Wow. Not sure there’s even a way to put tonight’s game into words. This team continues to shock everyone, coming away with yet another win tonight.
A.J. Burnett, going for his ninth straight win, struggled on the mound. Houston had runners on second and third in the first, but Burnett worked out of that jam. A few cheap hits in the second and third put the Astros up 3-0, and Jed Lowrie hit a bloop-single to make it 4-0 in the fourth.
This Pirates team, however, would not give up. Andrew McCutchen took Lucas Harrell deep to right for a two-run shot – his 16th of the year. Gorkys Hernandez came in as a defensive replacement in the fifth for Alex Presley, who was injured on a dive in the first inning. Burnett continued to get hit in the sixth. Chris Snyder led off with a rocket for a double, and scored two batters later. That knocked A.J. from the game, ending his eight game win streak. Chris Resop came in, and gave up a sac-fly (which was charged to Burnett), and got out of the inning.
Three straight singles to start the bottom of the sixth made it 6-3 and chased Harrell, who was mowing down the Bucs early, from the game. Pedro Alvarez pinch-hit and fell behind 0-2. After working the count full, he fouled off two pitches, and laced the eighth pitch he saw up the middle for a two-run single to put the Pirates within a run.
Juan Cruz pitched an awesome 1-2-3 seventh inning, setting the stage for the heart of the order in the bottom half. Cutch legged out an infield single, and Garrett Jones absolutely crushed a two-run bomb completely out of the park, putting the Bucs up 7-6. The crowd went nuts.
Jason Grilli and Joel Hanrahan, who hadn’t pitched since Thursday, pitched the last two innings. Grilli was “wired”, as usual, making the Astros look silly. Hammer came in for the save, and struggled to find the strike zone. He walked Lowrie between two flyouts, bringing up Jason Castro with two down. He fell behind 3-0, but worked it back to full. On the seventh pitch, Castro hit a line drive past Jones at first, who was playing no-doubles and guarding the line, and Lowrie scored all the way from first with the not-so fleet of foot Drew Sutton playing RF.
Hammer got out of the inning, but Pirates fans, on Twitter at least, weren’t worried at all with the top of the lineup due up in the ninth. With one out, Sutton sent everyone home with a walk-off home run off of Wesley Wright to dead center. Absolutely incredible. Easily one of the best games in the history of PNC Park. Not even sure how to explain it.
Sutton as he rounded first, courtesy of Twitter follower @steveOflat
While writing this recap, the Dodgers beat the Reds and the Pirates moved in to a tie for first place. The ballpark should be packed tomorrow for some 4th of July Bucco baseball.
Pirates (44-36) – Astros (32-49)
Win: Hanrahan (4-0)
Loss Wright (0-2)