Tony Sanchez Delivers Game Winner, Takes Blame for Wandy Rodriguez


Pirates starter Wandy Rodriguez was given a four run lead after the Bucs offense had a mini explosion in the bottom of the first inning.  Andrew McCutchen plated Josh Harrison who led off the inning with a walk.  Pedro Alvarez singled.  Starling Marte hit a two-run triple.  Ike Davis poked a single, and just like that, it was 4-0.

Of course we are jackasses so we asked on Twitter what was the best way to give back a four run lead.  The answers were pretty funny.

The thing that wasn’t funny was that Rodriguez actually did give the runs back…and then some.  Nelson Cruz hit a bomb.  An error on Rodriguez loaded the bases on a bunt attempt.  Wandy hung a breaking ball on what should have been the third out of the inning for a sac fly.  Manny Machado drove in a run.  Chris Davis had a run scoring check single to tie the game.  Two more Orioles scored and before the bottom of the second came, the Pirates were down 6-4.

After the game, Sanchez said that he wasn’t able to get on the same page as Rodriguez.  The Pirates rookie catcher mentioned that it’s his job to get Wandy on the same page as him, but he noticed that Wandy shook him a lot and felt that he made the lefty uncomfortable.

Classy move from Tony Two Bags who was a brick wall behind the plate tonight in what seemed like one of the longest games ever played.

But the Pirates offense kept responding until the man known as Tony Montana on Twitter finished off the slug fest with a run scoring single in the eighth inning.   Starling Marte had put down his second bunt single of the game to lead off the eighth.  Marte came around to score on the big knock from Sanchez.

Clint Hurdle talked about Wandy not getting the out on the bunt play. Hurdle talked about bad luck. Hurdle talked about the ball hitting the bag. But the Bucs skipper also said he wanted better from the Pirates southpaw.

Vin Mazarro had excellent command of his fastball in relief of Rodriguez. It was a serious pick em up job by the right hander.

Hurdle did say the team had some side conversations with Rodriguez who remained on the bench after he couldn’t get out of the second inning.

The big pitching performance came from Tony Watson.  Let’s call him the Ice Man now.

Tony Watson is the Ice Man.

The change up from Watson tonight was filthy, he carved up the middle of the Orioles lineup including drilling Chris Davis who had plenty of big knocks in this series.

Tony Sanchez with another game winner for the Pirates.

Hurdle talked about Tony Sanchez after the game. He said that Sanchez believes in himself when he sets up in the batters box. “He never feels like he is out of the count.”  When asked about Sanchez going back to AAA when Russell Martin returns to the Bucs lineup, the skipper said Russ is probably a better trade off. Hurdle noted that Sanchez has done an “admirable, professional job since he’s been here.”

Yeh, that’s an understatement Clint.