If there is one thing that people will remember from the Pittsburgh Pirates 2011 season, it will definitely be the 19-inning heartbreaker in Atlanta.
Not only was it physically devastating for a team that was in the midst of a pivotal roadtrip, but also a kickstart for a demoralizing freefall back to the bottom of the standings.
It was just another game, another chapter in the middle of the Pirates magical July. As extra innings settled in, we hung on to every pitch. There has never been a time in our lives that we wanted the Buccos to win so badly. Each game meant so much. Every win brought the Pirates closer to being a winning team.
While the innings kept piling on, Twitter remained abuzz. Bucco fans stayed up to support their team and it really showed on Twitter.
Jon Anderson (@McEffect) July 27, 2011
There was also the girl at Turner Field who wouldn’t stop cheering “Go Pirates!”…
…and the guys who managed to collect a crazy amount of cups
The Pirates couldn’t convert on many chances. It was the true story of the first-half of the 2011 season: pitching was keeping them in it, but the offense continued to struggle.
The Braves turned to their last and worst reliever, Scott Proctor. Still the Buccos couldn’t find a run. Meanwhile, Daniel McCutchen worked through a few stressful frames and ended up throwing 5.1 innings, most of any Pirate pitcher that night.
The Braves finally got something going in the bottom of the 19th when they had 1st and 3rd and Proctor at the plate. Proctor grounded one to third and…
The first run since the bottom of the 3rd crossed home plate, but Julio Lugo never really crossed at all.
After sitting through the entire game, which took 6 hours and 39 minutes, it was hard to understand what had really happened until the next morning. The game had already gained national attention just a few hours after sunrise, and Twitter was still going insane with the infamous “#jerrymealssaysitssafe” hashtag.
The Pirates used almost their entire roster that game, and believe or not, nine of those guys are already off the roster. Xavier Paul, Steve Pearce, Lyle Overbay, Ronny Cedeno, Matt Diaz, Joe Beimel, Brandon Wood, Jose Veras, and Eric Fryer have all found new homes since that disastrous night in Atlanta.
Although it was a turning point of one of the best seasons this decade, we are ready to move on. Hopefully we won’t have to experience any heartbreak this season, but we would certainly enjoy more winning baseball (preferably for the entire year) at PNC Park this summer.