Prior to the start of Saturday’s contest with the Mets members of the Pittsburgh Pirates 1971 World Series Championship Team were honored, life-long Pirate player/announcer Steve Blass threw out the ceremonial first pitch and Jacob Stallings capped off a 6-0 come from behind 9-7 victory with a walk-off grand slam; only the third of its kind in PNC Park history, with Rob Mackowiak and Brian Giles bringing Pirates Fans the other two.
Sure, there may have been other story lines mixed in, but the night belong to your Battlin’ Bucs; who put up 9 runs in their final two at bats, silenced the naysayers-those who believe the team is tanking or doesn’t have the fight in them- for a moment and brought a raucous fanbase that was somewhat overrun by the loyal Mets Army to their feet.
News and Notes
- Wilmer Difo put a charge in the Pirates offense with his 3-run homer in the bottom of the 8th. Since being to the Pirates on July 2nd, which ultimately followed his June 8th DFA, Difo is slashing .423/.516/.731 with two home runs.
- The Legend of John Nogowski continues to grow. Not only did he grab national Headlines for his verbal spat with Marcus Stroman on Friday Night, but he also started the rally last night with an RBI double in this game. Since joining the Pirates Nogowski is batting a ridiculous .486 in 9 games.
- Ke’Bryan Hayes went 2 for 4 on the night, as he tries to break out of his “rookie” campaign funk. The league has continued to push against the Pirates young third baseman, and we can only that he remains on the attack; the hits will come.
- Clutch is not really a quantifiable stat; although Baseball Reference makes a valiant effort. But, if it were Jacob Stallings would be at the top of the leaderboard. In Late & Close Games Stallings is hitting .343 with two homers, seven total extra base hits and 12 RBIs in 39 plate appearances. And for those of you who have only watched last nights heroics about 100 times like myself, here it is again.
- Not everything from such a fun night can be positive; as evidenced by Wil Crowe lasting 5+, but giving up 4 earned runs and striking out as many batters as he walked (3); as well as Kevin Newman having an 0 for 4 night, which brought an end to his 5 game hitting streak.
After quick turnaround the Pirates are back at it again from PNC Park, with a game time start of 1:05 PM EST.
JT Brubaker (4-9, 4.47 ERA) is on the bump as Pittsburgh looks to start off the second half of the season with a sweep of Tijuan Walker (7-3, 2.50 ERA) and the Mets.
It should be noted that Walker is starting in place of New York Mets Ace Jacob deGrom, who is not afraid to face the Pirates, but is in fact dealing with forearm tightness; which isn’t nearly as interesting of a tag line.