Julio Lugo of the Atlanta Braves scores the game-winning run in the 19th inning against Michael McKenry of the Pittsburgh Pirates at Turner Field on July 26, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
In a game as legendary as the 19-inning, Pirates/Braves war of attrition, you can't help but learn a little bit about life.
Last night's game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves was an epic struggle -- one of the greatest games of the season, if not decade. It will be remembered for ending on one of the worst calls in the history of baseball, but isn't that short-sighted? What about everything the game taught us? Here are five things that I learned from Tuesday night's Pirates/Braves game:
1. Joel Hanrahan will turn into dust if he enters a game in a non-save situation
This is not a metaphor. This is not a turn of phrase. He is enchanted with a spell that will turn him into dust if he pitches in a non-save situation.
The good news is that if another pitcher collects the dust and snorts it, he becomes a proven closer.
The bad news is that Joel Hanrahan has a family that loves him, and Clint Hurdle respects that. This is why Hurdle allowed a short reliever, Daniel McCutchen, to throw 92 pitches when Hanrahan was available to relieve him. Hurdle was doing the humane and caring thing.
2. No one likes Jerry Meals and everyone is angry at him all the time
He even eats alone in the umpire's cafeteria. Or he would if such a thing existed. So sad.
3. This is the most anyone has cared about a Pirates game in decades.
Decades. Look at the trending topics on Twitter on Tuesday right before the game ended:
And then compare those to the topics that were trending on Twitter the last time the Pirates were one of the trending topics:
Congratulations, Pittsburgh. You're relevant again. As relevant as Patty Mayonnaise, which I absolutely refuse to look up.
4. Daniel McCutchen is a trusting, honest soul who literally did not believe that Julio Lugo was called safe
Most people look at this .gif and watch the play. You know, the one where the catcher tags the runner as he slides three feet from home plate. But look at McCutchen in the bottom-left corner. He's screaming for Michael McKenry to throw the ball to first base after the umpire has already ended the game with his safe call. McKenry is doing this because ...
5. Scott Proctor thought that first base was 12 feet from home plate
Cut him some slack. It's the first time he had ever ran the bases before: three at-bats prior to this, all strikeouts.