Paul Skenes’ MLB debut was unforgettable for the most unexpected reason

For the first time in years, the eyes of the baseball world were actually focused firmly on what was happening at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park last Saturday night. In the district league on the weekend, there is a tilt between the team and the team that is at the top of the National League Central Division. chicago cubs And that pittsburgh pirates Normally, that would be enough to fill several seats in that incredibly picturesque ballpark, but on this particular night, there was one big reason why the stadium was so excited.

In fact, this is the long-awaited debut of top MLB prospect Paul Skeens, witnessing what could be a turning point for Pittsburgh and their aspirations to return to relevance in the near future. Pirates fans packed the stadium to play. Pirates fans came to PNC Park expecting to see brilliance from last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick, and to his credit, Skeens delivered admirably in that regard.

Skeens’ first four innings as a big leaguer were by no means spectacular or dominant, but the highly touted LSU product brought some heat during his time out. His fastball averaged 160.1 mph that day, and his slider and split-finger pitches also showed plenty of energy. The Cubs gave him two walks, six hits (including a home run), and three RBIs, but Skens pitched four innings and showed himself to be a very tough opponent for opposing batters. He had 7 strikeouts on this day. I guess it’s not bad for a debut work that comes with a lot of pressure.

On any other day, Paul Skeens’ debut would have been the main story, fully justifying a detailed review and recap of his first major league appearance. Instead, we need to discuss what happened immediately after Libby Dunn’s boyfriend left the match. Because this is another example of what can happen at a ballpark on any given day. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that we’ll probably never see a baseball situation like the bottom of the fifth inning between the Pirates and the Cubs last Saturday.

It all started with the Pirates leading 6-1 and Skeens trying to break through five games to become the record-setting pitcher. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, Mike Tauchman and Seiya Suzuki trailed Paul Skeens with a leadoff double and single, respectively. Kyle Nicholas came on in relief for the Pirates, and Nicholas actually got off to a good start, striking out Cody Bellinger and Christopher Morrell and scoring a point after cleaning up the mess Skeens left behind. Those at the ballpark knew that the strike that Nicholas swung to sit Morrell was the last strike that everyone in that ballpark would see for a while, and that things were starting to go very downhill for Pittsburgh’s pitching. There was no way anyone could know. Staff only this time.

Ian Happ was hit by a pitch, and the bases were loaded. Four pitches later, a walk loaded the bases and the Pirates were up 6-2. Eight pitches later, a walk loaded the bases and the Pirates were up 6-3. Twelve pitches later, a walk loaded the bases, making it 6-4 Pirates. After a disastrous 13th inning, Josh Fleming was replaced by Kyle Nicholas in relief, and Fleming calmly put out the fire and helped the Pirates escape while still holding the lead. Actually, this is a joke. Five pitches later, after a walk with the bases loaded, he was 6-5 Pirates.

The next run the Cubs scored didn’t come from a walk with the bases loaded, but from Mike Tauchman’s grounder in the pouring rain that not even O’Neal Crews could do anything about. An infield hit tied the game at 6:00, and both teams entered the clubhouse for about two and a half hours because the game was postponed due to rain. Upon returning to the game, it was no surprise that the Pirates gave the ball away to Colin Holderman. This is because it really doesn’t make sense to have the same pitcher pitching so many times late. Surely this will finally give Holderman the out Pittsburgh desperately needs to get out of this meandering inning? right?

Four pitches later, a walk with the bases loaded made it 7-6 Cubs. Five pitches later, a walk with the bases loaded made it 8-6 Cubs. yes. Two pitches later, the inning finally ended after Holderman lined out pinch hitter Nick Madrigal, mercifully ending the slot. Overall, the Cubs finished the inning with three hits and six walks (all with the bases loaded). 7 points To turn the game around and leave everyone at PNC Park stunned by what they had just witnessed.

According to’s Sarah Langs, all history was made with that frame alone.That was all Third time since 1957 That means the team allowed at least six bases-loaded walks in a single game. Most bases loaded walks in one inning The White Sox got eight free passes in the seventh inning of the 1959 game, and the six walks the Cubs drew in the fifth inning on Saturday were more than any team tied in an inning. This is because there were two more. In the past 50 seasons. It’s true that people went to the stadium expecting history to be made in Paul Skeens’ debut, but no one knew that history would be made by the futility of Pittsburgh’s own Dagon strike. I’m sure I didn’t expect that either.

Regardless, this was definitely a short inning and should have ruined the Cubs’ path to victory, right? Well, the beauty of baseball is that momentum is only as good as what the next inning brings, and what awaited Chicago on the other side of that frame was a bit of revenge. In the bottom of the fifth inning, O’Neal Cruz led off with a 119 mph laser beam double, and after a two-out walk, Yasmani Grandal put the Pirates back in the lead with a spectacular home run into the right field seats. . Suddenly, Grandal picked a great time to erase everything the Cubs had done (or, conversely, the failures of Pittsburgh’s pitching staff). He hit his first home run of the season.

As far as this game was concerned, the Pirates breathed a whole new lease of life and made few mistakes from then on. Andrew McCutchen gave Pittsburgh some breathing room with his unique pitching, and the Pirates’ pitching staff held the Cubs to just one run from then on. Almost five-and-a-half hours into the game, Paul Skeens’ first start as a major leaguer was a memorable one — just for reasons no one could have predicted going into it. No one could have predicted that there would be six walks with the bases loaded in one inning. If “Less Than Anyone” exists, it means there are as many people who thought that the team that handed out that disastrous walk would eventually recover quickly and win the game.

But for you, that’s baseball. Despite advances in statistics and sabermetrics to advance the game and how we think about it, this is still an incredibly strange sport, and anything can happen on any given night. Good luck predicting when we’ll see the next inning even closer to the one that happened last Saturday!