Pirates believe they get measure of revenge by retaliating vs. Diamondbacks, but blow the game as a result

In the top of the seventh inning in Arizona on Monday night, Diamondbacks mop-up -- at least that's what it appeared at the time -- reliever Braden Shipley hit Josh Harrison with a pitch and almost hit Austin Meadows

The Diamondbacks were trailing 5-0 at the time and are in first place. Harrison had fouled off two pitches after going down 0-2 in the count before one ball and the hit-by-pitch. Meadows worked a six-pitch at-bat in his fly out. Shipley had just come up from the minors and had previously walked 43 hitters in his 95 career big-league innings. 

Basically, if there are any people who thought he was throwing at Harrison and/or Meadows, they are ignorant. 

Still, Pirates starter Joe Musgrove felt it fit to "retaliate" by hitting Chris Owings to start the bottom of the seventh. He even said as much. 

''It is nothing more than protecting your teammates,'' Musgrove said (via the Associated Press). ''That is baseball and how the game is played. If you are willing to go out and hit somebody you have to be willing to deal with might come with that.''

Note that I'm not calling Musgrove ignorant here. It doesn't sound like he thought the D-Backs hit Harrison on purpose. Via usatoday.com

"That's how I was raised to play the game. You protect your teammates, especially when a guy like that gets hit high up. (Harrison) got hit 25 or so times last year and got hit in the hand earlier this year with the same injury as last year, and that's something that we don't want to allow to happen anymore."

Might not be ignorant, but it's pretty damn dumb. Notice above where he said he was "willing to deal with what might come." Yep, his team lost. 

What followed the intentional HBP was a single, fielding error, single, strikeout and a game-tying three-run homer. 

But, hey, at least Musgrove protected his teammate from an accident that didn't injure him, right? The Diamondbacks won the game, 9-5, which they had no business winning, but at least they impressed a bunch of out-of-touch people who claim to still be baseball fans but do nothing but lament this generation and talk about how much better the game used to be, right? That surely counts for something. 

Nope, it doesn't. It's dumb and counts for absolutely nothing but archaic stupidity and did actually cost the Pirates something: The game. 

Hey, I don't think the Pirates are going to contend, but winning that game would have put them at 33-33, which is five games out of a wild card. That's totally workable with 96 more games left. Then again, maybe they believe in "protecting" each other more than their actual ability to win a baseball game. 

That's quite the hill to die on. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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