Saturday, September 17, 2016

9/17 TRS-PNC Era: Leyland Leaves, Pops Pounds 'Em, Frank Swipes #64, Bell Streak, OT & More...

  • 1973 - Willie Stargell went 4-for-4 with a homer, triple, and two doubles good for four RBI as the Bucs beat the Mets 10-3 at TRS. Richie Zisk and Milt May both went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI each. Bruce Kison got the win and Chris Zachary earned a three-inning save.
  • 1976 - Behind Doc Medich and Dave Giusti’s combined six hitter, the Bucs defeated the Mets 4-1 at Shea Stadium for their 18th win in 22 games. Frank Taveras’ two run single in the fifth was the telling blow. The win made the NL East race interesting. The Pirates cut Philadelphia’s lead down to three games, but it would be the closest they came as they finished with 92 wins, nine games behind the Phils.
Doc Medich 1976 Topps
  • 1977 - Frank Taveras tied and then broke Max Carey’s single season team record of 63 stolen bases, which was set in 1916, during a 6-3 Bucco victory over the Expos in Montreal (Omar Moreno stole 96 sacks in 1980). Scheduled starter Jerry Reuss was scratched after warming up, and his short-notice replacement Ed Whitson pitched five innings for the win as Goose Gossage tossed the final four frames to earn his 23rd save.
  • 1979 - The Pirates moved back into first with a 2-1 victory against their chief competition, the Montreal Expos, played in front of 54,609 fans at Olympic Stadium. Pittsburgh took the lead in the fifth when Dave Parker collected his second RBI of the day by scoring pitcher Don Robinson, who just beat the tag of Gary Carter. Robinson was strong on the hill, too, tossing a six hitter and getting stronger as the game went on. In the final four frames, he surrendered just an infield single, and that runner was caught stealing. Still, it remained a see-saw race in the NL East; Pittsburgh didn’t take control of the standings for good until September 25th, and didn’t clinch the pennant until the final day of the campaign.
  • 1991 - The Pirates pounded the Cubs 9-2 at TRS. Barry Bonds hit his 25th homer off former Buc Mike Bielecki and drove in a pair to become the eighth Bucco to have consecutive 100+ RBI campaigns while Steve Buechele drove in three runs with a 2B, 3B and sac fly. Doug Drabek cruised to his 14th win with a ninth inning mop-up from Bob Patterson.
  • 1992 - It took thirteen innings, but the Pirates finally defeated the Montreal Expos 3-2 at TRS. Danny Cox, the Bucs’ sixth pitcher, got the win after Cecil Espy led off the 13th with a triple and scored on Jay Bell’s infield single to the SS hole. The game took four hours and 35 minutes to play, but was worth the time for Bell, who had two hits and ran his hitting streak, which had began on 8/24, to 22 games before the Phils’ Terry Mulholland stopped him the next night.
Cecil Espy 1992 Donruss
  • 1996 - Manager Jim Leyland announced that he’d leave the Pirates at the end of the season. The two-time Manager of the Year quickly found a new job as skipper of the Florida Marlins, signing a five year deal with the Fish on October 4th and then winning the World Series.
  • 2001 - After a week of mourning following the Twin Towers attack, MLB baseball resumed. At PNC Park, the Pirates handed out "I Love NY" buttons to fans (the scheduled flag giveaway was delayed when the manufacturer couldn’t meet the date), a banner in left field read, "NYC, USA, We Are Family" and the Bucs wore flags on their sleeves and decals on their helmets. Fans signed a giant poster of support for NYC and over the course of two days, nearly $300,000 was donated for various related causes such as the NYC Police & Firemens pension and groups active in NYC’s recovery. The baseball faithful weren’t quite ready to return to normalcy - over 25,000 tickets had been sold for the game, but only about 8,000 folk showed up at the yard, passing through a new, heightened security protocol. One fan told the Post Gazette “It’s going to be hard to cheer. How can you cheer when people are still buried? But life needs to go on.” The game started with an ovation for the teams - the Mets, appropriately, were in town - and chants of USA, USA. NY won the game 4-1, scoring three times in the ninth to break open a tight game started by Todd Ritchie and Al Leiter.

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