The Pittsburgh Pirates Top 5 Home Runs of 2015

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Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

1) Andrew McCutchen vs St. Louis Cardinals – July 11, 2015 

I mean, how could it be anyone else?

The team’s – and just two seasons ago, the league’s – most valuable player.

The heart and soul of the resurgence of baseball in the city of Pittsburgh.

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McCutchen added to his legacy this season with his 5th straight All-Star selection, 4th straight Silver Slugger Award and for the 4th time in a row, a Top 5 MVP finish (his first time outside the top 3). McCutchen has been the Pirates’ best hitter ever since he’s broken onto the scene in 2009 so who else could deliver the biggest home run of the 2015 season?

At this point in the season, the Pirates were still fighting for the National League Central Division crown before the Cardinals eventually pulled away. However, this game showed the resilience of the Pirates that has kept them playing into the postseason each of the past three years.

After A.J. Burnett allowed 3 runs in 6.1 innings, it was once again up to the bullpen to keep the score tight. A theme on this slideshow, the 2.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen allowed the Pirates to tie the game off Kevin Siegrist in the 8th inning. They weren’t done fighting, though.

After Tony Watson pitched a scoreless ninth, Deolis Guerra gave up a home run to Mark Reynolds in the 10th inning but the Pirates still weren’t done. Jung Ho Kang hit a leadoff triple in the bottom of the 10th and Chris Stewart knocked a single off Trevor Rosenthal to tie the game.

The 11th, 12th and 13th innings passed with just two runners reaching base. Then, in the 14th inning the Pirates found themselves in another hole. Jhonny Peralta drove in a run with a single off Vance Worley, giving St. Louis a 5-4 lead and pushing the Pirates win probability to just 15%.

But, yeah, there’s kind of a theme going on here. The Cardinals had to go to their last resort, Nick Greenwood, for the save opportunity and the Pirates made them pay. After a leadoff single by Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen relieved the fans of 14 innings worth of anxiety.

Although the Pirates would never be able to make up any more ground in the division, games like this gave the fans confidence going forward. The team kept fighting back over and over until the star was able to take over with the biggest home run of the 2015 season.

It was a lot of fun to look back on these home runs and I hope you enjoyed looking back at them with me. Happy New Year to all the Pirates fans out there!