Final Score: Pirates 8 Nationals 7
Why The Pirates Won: It took another spectacular day by a Pirate for them to get a victory. This time it was Bryan Reynolds who had the big day with 3 home runs and 6 rbi’s. It was a wild game with many base running gaffs by both teams but many more by the Nationals. The Nationals got 16 hits, along with 6 walks but could only get 7 runs. They had base runners every inning but the 9th. The bullpen held it together pretty well especially in the late innings when it mattered most. Yerry De Los Santos pitched a clean 9th inning to get his first major league save. It was a great way to break the losing streak.
Key Moment of The Game: It came in the bottom of the 6th with the Nationals leading 6-5. They had Josh Bell on 2b with one out and Nelson Cruz at the plate. He hit a rocket just to the right of the 2b bag, in which Hoy Park made a spectacular play to catch the ball and double off Josh Bell. As the pitch was being thrown, he drifted a little more to his left then had to take 2 steps back to the right and back handed the ball about one foot off the ground. The force of the ball moved him back into the outfield just a touch. Bell took off at the crack of the bat and was easily doubled off. Greg Brown called this a nice play. The other factor was the umpire was in the way and had to lean backwards from the ball. If the play is not made the score is going to 7-5 and there is no telling what would have happened next. The play may have been one of the best defensive plays of the season. Reynolds hit the 3-run homer in the next inning to propel the Pirates to victory.
Next game: Tonight, Brewers in Pittsburgh. Brubaker takes the hill tonight which should be a good pitching performance. Anyone who thought Oneil Cruz could not play shortstop has certainly been proven wrong. He looks as solid as any shortstop in the last 20 years. We will see if the Pirates are going to make any moves today. The Chang era is in jeopardy. He will be missed if it happens. However, Yu never know what the Pirates are going to do.