It only took six hours and seven minutes for the Pirates to take down the Cardinals 6-3. In nineteen innings, the Bucs used eight pitchers, and they combined to throw 281 pitches. The game was really a rollercoaster of sadness and frustration, until the Pirates won it in the final inning. Here’s an inning-by-inning breakdown:
2nd inning: Bucs get a leadoff single, but can’t get anything going.
3rd inning: Garcia picks up his sixth strikeout, Karstens has a no-hitter going.
4th inning: Karstens gives up a two-run double to Carlos Beltran, but is able to strand him at third.
5th inning: Both teams go down 1-2-3, Garcia continues mowing the Bucs down.
6th inning: Pirates finally get something going. Clint Barmes singles, and Karstens reaches on a misplayed bunt. Jose Tabata lays down a bunt, moving both runners up. Josh Harrison gets the Bucs on the board with a sacrifice-fly, and Cutch ties it up with an infield single.
7th inning: Another leadoff single gets erased by a double play for the Pirates.
8th inning: Karstens is done after seven innings. He gives up two runs on two hits, and strikes out four. Jason Grilli pitches a 1-2-3 inning.
9th inning: Kevin Correia comes out of the bullpen and gives up a leadoff single. He retires the next three batters, and sends the game to extra innings.
11th inning: J-Hay hits a one-out triple, and Cutch is intentionally walked. Neil Walker makes a pinch-hit appearance and grounds into an inning-ending DP. Chris Resop sets the Cardinals down in order.
12th inning: Joe Kelly enters for St. Louis and throws a 1-2-3 inning. Resop pitches his second inning of relief.
13th inning: Tabata draws a two-out walk, and gets picked off by catcher Yadier Molina. Resop pitches his third and final inning.
14th inning: Joel Hanrahan enters the game. With two outs and a runner on first, he throws a wild pitch that advances the runner to second. Molina walks, and the runner gets to third on ball four. Tabata makes a nice running catch in foul territory to end the inning and keep the game going.
15th inning: Kelly sets the Pirates down in order again, and Jared Hughes gets the game to the 16th.
16th inning: Jones leads off the inning with a double, but gets thrown out at third when Tabata lays down a poor bunt. Hughes pitches another inning of relief.
17th inning: James McDonald pinch hits with one out, and strokes a single to CF. With two outs, he gets to second on a wild pitch. Pedro Alvarez is intentionally walked, and Barmes gets hit by a pitch to load up the bases. Marc Rzepczynski replaces Kelly, and Jones drives in a run on an infield single off the mound. Tabata lines out to end the inning, leaving the bases loaded. Juan Cruz comes in for the save, and immediately serves up two singles. He gets a lineout, but then gives up a game-tying sacrifice-fly. He gets out of the inning, and we head to the 18th.
18th inning: Fernando Salas strikes out the first two batters, and Jordy Mercer doubles with two down. Rod Barajas – the last position player for the Bucs – pinch-hits and pops out. Wandy Rodriguez, who was scheduled to start the series-opener in San Diego tomorrow, comes in. With one on and two out, pitcher Adam Wainwright pinch-hits for the Cardinals. Wandy walks him, but strikes out Skip Schumaker to end the inning.
19th inning: With one out, Pedro takes southpaw Barret Browning deep to make it 4-3. Barmes singles, and after a flyout, Tabata doubles. Barmes should have scored, but he wasn’t looking at his 3B coach and had to hold up at third. J-Hay walks to load the bases. Cutch makes them pay as he ropes a two-run single to RF, and the Bucs go up 6-3. Wandy comes back out, and sets the Cards down 1-2-3 to earn his first win as a Pirate.
Some stats about the game:
– Michael McKenry and David Freese both go 0-8.
– Both teams combine to leave 26 runners on base, and go 4-19 with RISP.
– Pedro’s bomb was the first and only by either team in the series. It was also the latest home run (by inning) hit in a game since 2000.
It’s pretty incredible that even though the Steeler game had just started at 8:00, most people were still locked into the Bucco game as the extra innings went on. There’s no doubt that this team has been struggling and underachieving in August. When teams go on a late-season playoff push, there’s usually some sort of turning point. This game could absolutely be it. A reverse Jerry Meals, maybe…?
There should also be a few roster moves to accommodate for all of the relievers (and starters) that were used.
Standings update: Pirates now trail Reds by 6.5 games for NLC, trail Braves by 3 games for 1st WC, and lead SF by 1 (& STL by 2) for 2nd WC—
Brian McElhinny (@rtjr) August 20, 2012
Pirates (67-54) – Cardinals (65-56)
Win: Rodriguez (8-12)
Loss: Browning (1-3)