Archive for August 30th, 2006


Pirates sweep Cubs with 2nd straight 11-inning walk-off win

Today’s game against the Cubs was unbelievable. Both teams tallied 20 hits and the game was won, for a second straight day, in the 11th inning.

The Pirates battled back from an early deficit and took a healthy lead in the middle of the ballgame. However, the Cubs managed to tie the game before the end of regulation, sending the game to extra innings for the second day in a row. The 10th was scoreless for both teams.

In the 11th, Pirates reliever Marty McLeary was victimized for 2 runs, giving the Cubs a 9-7 lead. This seemed like the end of the line for Pirates, but they proved their detractors wrong. Xavier Nady led off the bottom of the 11th with a single. Ryan Doumit grounded out, advancing Nady to second. Jose Castillo then singled, driving in Nady, reducing the Cubs’ lead to a single run with only one out. With Castillo on first, Humberto Cota came through with a pinch-hit single, advancing Castillo to second. This brought the Pirates back to the top of the order. Chris Duffy flied out, leaving the Pirates with two men on, but with two outs. Jose Bautista managed to draw a walk from Ryan Dempster, like last night, but this time it loaded the bases rather than forcing home the winning run. Bautista’s walk brought Freddy Sanchez to the plate, who is hitting over .400 with runners in scoring position. On the first pitch, Sanchez hit a bouncer down the first base line. Incredibly, as Derrek Lee fielded it and stepped on first, for what appeared to be the final out, the first base umpire called the ball foul. Just when it seemed that the game was over, eucatastrophe struck and the Pirates were given another chance. Sanchez used that chance well, slapping a subsequent pitch into right field, driving in Castillo and Cota to win the ballgame, 10-9.

The Cubs will be understandably disappointed with their series at PNC Park – not just because they were swept, but because they had victory in their grasp in two straight games only to watch it slip away. After a tough series with the Astros, the sweep of the Cubs provides a nice lift to the Pirates, who have done an admirable job of not giving up when the cause seemed hopeless.

Today’s victory puts the Pirates at 53-81 (.396) on the season and 23-21 (.523) since the All-Star Break. The last two games have also improved the Pirates’ record in 1-run games to 18-27 (.400).


August 2006

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