Walker Ties It, Jones Wins Game For Pirates

by Zane Heiple

Photo by Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates used the long ball to win 5-4 in extra innings over the St. Louis Cardinals.  It started in the third inning, with the Pirates down 1-0, Andrew McCutchen would step to the plate with runners on second and third.  He would then tuck the ball inside the foul pole for a three run homer that gave the Buccos the lead.

The sixth inning saw the Cardinals tie the game at three.  Albert Pujols would hit his thirtieth home run of the year on a solo shot to right field.  After Lance Berkman walked with one out, David Freese would double to right field, scoring Berkman from first base.

Joel Hanrahan came into the game to begin the ninth inning and did not show his best stuff tonight.  He would allow the leadoff batter to double, which was followed up by a sacrifice bunt.  With one out and a runner on third Pujols was intentionally walked to set up the double play.  Matt Holliday hit a sacrifice fly, which at the time looked like the winning run.

Neil Walker had other plans though.  He would lead off the bottom part of the inning with a solo home run to right center field and tie the game at four.  This game would head to extra innings, which had Pirates fans a little worried since Jerry Meals was the umpire behind home plate.  For those of you who don’t remember, he was the umpire during the Pirates-Braves nineteen inning debacle back in July.

This time however Meals opinion at the plate had no bearing on the outcome of this game.  After neither team scored in the tenth, the Cards would get a base runner in the top of the eleventh, but would leave him at first base.  This would allow Garrett Jones to blast a walk off home run over the right field seats and one hop into the Allegheny River.

This was another big win for the Buccos tonight as they look to make up ground in the National League Central Division.  While the playoffs may no longer be in sight, this team is playing to end the 18 year losing curse, and many players are looking to show the deserve to be on the team in 2012. 
Jose Tabata was back on the 25-man roster tonight.  Pedro Alvarez was sent to AAA Indianapolis to make room on the roster.  Pittsburgh management was also able to sign their first and second round picks from the 2011 draft prior to the deadline.  These two signings brought the number of draft picks that the Pirates signed this year to 24.  Tonight’s win gave the Pirates 58, which is one more than they had for all of the 2010 season.

These two teams will wrap up their series tomorrow night PNC Park, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm.  Paul Maholm will look to pitch well and receive some run support from the Buccos Bats, while the Cardinals will counter with Kyle Lohse.

Record vs. Cardinals:  5-3
Record vs. N.L. Central:  27-23
Record at PNC Park:  28-32
Overall Record:  58-63


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.

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