Aug 22, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Matt Duffy (5) celebrates with shortstop Brandon Crawford (R) after scoring on a wild pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the eighth inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Talk about a pitching duel. Both teams had four hits. Both teams drew walks–the Giants, four and the Pirates just one.
The Giants took their four hits and four walks and cobbled enough stuff together to score a couple of times, but in the end it wasn’t enough.
The Giants managed to get one base runner on in the first inning‒Brandon Belt drew a walk‒but was left on base when the inning ended. In the fifth Gregor Blanco drew a walk, stole second base, and scored on Ehire Adrianza’s line drive single. Matt Duffy led off the eighth with a walk, advanced to second on Belt’s single, moved over to third on Buster Posey’s ground out and scored easily on a wild pitch that got past the Pirate’s catcher, who had some trouble getting his glove on it.
The Pirates weren’t able to get a base runner until the fourth inning. With two outs, Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen drew a walk, he took his freebie at first, but was thrown out trying to help himself to second base when the next guy in the lineup, Jung Ho Kang, was taking his turn at the plate. Ironically, when Kang returned to the plate in the fifth, he sent the ball out of the yard.
The only runs the Pirates put on the board were three solo home runs‒the one in the fifth hit by Kang, one in the seventh–also hit by Kang and a walk-off in the ninth.
Ultimately, the Pirates sank the Giants by firing their cannons, the Giants lost the pitching duel and consequently the game.
The Giants didn’t hit any home runs, but early in the game, the Pirates did what Pirates do and robbed the Giants of their one shot at a long ball.
In the second inning, Brandon Crawford stared down the Pirates pitcher‒who just so happens to be engaged to Crawford’s sister‒and sent the second pitch offered high and deep to left, over the wall, where the Pirates left fielder reached up and snatched the ball right back into the yard. Grand theft baseball. Oh, and the thief? The same guy who ended the game in the ninth with walk-off home run for the Pirates.
Giants fans got to see our new pitcher, Mike Leake, for only the second time since he joined the Giants at the trade deadline. The first time was when he pitched for the Giants against Houston on August 2nd. In Saturday’s game, Leake pitched six innings allowing one run (it was a home run), one hit (that’s all it took) and walked one. He struck out six. Leake put together a great outing.
Hunter Strickland pitched one inning and allowed one run and two hits. George Kontos pitched an inning and ⅔ and gave up one run on one hit while striking out three. He was one out away from taking the game into extra innings. The final score was: Giants 2, Pirates 3
Saturday’s game was like a Saturday afternoon matinée. It had a bit of everything: some swashbuckling and looting like Pirates of the Caribbean, star-crossed lovers reminiscent of a little Romeo and Juliet, with the Pirates pitcher engaged to a Giants’ sister.
But mostly it was like Major League‒a ragtag bunch of aging veterans and inexperienced rookies who don’t stand a chance, but come out on top in the end. Only problem is we were supposed to win this one, weren’t we? Didn’t anybody read the script?