Throughout the years there have always been opposition players that feasted against the Pirates. Albert Pujols loved that rotunda at PNC Park, but this list will be all the guys who just ate the Buccos alive despite being less than stellar against others.
10. Kolten Wong – How many times did the Pirates give up a huge homerun to this guy? He’s a nice player and I’m sure he’s put his mark on other teams, but man, nothing made me chew my nails more than Wong coming to the plate in a big situation, unless maybe it’s the next guy on my list.
9. Matt Halliday – There is almost nothing that drove me as nuts as the Pirates shifting the infield defense to the left side, while this dude just slapped single after single the other way. It was the definition of insanity personified.
8. Travis Shaw – Sure, Travis had himself a year in 2018 and it was against just about everyone. He looked like Lou Gehrig against the Bucs. Constantly roping line drives off the Clemente wall.
7. Billy Hamilton – Super fast in the field and on the base paths, Billy terrorized the PNC Park faithful. Outside of Pittsburgh he was a relative lightweight, against the Pirates he covered 80% of the outfield from center and started rally after rally with his speed.
6. Ricky Weeks – Here’s a guy who hid in the weeds of a brutal lineup with Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun. Corey Hart (before his stint in black and gold) but every time you got through those boppers, along came Ricky to spoil the day.
5. Zach Davies – His numbers were never overwhelming, his stuff was never overwhelming. Couple that with the fact he looks like he could pass for a pony league player and he shouldn’t be a threat right? Yeah, suddenly it’s the 8th inning and he has a shutout going against the Bucs. It just crept up on you watching it unfold, you’d think, oh they’ll get to him next inning, but next inning never came.
4. Adam Wainwright – Yeah, he has stymied the Pirates and most other teams with his high 80’s fastball and pinpoint off speed stuff for quite some time. He has even evolved as he’s aged to get outs in a new way, but what he did with the bat against the Pirates is what always got my goat. The worst was a few years back, the Bucs had dug themselves out of a huge hole to tie the Cardinals in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Cardinals had run out of bench players in the 13th inning and called on Adam Wainwright to pinch hit with two on and two out. Aww, tough luck Cards I thought to myself, on to the 14th. Nope, ringing double to left.
3. Sean Rodriguez – Small sample size but it somehow hurt more, last year for Philly he crushed the Bucs a couple times, all while keeping the Mendoza line in sight. He always had a flair for the dramatic and unfortunately for the Bucs, he kept it.
2. Todd Hundley – He started his Pirates killing career during the 1991 pennant race as a member of the Mets. Fast forward to 2002 and he crops up with the Cubs primed to do it again. Timely hits off the bench, epic games as a spot starter, throwing out runners at a higher percentage than he ever showed pedigree to reach. Yeah, this guy.
1. Sid Bream – Could there possibly be a bigger one? The guy was a good player ok. That’s it though, he platooned with Gary Friggin’ Redus for God’s sake. The Bucs let him go and Atlanta got him and, well, I simply don’t care to continue.
Who’d I miss? Let us know, we’d love to hear your thoughts and memories.