Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 5/18/13
The Pirates were in significant danger of an embarrassing loss to the Astros for most  of the night on Friday…but in the end, the Astros were the ones embarrassed. Badly. The bottom of the ninth inning was an absolute mess. Only one person truly did something right in the inning – Andrew McCutchen singled to right to put men on the corners with one out. Marte had reached on a gift bloop single and Snider took his place on a force out, then moved to third on Cutch’s hit. With a chance to win the game, Brandon Inge tapped a ball harmlessly to the pitcher…who bobbled the ball and didn’t record an  out. Bases loaded. Neil Walker had a dreadful at bat and struck out looking. Two outs. Russell Martin worked a full count. A big PNC Park crowd was on its feet. And then…. Strangest walk-off I have ever seen. The Pirates didn’t even know if / how to celebrate. The faces of the Astros players were cringe-worthy. If I had been a fan of any other team all my life, I’d feel bad (it’s hard not to), but we’ve seen the Pirates lose games in all kinds of ways over the years. Never like that. This is the only comparison I can recall, but it doesn’t involve the clumsiness of a collision. Just absurd. The Astros really are that bad.  The game was messy before the ninth, too. The Bucs had given Houston a run by throwing the ball away twice on a stolen base attempt (keyed by Clint Barmes dropping a throw from Martin that looked like a sure out), Jeanmar Gomez wasn’t too good – just 4.2 innings and four runs (three earned). The Astros contributed to the start of the Bucs’ comeback with a three base error on a ball McCutchen hit to right, and Garrett Jones cashed it in with a double. The Bucco comeback wasn’t totally fueled by the Astros, though. Pedro Alvarez delivered the tying shot, and boy was it a shot. Watch it right now if you haven’t seen it yet. He missed the river (on the fly) by about five feet. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone be so “all over” a pitch from the center field view, and the result was just as impressive. It also came at a crucial time, with one out in the eighth inning. Oh yeah – McCutchen also homered in the first inning. The bullpen also deserved kudos – Vin Mazzaro, Tony Watson, and Justin Wilson all combined for zeroes to enable the Bucs to come back and win. It was probably the most bizarre win you’ll see all year…but it’s a win, and the Bucs’ fourth victory in a row. Pirates 5, Astros 4 / Box / 2013 Record: 25-17 / Next: Saturday, vs Astros, 7:05 Source: FanGraphs
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