuesday night max scherzer had failed in his bid to become only the second mlb pitcher to ever start a season 20-1, falling to the red sox, the only team i'll ever associate with roger clemens, the only guy to have started 20-1. max will still get his 20 win season, which is a milestone. just not this week.