If you didn’t stay up through last night’s rain delay, you missed one of the most unreal home runs in the last decade, but also missed an anti-climatic and heart-breaking ending.
Both pitchers were pretty dominant through four innings. Jeff Karstens and Jeff Francis both allowed a few baserunners, but the game was still scoreless. The Bucs got on the board first in the top of the fifth. With runners on the corners, Karstens chopped a bouncer over the first baseman’s head to drive in a run.
The bottom of the fifth, however, was pretty ugly. A leadoff walk followed by back-to-back singles tied the game, and put runners on the corners. Eric Young doubled to deep RF, and Josh Harrison took an absolutely horrible route to the ball, which was catchable on the warning track. That drove in two more, and the Rockies tacked on another run to make it 4-1. Karstens settled down after that, but the damage was done. He was done after seven innings, and Tony Watson pitched a scoreless eighth to get it to the ninth.
Rafael Betancourt came out to get the save for Colorado, and Andrew McCutchen led off with a base knock. Neil Walker singled two batters later, bringing up Pedro Alvarez as the tying run. Meanwhile, the rain had been coming down at Coors Field for some time now, and the game was finally delayed as Pedro stepped in to the box. It was well after midnight when the 52 minute rain delay was over, and the game was resumed. Most of the crowd had left by then, but there was a small group of Pirates fans behind the dugout and was pretty vocal. Lefty Rex Brothers was now in for the Rockies, and the first pitch he threw to Pedro was taken deep to LF for a game-tying three-run jack. Absolutely unreal. Awesome, awesome moment.
Rod Barajas followed with a single, but Clint Barmes grounded into an inning-ending double play to take it to the bottom of the ninth. Jason Grilli was tasked with getting the game to extra innings, but couldn’t get the job done. Dexter Fowler came up with runners on the corners and one out, and it was strange that he wasn’t intentionally walked. The runner on third wasn’t forced, so the Pirates must have been hoping for a double play ball, but Fowler is extremely hard to double-up. Just seems like walking Fowler to get to Marco Scutaro would have been a much better option. Regardless, they pitched to Fowler, who hit a walk-off sacrifice fly to end the game.
Cincinnati lost, so there’s no change in the standings.
Pirates (49-40) – Rockies (35-54)
Win: Brothers (5-2)
Loss: Grilli (1-3)