when we were out in pittsburgh for our family vacation, my dad bought us all tickets (12 of us!) to go to PNC park to see a pirates game. i was so excited to see the bucs this year, and so were a bunch of other people, since the crowd of 33,646 was the second largest for a 12:30 game in the park's 13-year history. the pirates were looking for their 70th win, and a series sweep against the miami marlins. i was excited to see the bucs young pitcher gerrit cole (that's him in the collage below), but was worried about facing the best arm the marlins have in jose fernandez.
and i had good reason to be worried. the marlins had put up a 4-spot by the fifth inning, and the pirates had been able to do almost nothing with fernandez. in the bottom of the fifth, though, walker and alvarez hit rbi singles, to get a couple of the runs back and cut it to 4-2.
how about this guy's moustache?
that knocked fernandez out of the game, and the pirates made it count in the bottom of the 7th, on a couple of sacrifice flies made possible in part by a dramatic at-bat by andrew mccutcheon, who had been a late scratch for the game with some shoulder soreness. here in the seventh he pitch hit, and the crowd was very into it. he turned that critical plate appearance into a single, and the pnc park crowd went crazy. it was a fun moment that turned into a tie game, as the bullpen for the bucs just kept putting up zeroes.
look at that hottie!
the marlins threatened a bit in the 8th, and the pirates made a little noise in the bottom of the ninth, but no one could score, so the game went into extra innings on an absolutely gorgeous pittsburgh afternoon, with the blue sky and the green grass providing an astounding canvas for the city to be painted upon, like some urban work of art. and a work of art is what the bottom of the 10th inning was.
josh harrison singled, and clint barmes sacrficed him over to second base. then tabata grounded out, and with two outs, the marlins walked marte to put guys on first and second with the pitcher's spot up next. the buccos countered with catcher russel martin in a pinch hit appearance (he had the day off from catching), and this picture is a split second before he drove the ball right over third base for the game winning hit:
the place went crazy as harrison came around to score the game-winning run as the buccos swept the series by winning the game 5-4. fireworks went off. martin got surrounded and these grown men acted like a bunch of little kids having the time of their lives. martin even got the shaving cream pie to the face from a.j. burnett.
we had a blast. we got to see a great baseball game in a beautiful ballpark in the world's greatest city, and it was neat to be a part of what the pirates are doing, ending a generation-long period of failure.
raise the jolly roger!
ps. i took all of the pictures above...we had GREAT seats!