Final Score: Pirates 7 Astros 4
Why The Pirates Won: I really don’t know. This will be looked upon as one of the great wins of this season, but the Pirates really did not play that well. In fact, Ji Hwan Bae epitomized the entire game. In the 4 previous appearances, he had lousy at bats swinging at more balls than strikes, striking out twice, flying out once to short left field, and grounding out. He didn’t look that great in the final at bat until he got a low inside the plate change up and bombed it into the right center field stands to win the game in the bottom of the 9th. All this drama would not have been necessary if it were not for an error by Rodolfo Castro that later, allowed the Astros to tie the game on a double by Chas McCormick in the top of the 9th. The Pirates took the lead in the bottom of the 6th when Ji Man Choi hit his 2nd home run in as many nights. Later in the inning, Pirates manufactured another run when Ke’Bryan Hayes doubled and stole third. Then Canann Smith-Njigba who also did not have a good night at the plate, came through when it mattered and hit a fly ball to left, deep enough to score Hayes easily. Keller, not quite as sharp as his last outing, still pitched a solid 6 innings giving up 2 runs on 2 solo homers. He had few other balls that were scary deep, but the outfield corralled them to turn them into nothing but long outs. It was a great win over the defending champs and the Pirates are now 7-4.
Key Moment Of The Game: The Pirates were down 2-0 going into the bottom of the 2nd, and other than the Ji Man Choi’s 2 out double, had not done much in the 1st. The 2nd started out quietly with a ground out by Hayes and a strikeout by Smith-Njigba. Then Rodolfo (Don’t Worry I Am Not Going To Make An Error Every Game) Castro got hit on the foot by the pitch. While the Pirate announcers were discussing how long it takes for the pain to go away, Jack Suwinski took a 1-0 fastball and crushed it over the right field stands to tie the game 2-2. This homer put the fire back into this team and was just what the doctor had ordered. Despite making numerous mistakes and bad at bats, the Pirates went on to win, and the season is back on again.
Next Game: This afternoon Astros, in Pittsburgh. Rich ( I Can’t Be This Bad) Hill will take the mound for the Pirates in another rubber match. Hill may have some success tomorrow, because the Astros could be overconfident and laughing too hard in the batter’s box to be able to make decent contact. This was a huge win last night and it insured that this was not going to be an Astro sweep. After this, it does not get easier as we go to St. Louis for a 4 game series. Every win is important, but this one may have saved the season.