Kovacevic: When double-digit disasters become the norm ☕


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The Phillies' Bryce Harper scores from first base on a Rhys Hoskins triple Wednesday night in Philadelphia. - AP

PHILADELPHIA -- Fire everyone.

Because the Pirates' 12-3 loss to the Phillies on this Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park marked the 24th time this season their pitching staff's given up double-digit runs.

Because only one team, the pathetic Orioles, has done that more often, at 25.

Because 24 is pretty pathetic itself.

Because that's once every 5.5 games.

Because they haven't gone more than 10 games without giving up 10-plus runs, maxing out twice, April 10-21 and June 11-22.

Because nearly half -- 44 percent — of all 77 losses have come by five or more runs

Because a minus-118 run differential doesn't lie, and that's been driven home devastatingly by this real-deal 12-32 nosedive since the All-Star break.

Because injuries, even the one to Jameson Taillon, don't excuse for a split-second the sorry state of a minor-league system so depleted of pitching that Mitch Keller -- the starter on this night who was rocked for eight runs and 11 hits over four-plus innings --  isn't just the top pitching prospect. He's the only pitching prospect.

Because that system's depletion resulted in the promotion of Yefry Ramirez, who was cut earlier this summer by the pathetic Orioles. And all he did here was cough up four more runs, six hits, couple walks ... whatever. The summer of I-70 roadkill from Indianapolis rolls on.

Because the team's 5.08 ERA is second-highest in the National League, better only than the Rockies, who are forced to pitch in a moon-like atmosphere.

Because the Phillies' home runs by Corey Dickerson and J.T. Realmuto represented the 62nd time the Pirates allowed multiple home runs in a game, trailing only the Rockies, who are forced to pitch in a moon-like atmosphere.

Because this was the 19th time the Pirates allowed 20-plus baserunners, tied for most in Major League Baseball with the pathetic Orioles and the Rockies, who are forced to pitch in a moon-like atmosphere.

Because it hasn't even helped having a brilliant closer and, thus, needing only to cover eight innings to win.

Because this is the worst pitching by the Pittsburgh Baseball Club I've witnessed in my lifetime.

Because this should be embarrassing to those responsible but it isn't, since they've buried their heads so deep in self-propagated analytical outcomes to boost their fragile egos that they can no longer come up for real air.

Because the root reason for it is that there aren't anywhere near enough smart baseball people in the front office to either recognize or nurture talent of any kind, but particularly pitching.

Because if these guys were given 10,000 simulated draft picks, they'd produce ... maybe eight actual players.

Because, after a dozen years of drafting and outspending everyone in that process, the only first-round pick on the 25-man roster is the rookie shortstop, while the player who's still the most talented was signed under Dave Littlefield, the previous general manager.

Because the current GM came out here for a couple days, then bolted anew.

Because there's undoubtedly more important affairs in his world right now.

Because this isn't normal. It shouldn't be normal. Not in Baltimore. Not in Pittsburgh. Not anywhere.

Because this shouldn't be accepted without accountability.

Because it just might be.

Because if it is, it'll be exposed all over again that this isn't a serious sports franchise but, rather, a multimillion-dollar business masquerading as such.

Because I'm tired of being repetitive, I'm tired of trying to find actual baseball stories amid this incessant slop, and I'm done and I'm going home. Game stuff is below, for anyone still interested.

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