I’ve been thinking a lot about non-Jeters who we may not see again after this season. Konerko is obviously retiring. Ichiro may be done. Hiroki Kuroda. A.J. Burnett. Josh Beckett. Adam Dunn has suggested he may hang it up. But some less famous players may too, one of which is Mets reliever Buddy Carlyle.
I’ve paid closer attention to Carlyle than a lot of people have over the course of his career simply because he played for my team for a couple of years. When that happens you notice the name in the mass of late winter minor league signings more than you do guys who didn’t play for your team. But it’s not like I obsesses on him or anything. I saw him pitch once or twice this year, but didn’t realize until I just read Mike Vorkunov’s story about him over at NJ.com. Carlyle has posted a 1.53 ERA in 26 games. That’s his best mark ever. Still, he may retire after this year because he realizes that he’s almost 37 and someone will end his career for him eventually if he doesn’t decide to do it himself.
But it’s a neat story anyway. I’m sure a lot of guys have minor league-heavy odysseys like Carlyle has had. And so many of them are interesting. They could all be stories by themselves, even if we rarely notice them.
2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.
One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.
The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.