Trying to describe this game with words is a pretty tall task. All of this actually happened:
– Pedro Alvarez homered for the fourth straight game to give the Pirates a 1-0 led.
– In his first big league at-bat, Tony Sanchez hit a double that got stuck in the wall, probably costing the Pirates a run.
– A combination of bad luck, bad defense, and Charlie Mortonness lead the Angels to a five-run second inning and thus a 5-1 lead.
– A Starling Marte double, a Neil Walker double, and some bad Angels defense in the top of the third immediately got the Pirates to within two runs.
– Brad Hawpe, who looked like he'd never seen a baseball bat when he played with the Pirates in the Grapefruit League this March, singled in the Angels sixth run in the bottom of the fourth.
– Things stayed that way until the top of the ninth. Andrew McCutchen pinch hit for Sanchez with runners on first and third and one out and bounced into a fielder's choice, using his speed to beat out the double play and allowing a run to score. Russell Martin doubled McCutchen in, then Starling Marte doubled Martin in to tie the game at six.
– In the top of the tenth, Pedro Alvarez lasered a double to right-center that Mike Trout, of all people, over-ran and misplayed into a double. Because the Pirates had burned their DH with McCutchen being required to play the field after pinch-hitting for Sanchez (the original DH), Clint Barmes came up and pinch-bunted Alvarez to third. Neil Walker was intentionally walked. Gaby Sanchez put together a great at-bat to draw an unintentional walk. Travis Snider hit a single to left field that JB Shuck misplayed into a bases-clearing double. Snider scored after singles from McCutchen and Martin.
– With off-days on Monday and Wednesday next week, Jason Grilli came out to pitch the ninth despite the four-run lead. He struggled badly, giving up three runs and bringing Mike Trout up to the plate with the tying run on third and the winning run on second.
– Grilli struck Trout out. Of course he did.
I don't know what to say. On June 11th, AJ Burnett joined Wandy Rodriguez on the disabled list, leaving the Pirates with a rotation of Jeff Locke, Francisco Liriano, a just-back-from-Tommy-John-surgery Charlie Morton, and two rookies that had never made big league starts before. The Pirates are now 9-4 in 13 games since then, which puts them at 46-30.
This is pretty special.