Friday, July 28, 2017

7/28 Games: Rally for the Ages, 16-Frame Draw, Big Night For A-Ram, McBean & More

  • 1908 - In much ado over nothing Vic Willis and the NY Giants Hooks Wiltsie battled to a 2-2 tie at the Polo Grounds after 16 frames as the game called because of darkness. The Pittsburg Press called it “A fitting finish to a great baseball series. Willis and Wiltse pitched high class baseball and their comrades supported them in grand style. The twirlers were cheered to the echo on leaving the slab after innings of excitement where they had baffled their foes.” The Pirates had taken 2-of-3 against their rivals while drawing 70,000 fans, a big number for old-timey baseball, for the four-game series. 
Vic Willis 1986 TCMA All-Time Greats
  • 1932 - Pittsburgh swept a twin bill from the NY Giants‚ winning 10-7 and 9-1. Earl Grace had three hits and three RBI during the lidlifter to pace the Pirate attack. In the nitecap, Tony Piet smacked a grand slam and three-run homer to go along with two more hits for a seven RBI, three run day to plow the road for Heinie Meine. 
  • 1940 - The Pirates won their eighth of nine games and fifth in a row after sweeping Boston at Braves Field by 5-2 and 7-3 scores. Maurice Van Robays was the hero of the opening match, homering and driving in three runs to give Dick Lanahan all the support he needed. The Bucs used a balanced attack to support Max Butcher’s four-hitter in the nitecap. 
  • 1968 - Al McBean had one of those can-do-no-wrong Sundays. He gave up 13 hits to the Cards at Forbes Field, but still went the distance for a 7-1 win. The big blow? McBean’s grand slam in the fifth off Larry Jaster, coming with two down after Milt May was walked to get to Alvin. He also had fun on the hill, tossing several blooper pitches to the Giants. Donn Clendenon added a two run blast to the cause. McBean became one of five Pirates pitchers in franchise history to bang out a grand slam. 
Al McBean 1968 Topps
  • 1971 - Luke Walker spun a four-hit, complete game whitewash at Los Angeles in a 4-0 win at Dodger Stadium. Bob Robertson homered and had a sac fly to bring home two runs. The Bucs nickled and dimed the Dodgers; every position player had a hit, four different guys scored and three had RBI as the club put up their runs one at a time in four different frames. 
  • 1987 - Barry Bonds hit 176 homers while wearing the Bucco colors, but only one was an inside-the-park job. In an otherwise blah 5-2 loss to the Phillies at TRS, rookie Bonds drilled a two out liner to right off Shane Rawley that kicked around, allowing him and Junior Ortiz to score the only Pirate tallies of the day. "Glenn Wilson tried to cut the ball off and missed it," Rawley recalled for the AP. "It rolled around the corner and ricocheted all the way around. By the time he got the ball, there was no way to get Barry." The hit was payback for Bonds, who Rawley had plunked twice. It was the first of three Bonds’ homers that didn’t clear the fence among his 762 long flies. The other two were hit in 1997 with the Giants. 
  • 1996 - Orlando Merced hit two home runs and tallied four RBI while Al Martin & Mark Johnson had four hits each as the Bucs beat the Phillies 12-8 at TRS. Reliever John Ericks took home the win of the nationally televised ESPN Sunday Night Baseball match. It would be the last SNB appearance for the Bucs until 2014. 
Orlando Merced 1996 Topps
  • 2000 - Aramis Ramirez drove in six runs with a pair of homers, Emil Brown went long to plate four more runners while John Vander Wal also went yard in a 16-5 romp over the San Diego Padres at TRS. A-Ram, Jason Kendall, Kevin Young and Vander Wal scored three times each. 
  • 2001 - Pittsburgh became only the second team in NL history (the Cubs were the first in 1952) to win a game by scoring seven runs with two outs and nobody on base in the ninth inning. Brian Giles capped the scoring with a walk-off grand slam off Astros ace Billy Wagner to win the game 9-8 after Pat Meares had hit a two-run shot earlier in the frame. The game was the opener of the first home day-night doubleheader in franchise history before a crowd of 32,977 at PNC Park. There was no drama in the nightcap as Houston rolled 12-3. 
  • 2003 - Jeff Suppan won his sixth consecutive start with a 3-0 decision over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, scattering seven hits. He was backed by Reggie Sanders’ homer and three hits from Randall Simon. Suppan was flipped to the Red Sox three days later as part of a deal for Freddy Sanchez and Mike Gonzalez. 
Jeff Suppan 2003 Upper Deck
  • 2004 - In one of their more frustrating losses, the Bucs collected 11 hits but were shut out by the Braves 1-0 at PNC Park. Ollie Perez threw a five hitter with 10 K, but Chipper Jones’ fourth inning homer was enough run support for the Bravos. John Smoltz came out of the bullpen to save the game for Russ Ortiz. 
  • 2012 - The Pirates won for the ninth time in 11 games, taking a 4-3 decision from the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Alex Presley and Neil Walker had solo shots, and Rod Barajas singled in Andrew McCutchen with the game winner with two out in the eighth. They remained two games back in the NL Central race. 
  • 2014 - The Pirates laid some small ball on Madison Bumgarner in the first inning, and it led to a big frame. The Bucs used three hits, two walks, an error and a pair of sac flies to jump ahead of the SF Giants 4-0, and then added on a final run when Josh Harrison homered. The rest of the night at AT&T Park belonged to Vance Worley, who tossed his first MLB shutout and just his second career complete game. He allowed four hits, facing two batters over the minimum, only one of whom advanced past first thanks to three DPs and a caught stealing, to toss the Bucs first complete game shutout since AJ Burnett turned the trick in 2012.

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