Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to the Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call, a daily feature here at RumBunter.com. Every morning at 9 AM, one of us will give you our random thoughts on the goings-on around the Pirates’ organization, and we’ll throw out a few links to some good Pirates-related items your way from around the web as well.
A lackadaisical comeback
Last night the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 in a dramatic come from behind, walk-off victory. However it was about as lethargic of a comeback as I have ever seen. The Pirates fell behind 4-0 early as Francisco Liriano did not have his best stuff, but he battled and kept the Pirates in the game, which is what you want from a struggling starting pitcher. Liriano’s overall performance is nothing great, but could have been much worse. He went five innings, allowed four runs on seven hits and struck out five. After he left the game, the bullpen did work. Jared Hughes, Joakim Soria, Tony Watson, Mark Melancon, Antonio Bastardo and Arquimedes Caminero threw a combined seven scoreless innings, allowed four hits and struck out seven. It was a dominating performance from the Shark Tank.
While the bullpen was doing work, the offense took some time to get going as Reds’ rookie pitcher Keyvius Sampson somehow had a no-hitter through three innings, but thankfully Andrew McCutchen broke it up with an opposite field solo home run. The Pirates fell behind 4-0 early and looked to be in some trouble as Jake Arrieta was doing his usual dominating against the Brewers. The thought of losing home field for the NL Wildcard game was creeping into everyone’s mind I am sure, but the Pirates are among the league leaders in comeback wins for a reason, plus it helps that the Reds are a struggling baseball club right now. Starling Marte finished the job with an opposite field two-run home run in the bottom of the 12th inning. Not many fans stuck around as it was cold and rainy all night, but those that did were a mixture of excited and relieved that they could finally leave and get warm. The Pirates magic number to clinch home field in the Wildcard game is one. They clinch with a win tomorrow or a Cubs loss. Lets just take care of business and let those Cubs’ rookies see how crazy PNC Park can get in the playoffs.
Tonight A.J. Burnett gets the start for the Pirates in what could be his final start as a Pirate and a major leaguer. It’s going to be a very emotional atmosphere as Burnett has meant a lot to this team and the city of Pittsburgh. We’re all hoping for an extended playoff run this year, but a final regular season start is still a special moment. We’ve known all season that 2015 was Burnett’s last year, but here we are at the end of the regular season and A.J. is taking the mound potentially one final time. I will be in attendance and I hope many of you will be too. It should be a fantastic atmosphere.
Because of tonight’s game being potentially the final start of A.J. Burnett’s career we and numerous others are calling for a #BatoutPNC. Wear your Batman gear, wave your Batman flags and above all else, be loud and show your support for the man that helped change the culture of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Burnett brought a toughness and a swagger to this team and city. The Pirates were pushovers for 20 seasons, but once A.J. got here, that changed. You could argue the moment he told Hanley Ramirez to “sit the **** down,” everything changed. The Pirates were no longer going to be the doormats of the National League. We fans owe A.J. Burnett a loud and tremendous atmosphere as he rides off into the sunset and takes the mound at PNC Park for maybe the final time. Though, lets hope he has a couple post season starts in his future as well.
Around the web
The Sporting News wants you to get to know the Pittsburgh Pirates before the playoffs begin. Pretty cool slideshow and nice to see a national publication giving the Pirates some love.
Charlie Wilmoth of Bucs Dugout asks if the Pirates can beat Jake Arrieta and the Cubs?