Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle’s description of the Pirates‘ 12-2 loss to the lowly Chicago Cubs as “Our worst game of the season,” doesn’t really begin to describe it.

More like “one of the worst games of the century.”

The team’s seven errors in a single game tied those of a game in 1985, and was one short of the club record in 1939, according to the Associated Press (via Boston.com).

Hurdle should know how bad a game it was. He got himself ejected from the game trying to argue for an out on a close play that would have shortened the sixth inning.

Unfortunately, it was the Bucs’ ace, A.J. Burnett on the mound. He gave up seven runs in the loss, but only three of them were earned.

Moreover, he left after five innings—which tied for his second-shortest stint all season—putting pressure on the bullpen. (The first was a 12-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.) A pitcher who contributes mightily to the opponents’ double-digit score was the one who the New York Yankees remembered, and dumped.

Two rookies, Starling Marte and Brock Holt committed two errors apiece, while one each was contributed by relative (for the Pirates) veterans Josh Harrison, Gaby Sanchez and Rod Barajas.

Even the relievers couldn’t catch a break. Chris Leroux, a much-maligned player, gave up two runs over 1.2 innings. But neither of them were earned because the two baserunners reached on errors.This caused him to be lifted for the newly signed reliever, Hisanori Takahashi, who gave up three earned runs and let in Leroux’s two unearned runs.

On the other hand, the Cubs played brilliantly.

Aside from scoring 12 runs (six earned), their rookie pitcher, Travis Wood, pitched six innings of shutout ball—the best of his career—while relievers held the Bucs to two runs. After Burnett’s three earned runs, there was just no way the Pirates could have won, even without the errors.

A loss isn’t nice.

But in this case, its “inoculative” effects could make it a a restorative. Because the Pirates played so poorly last night that today’s game is likely to be better—if only by comparison.

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