Tuesday, September 20, 2016

9/20 TRS-PNC Era: Walk-Offs, Walk Aways...

  • 1973 - With Richie Zisk on first in the top of the thirteenth inning at Shea Stadium, Dave Augustine banged a two out drive to the left field wall. As Cleon Jones turned to watch, the ball grazed the top of the wall, just barely staying in the yard, and it bounced straight into his glove. His relay nailed the speed-challenged Zisk at the plate by 15’. Following the "Ball on the Wall" play, the Mets scored in their half to win 4-3 and moved within half a game of the first place Bucs. As beat writer Charlie Feeney of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette noted “The Pirates, stunned, bewildered, are a sinking...club” as the Bucs were in the midst of losing 4-of-5 and finishing 6-11 down the stretch. NY eventually won the division, the NL title, and took Oakland to a seventh game in the World Series before calling it a season. The Pirates finished 2-½ games behind.
  • 1974 - The Pirates scored three times in the ninth at TRS to drop the NY Mets 4-3. After keeping the Bucs on ice, Ray Sadecki walked Art Howe. Tug McGraw took over. A wild pitch, whiff and back-to-back singles by Paul Popovich and Rennie Stennett cut the lead to one and left Bucs on the corners. A short passed ball allowed Rennie to get to second, and the Met infield stayed back, willing to concede the tying run. Manny Sanguillen hit one sharply and SS Ted Martinez tried to catch a hustling Stennett steaming toward third but was late; without the passed ball, The Roadrunner’s ball would have been a likely game-ending DP. Al Oliver was intentionally walked to load the bases. Willie Stargell hit a hopper to John Milner at first; he stepped on the bag, eliminating the force at home, and fired to the plate, but Rennie beat the tag. So the Bucs put up a game-winning three-spot on two hits, two walks, and two plays in the field that the Mets probably wish they had back. It was a big win for the Pirates, who won the division that year by a 1-½ game margin over the Cards before the LA Dodgers ended their year in the NLCS.
Willie Stargell 1974 O-Pee-Chee
  • 1979 - The Bucs lost 2-1 to the Phils at Veteran’s Stadium, but it could have been worse. Philadelphia C Keith Moreland hit a loud foul up the left field line with two aboard that third base ump Eric Gregg lost in the lights. The story goes that the Philly ballgirl went into a dance, thinking it a home run, and seeing that, so did Gregg. Chuck Tanner protested, and the umps got together and made the right call. That set Dallas Green off; he littered the field with equipment after being ejected, and Mike Schmidt added his helmet to the debris. Green also protested the game, but it was all for show; the Phils squeaked it out as the Bucs squandered nine hits, and ended the game when Manny Sanguillen bounced into a DP with one away and runners on the corners. The loss cut the Buccos lead over the Expos to ½ game; Pittsburgh would eventually hold off Montreal by a two game margin.
  • 1984 - With a crowd of 33,651 Cub fans at Wrigley Field, Chicago passed the 2M mark in attendance for the first time in its history. But Pittsburgh ruined the big day as the Pirates overcame a 6-2 deficit to rally past the Bruins by a 7-6 score. Jim Morrison was the offensive sparkplug, hitting a homer, driving in a pair and scoring a pair to lead a balanced Bucco attack. Lee Smith lost to Kent Tekulve with John Candelaria chipping in with the save.
  • 2000 - The Pirates scored three times in the tenth inning thanks to long balls by Emil Brown and Adam Hyzdu, then hung on for dear life in a 7-6 win at Veteran’s Stadium. With two runs in for the Phils, runners on the corners and one away in the the tenth, Mike Williams got 2B Marlon Anderson to bang into a game ending (and saving) 4-6-3 DP.
Mike Williams 2001 Topps
  • 2013 - The Bucs started off on fire when Jose Tabata and Neil Walker led off the game with homers for the fourth time in club history, and the Pirates were cruising along when Francisco Liriano K'ed Chris Heisey in the eighth for his 1,000th strikeout, also setting the team record for K's at 1,193, breaking last year's mark. But the 5-2 lead wasn’t enough to hold off the Cincinnati Reds, who scored three unearned runs in the ninth thanks to a two out error by Jordy Mercer. Cincy won in the 10th on a wrong way home run by Joey Votto that just dropped over the fence and a few feet inside the LF pole to stun the Bucs at PNC Park 6-5 and tie the teams for second place in the NL Central and the home wildcard spot with eight games left.

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