Record: 51-38, on pace for 93-69 (also known as 1 win away from matching 2021’s grand total)
NL West: 1st, .5 games ahead of LAD
Wild Card: 3.0 games ahead of MIL (first team out)
Magic Number: 71 (using MIL as first team out)
Safe to say emotions were running high going into this one? Longest losing streak of the year on the line. Ace on the mound at home. First shut out the night before? NL Rookie of the Year injury scare. Polarizing (usage) pitching rookie to the IL? Yowzah. Not a great 24 hours for Arizona fans (more like 18 hours).
|Henry Davis - RF||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Bryan Reynolds - LF||Corbin Carroll - CF|
|Jack Suwinski - CF||Lourdes Gurriel - LF|
|Carlos Santana - 1B||Christian Walker - 1B|
|Ji-Man Choi - DH||Evan Longoria - 3B|
|Nick Gonzales - 2B||Kyle Lewis - DH|
|Jared Triolo - 3B||Gabriel Moreno - C|
|Tucupita Marcano - SS||Nick Ahmed - SS|
|Austin Hedges - C||Jake McCarthy - RF|
|Rich Hill - LHP||Zac Gallen - RHP|
**Fair Warning: MLB decided I live too close to Pittsburgh to watch this game despite my market not getting Pirates games in normal cable packages... So I’m relying on radio and Gameday. Unless I see a highlight on twitter before I post the recap, I take no responsibility for misrepresented descriptions of defensive/running/close plays.**
The game started easily enough: both teams got a hit in the first, but nothing else until the top of the third when Hedges got the third hit of the game. Gallen didn’t mind, Hedges was retired on a Davis ground out that wasn’t quite a double play. McCarthy led the bottom of the third with a walk and he “stole” second after getting caught in between first and second, but the throw went errant. Marte then singled McCarthy to third. Carroll bunted the ball VERY SUCCESSFULLY and Pittsburgh successfully retired zero Arizona baserunners; McCarthy Scored(1-0)! And Gurriel hit a 3-run home run (4-0)!
The bottom of the fourth was very similar to the third. McCarthy led off with a walk, got “stuck” stealing and Pittsburgh threw it away, this time giving him third. Marte and Carroll both made unproductive outs, but Gurriel doubled McCarthy home (5-0)! In the top of the fifth, Pittsburgh broke through with a double then an RBI single (5-1) by Triolo/Marcano, but Gallen held the rest in check. Yohan Ramirez replaced Hill for the bottom of the inning.
Things didn’t get exciting again until the bottom of the sixth though. Ramirez got two outs but then Carroll singled, stole second, Gurriel walked and they completed a double steal with another errant throw which scored Carroll (6-1)! Walker then completed his at bat with an RBI double (7-1)! Gallen completed the seventh without issue, which ended his night. Another phenomenal home outing for the ace.
Dauri Moreta came on for the Pirates and walked Moreno but worked around it for a scoreless seventh. Justin Martinez then made his MLB debut. It was... eventful. Good news: he throws fast if that gets your engine revving. Bad news, here is a snapshot of his seven batters faced in the eighth: walk, strikeout, HBP, groundout, walk, 2-RBI single (7-3), strikeout. Phew. What a debut. He was likely a little amped up, but it wasn’t exactly the auspicious debut you may have been hoping for given the hype the fanbase has made about him.
The rest of the game was pretty easy sailing. Gurriel doubled again, completing his magnificently massive night, but was stranded out there. Castro pitched the ninth, giving up a single on a ball that ricocheted off of him apparently, but no injury according to radio or gameday.
PITTSBURGH 3, ARIZONA 7 - WIN
Hard to argue this wasn’t a great game! I wish I’d been able to actually see it instead of listen to other people describe it, mais c’est la vie n’est pas? Gallen continued his home dominance (he may serious want to consider an extension after this season if his road struggles continue throughout November). Carroll seemed to be his old self, although I wouldn’t take my word on that since I didn’t see him. McCarthy did his best to catch Carroll in Stolen Bases, and Gurriel pretended it was May again.
Yes, the Pirates aren’t exactly the behemoth they were in April. And yes, Rich Hill is absolutely ancient. But the win was necessary. It feels good. It is important to break the losing streak, and hopefully go into the break with some positive vibes and come out on the other side in Toronto ready to battle it out for the Division and/or Wild Card!
Mitch Keller (Pirates Ace) pitching opposite the elusive TBD (radio mentioned maybe a bullpen game...gulp) at 1:10pm Arizona Time.