Paul Skenes experiences the Pirates’ incompetence in just one game

    Saturday started off as a great day of excitement and optimism for the Pittsburgh Pirates as Paul Skenes, one of the best pitching prospects of the past 15 years, was set to make his major league debut. 

    While he quickly demonstrated why he was the No. 1 overall pick and one of baseball’s top prospects, the Pirates quickly showed him why the franchise has achieved just seven winning seasons in the past 35 years and has mostly been a league-wide laughing stock. 

    The incompetence showed itself quickly.

    It all began in the top of the fifth inning with the Pirates leading 6-1. After allowing the first two batters of the inning to reach base, Pirates manager Derek Shelton decided to remove Skenes for reliever Kyle Nicolas as his pitch count started to climb and his control started to slip away. 

    After striking out the first two batters he faced, Nicolas proceeded to have the type of meltdown that could only be rivaled by Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn in the “Major League” movie. 

    After hitting Ian Happ to load the bases, Nicolas proceeded to throw 12 consecutive balls to walk in three runs to cut the Pirates’ lead down to 6-4. 

    Mercifully, Nicolas was removed for Josh Fleming. 

    Fleming then walked the first batter he faced on only five pitches to cut the lead to 6-5 and then allowed an infield single to tie the game. At that point, the sky opened up with a thunderstorm sending the game into a rain delay. The Pirates were one out away from making it an official game with a 6-1 lead. They could not even accomplish that. 

    Here is a look at the fifth-inning meltdown.

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