John Holdzkom Gets First Career Pirates Save in Big Win


Sep 2, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher John Holdzkom (43) throws to a St. Louis Cardinals in his major league debut during the eighth inning at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Pirates 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates broke their losing streak with John Holdzkom getting his first career save.  While the story was much more than John Holdzkom, it’s hard to ignore what this monster liwi has done since putting on a Pirates jersery.

John Holdzkom was pitching in Independent ball  making $600 bucks for a months work. The entire fascinating John Holdzkom story is here by JJ Cooper on Baseball America.   It took an all hands on deck approach as the game went extra innings.  The Ice Man Tony Watson and closer Mark Melancon each went two scoreless innings before the August NL Player of the Month took over the hero role.

Josh Harrison put on his cape and with two strikes delivered the 11th inning game winning single that broke a 3-3 tie, scoring Neil Walker, who had doubled to start the rally.  Tony Sanchez added a sacrifice fly to stake Holdzkom to the lead and the opportunity to get his first career save in the Major Leagues.

All the big right hander did was strike out the fifth batter he faced in the bigs.  Harrison was hurt on a nice catch in shallow center field for the second out.  The kiwi fireballer than struck out the fifth  batter of his big league career for his first save. Cue the unicorns. Unfortunately, JHay will not be in the lineup for the second game today at Wrigley.   And oh, does the lineup look well, interesting.

The Pirates bullpen has needed a spark, a guy that can shut down the bad guys.  It seemed like it wouldn’t happen this season.  But then this massive unicorn rolled into Pittsburgh.  It’s hard to even imagine, but Holdzkom has been dominant in two appearances thus far.