The Pittsburgh Pirates’ dismal second half continued with an 8-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night at PNC Park. That dropped their post-All-Star break record to a league-worst 4-21.
That sounds like the recipe for a fun-free ballpark experience. Just don’t tell that to the kids who attended Wednesday’s game. While the Pirates fell short again on the field, they rose to the occasion by providing two moments that overshadowed the game completely.
Those included a remarkable long toss and a signature taunt straight from the playbooks of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer and NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo respectively.
Channeling Trevor Bauer
In the first inning, Milwaukee’s Keston Hiura hit the first of his two home runs to the right field concourse. That’s where a young fan snagged it on the fly and then launched it into the Alleghany River with an aggressive long toss reminiscent of Trevor Bauer’s final act in a Cleveland Indians uniform.
While we can’t confirm that Trevor Bauer directly inspired the toss, it does remind us that sometimes young fans do like to copy what they see on TV. Baseball players might not always see themselves as role models. But people, and especially kids, are always watching.
On the other hand, tossing opponents home run balls back on the field or into the river, as in Pittsburgh, is not something that’s new. It’s one of those baseball traditions that’s stood the test of time. We don’t necessarily condone it. There’s always a chance someone could get hurt. But it happens ... a lot.
In this case, the throw had some purpose behind it.
Channeling Dikembe Mutombo
While the young fans in right field were rejecting Brewers’ home runs, the fans in left field were bringing back a taunt made famous by one of the NBA’s greatest shot blockers.
Pittsburgh's Jacob Stallings hit a third-inning solo home run that just got over the wall and over the glove of Brewers' left fielder Trent Grisham. This home run was also caught on the fly by a young Pirates fan, who along with his friends took it upon themselves to trash talk and finger wag the Milwaukee rookie like they were Dikembe Mutombo.
The trash talk and finger wag made the point.
The presentation of the baseball put it over the top.
These kids were all over Grisham, and to his credit he let them have their moment.
In the end, all the Brewers had to do was point at the scoreboard to get the final word. But at least these Pirates fans made it a night they’ll never forget.
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