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Pirates Defeat Giants, Sweep Series

The chase for the National League Wild Card game is heating up.  It was just a week ago that it seemed that no team wanted to be included in this winner take all one game playoff.  That has appeared to change after the Pittsburgh Pirates wrapped up a 5-1 road trip, by sweeping the San Francisco Giants today by the final of 6-5.  Pittsburgh, along with the St. Louis Cardinals, Miami Marlins, and runner up in the N.L. West, seem to be taking this thing down to the wire.

The Pirates needed to come from behind one again today after they spotted San Francisco a 4-0 after three innings of play.  Buster Posey got things started with a RBI single to center in the first.  He would then come around to score on a Brandon Crawford double later that inning.  Crawford would strike again in the third inning when he would plate two runs on a triple to deep right center field.

Buccos starter Ivan Nova was once again hit hard and it showed in his final stat line.  He only pitched four innings and allowed four runs on six hits.  He did manage to strike out five batters and not walk any.  The Pittsburgh offense would pick him up with a huge fifth inning.  Eric Fryer would draw a bases loaded walk to bring home their first run of the day.  Matt Joyce would pinch hit for Nova and come through with a big two RBI single.  Josh Harrison would hit a sac fly to tie the game, before Andrew McCutchen blasted a two run home run to give the Pirates all the runs they needed.

The bullpen was stellar once again today.  Jeff Locke entered the game in the fifth and pitched a scoreless inning, though he allowed one walk and one hit.  Juan Nicasio picked up his ninth win of the season after throwing two innings that saw him allow one hit to go with two strikeouts and walks.  Felipe Rivero pitched in the eighth and kept the Giants off the board with one walk and one strikeout.  Tony Watson was stuck in a bases loaded, zero outs jam in the ninth, but worked his way out of it with a double play and fly ball to center, to earn his seventh save of the year.

The Buccos appear to be playing their best baseball right now and it is needed.  They are just on the outside of the Wild Card game and have a big series with the Miami Marlins beginning Friday night at PNC Park.  While every game is big this time of year, it is important for Pittsburgh to focus on the game at hand if they want to head to a fourth straight Buctober.

Record vs. Giants:  4-3

Record vs. N.L. West:  22-11

Record on the Road:  29-31

Overall Record:  62-56



As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!

Zane Heiple

Zane is Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands and a weekly contributor for Armchair Report on NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA related topics. He's also the smartest man in the world. Just ask him.