After a 1-0 victory on Friday night, the Pirates were back at PNC to face old friend, Paul Maholm. It was our 10th game of the year, and we’ve been blessed with some great weather. Saturday night was more of the same:
The Bucs were supporting the troops by wearing camouflage jerseys. Here’s Jose Tabata displaying the camo:
After a relatively quiet night on Friday, Alfonso Soriano was hearing it all night from the fans in the bleachers. He was by far the most interactive left fielder of the year, but took it too far at times, and even offered some obscene gestures for the Bucco faithful. Here’s Soriano out in left:
Both pitchers were pitching to contact for the first few innings, which went by quickly. Pedro Alvarez made a nice play to end the third and keep the game scoreless. With runners on second and third after Kevin Correia‘s throwing error, Starlin Castro hit a soft ground ball to Pedro. He bare-handed it, and didn’t have a play at first. He fired it home, and cut down the runner for the third out. The Pirates struck first in the third inning, with Jose Tabata getting hit by a Maholm pitch to lead off. Josh Harrison bunted him over, and Andrew McCutchen was intentionally walked. A smart move by Mahlom, he knows how good McCutchen is, having played with him for a few years. Pedro roped a single to center, scoring Tabata and moving Cutch up to third. Neil Walker, batting right handed, flew out to deep right field for a sacrifice fly, making it 2-0. Matt Hague then singled, and Rod Barajas walked. With two down and the bases loaded, Clint Barmes had a chance to break the game open early. But, of course, he grounded out and heard boo’s from the crowd.
Alfonso Soriano got his revenge on the bleacher fans in the fourth, with a solo shot to center. Starlin Castro tied the game the next inning with a triple in the right field corner on an ugly play. Josh Harrison took a bad route to it, and was clearly unfamiliar with where the wall was. After fielding it, he got the ball to Walker, who made a bad relay throw. Castro was safe at third, and broke for the plate after the ball went towards the dugout. Alvarez fielded it, and tossed it to Correia, who was running to cover third. He didn’t get there in time, and it looked like Pedro was playing kickball rules by trying to hit the runner with the ball.
The score would stay 2-2 through the middle innings, and the bullpens took over. Correia batted in the sixth, and then got taken out after getting one out in the seventh, which doesn’t make any sense. Another bad managing move by Clint Hurdle. Tony Watson replaced him, and gave up a double. Blake Lalli tried to score, but a great relay throw by Walker got him after Barajas did a great job of blocking the plate. Watson then walked a batter, and got taken out for Brad Lincoln. He got Castro swinging, stranding runners on the corners. Lincoln pitched through the eighth inning, and Joel Hanrahan pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. Rafael Dolis came out for the Cubs to face the top of the Pirates order in the bottom half of the ninth. Tabata kicked off the inning by singling to center, and Harrison drew a rare walk after trying to bunt him over to second. Cutch struck out swinging for the first out, and Pedro flew out to deep center. Tabata tagged on the play, putting runners on the corners. Neil Walker drew a walk, bringing up Matt Hague with the bases loaded and two down. He worked the count to 2-2, and fans were hoping for some shrimp. Instead, Hague took a pitch to the rib cage for the first walk-off HBP in Pirates history since 1997, when Tony Womack got hit in the face. The Bucs win 3-2, extending the Cubs’ losing streak to 11 games.
– The Pirates stole three bases, and one uncontested. Walker had one, and Cutch stole two.
– The Pirates walked 8 times. That’s E-I-G-H-T times!!! Cutch, Walker, and Barajas all walked twice, and Harrison and Hague walked once a piece.
– Fireworks were awesome after the game, as usual.
Pirates (22-24) – Cubs (15-31)
Win: Hanrahan (2-0)
Loss: Dolis (2-4)