The week of May 23 was not a good one for Pittsburgh sports, and there are two athletes in town who carried the baton for this race to the bottom between the Penguins and Pirates.
Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry got it started Monday when he helped assist on the Islanders game-winning goal in double overtime during Game 5 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, a game that did nothing to help Jarry, who outside of Game 2, had a horrific series.
Just watch this clip as Jarry attempts to clear the puck down the middle of the ice, which is always a bad idea, leading to Josh Bailey giving Penguins fans old enough to remember Vietnam-style flashbacks to the second round of the 1993 playoffs when David Volek scored in Game 7 of overtime, crushing Pittsburgh’s chances at a third-straight championship like the ice did to Kevin Stevens’ face earlier in the game.
After this disaster, Jarry collapsed in the second period of Game 6 at New York, as the Penguins lost 5-3 and lost the series 4-2.
Not even 24 hours after the dumpster fire at the Coliseum, the Pittsburgh Pirates needed to remind Jarry and the Penguins that they were still the most dysfunctional team in town.
In the top of the 3rd with two outs, the Chicago Cubs had a runner on second with Javier Baez hitting a bouncer to third, which should have been a 5-3 put out. Pirates first baseman Will Craig caught the throw that took him off the bag and all he had to do was touch first base.
Then this happened…
Let’s run down everything wrong with this play.
-Will Craig brain fart. Don’t forget that.
-Nobody is covering first base while Craig gets into the unnecessary rundown with Baez between home and first. Then we see the comical error when someone realizes they should get over there.
-Baez, who should’ve grounded out wound up at second base.
-Everyone in the Pirates infield forgot everyone on base is running on a two-out hit.
It was SO bad that every sports show and non-sports show talked about it, forcing Craig to get in front of the press and explain why he forgot how to play baseball for 20 seconds.
So, seeing the two blunders made, which one was worse?
You could say Tristan Jarry’s horrible playoff series was the worst of the week, especially since expectations were much higher for him and the Penguins. Most casual Pirates fans didn’t know who Will Craig was before he became known for all the wrong reasons, and when it comes to this current baseball team, nobody expects anything from them. I expect them to eclipse 100 losses.
The blunders by Jarry and Craig will live on the internet forever, but eventually people will move on when someone else commits a game-costing or lowlight-worthy moment.