It was another great night for baseball in the Steel City
Jose Tabata, who has been playing in right field, received a nice ovation from the fans in the bleachers when he took the field
James McDonald came out of the gate dealing, freezing the first two batters and striking them both out. Jose Tabata started the bottom half with a walk, but it was erased when Neil Walker grounded into a double play. Pedro Alvarez got his first at-bat from the cleanup spot, but grounded out to second. J-Mac had 6 strikeouts through 3 innings, and the score was still 0-0 going to the bottom of the third.
With two outs, Tabata doubled down the right field line, and Walker hit a towering home run over the Clemente Wall to make it 2-0 Bucs. Joey Votto led off the fourth with a double, and advanced to third on a groundout. Jay Bruce grounded out to Casey McGehee at first, and Votto broke for the plate. McGehee stepped on first for oen out, and gunned it to the plate to stop Votto from scoring and ending the inning.
Mike Leake and McDonald both pitched well through the sixth inning, until Scott Rolen got the Reds on the board in the seventh. Jay Bruce lined a ball to center field, and Andrew McCutchen whiffed on the catch and it rolled all the way to the wall. Bruce ended up with a triple, even though it probably should have been an error. Rolen blooped a single into left field, making it 2-1. Clint Hurdle made a double switch, bringing in Juan Cruz to pitch, and put Alex Presley into left to replace Tabata, who moved to right field. Cruz got Ryan Ludwick to fly out to Cutch, and Rolen tried to tag up. He threw him out, ending the inning.
Presley homered in the bottom half, giving the Bucs a 2 run lead. Jason Grilli pitched the eighth, and gave up an RBI double to Zack Cozart. He intentionally walked Votto, putting runners on first and second with two down. Grilli got Brandon Phillips to strike out swining to end the threat. SACK.
The Pirates had a chance to add some insurance in the eighth with the bases loaded, but Clint Barmes struck out to leave three runners on. Joel Hanrahan pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, picking up the save and evening up the series.
- The Pirates drew 6 walks, a season high.
- McDonald’s final line: 6 1/3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 7 K, 2 BB.
- Clint Barmes made two very nice double plays. One was a nice stop and flip to Walker, and another was a great unassisted DP.
- Ryan Ludwick was not popular in the bleachers, just like most opposing left fielders. There was lots of hazing and heckling towards the former Pirate, even though it took people a few innings to remember that he even played for the Pirates last year.
Tonight’s Baseball Quiz:
Q: Who was named Most Valuable Player of the 1979 NLCS?
A: Willie Stargell
Star of the Game: James McDonald. His 6 1/3 innings were pretty solid. Not much more to ask for from your starter, and he came out dealing.
No Goat of the Game, pretty solid game all around. Just a classic low scoring game.
Overall it was a great night at the park, plus it was fireworks night. Nice to see a good game from our starter, and timely hitting to get the one run victory.
Pirates (12-15) – Reds (13-13)
Win: McDonald (2-1)
Loss: Leake (0-4)
Save: Hanrahan (5)