After Andrew McCutchen called off Jose Tabata to catch the second out of the ninth inning, Darwin Barney tagged from second and went to third. On Joel Hanrahan‘s first pitch, the runner on first was allowed to steal second base.
Hanrahan then walked the bases loaded.
The Buccos closer had thrown 23 pitches and was talking to Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage.
Luis Valbena stepped to the plate for the Cubs. It didn’t take long before the count was three balls and one strike. It was Hanrahan’s first save opportunity in what seem liked forever.
And on his 28th pitch of the inning, The Hammer walked his third batter of the inning.
Clint Hurdle sat with his arms crossed in the dugout.
Dave Sappelt stepped in with two hits on the day and fouled back the very first pitch. Hanrahan missed the next one high. His next pitch nearly went to the backstop as Rod Barajas had to come out of his crouch and reach high to snare the 98 mile an hour heat.
Hanrahan came back with a strike in the very tippy, top left corner of the strike zone to make it 2-2. And then he reached back and blew it past him. Raise it. STRIKE THREE!
It didn’t come easy, but the Bucs broke the funk.