Following about an hour-long rain delay, the Pittsburgh Pirates kicked off the final Saturday night game of the 2019 season at PNC Park, taking on the Cincinnati Reds.
Tonight’s game honored legendary Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster Steve Blass. Blass will complete 34 years of broadcasting, and 60 total years of involvement with the Pirates tomorrow afternoon. Blass threw out the first pitch to his grandson Christopher Walker. Steve Ziants of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweeted out some astonishing numbers summarizing Blass’ time with the Pirates.
James Marvel, part of the September call up crew this year for the Pirates, made his fourth major league start and his first against Cincinnati. Marvel was shelled in his last two outings but bounced back tonight against the Reds. He allowed a solo shot to Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart in the 2nd but would settle in, completing five innings of work allowing two runs.
The Pirates would respond following Barnhart’s home run. Jose Osuna would score on a wild pitch from Lucas Sims to tie the game at one. Later in the bottom of the 2nd, Steven Baron recorded his first major league RBI driving in Kevin Kramer off a double to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 advantage.
Sims would attempt to pickoff Baron at second base, but threw the ball low and struck Baron in the right side of the face with it. Jacob Stallings would replace Baron behind the dish for the rest of the game.
Jose Iglesias would square things up at two following an RBI single off Marvel in the 4th. Both sides would create opportunities but would fail to capitalize. On two separate occasions, Cincinnati had runners thrown out at home. One came with the bases loaded in the 3rd, however, poor base running from Iglesias in the seventh cost them a run. Pittsburgh also had a golden chance to end things in the 9th but failed to score after getting runners on second and third with nobody out.
The Reds would finally breakthrough in the 12th, as Jose Iglesias struck again with an RBI double off Alex McRae to put Cincy on top 3-2. An RBI single from Reds pitcher R.J. Alaniz and a 1-2-3 bottom half from the Buccos ended the game with a 4-2 Cincinnati win. Alaniz was credited with his first big league victory. McRae dropped to 0-4 on the year with the loss.
With only one game left, Pittsburgh will win the season series over the Reds since they currently hold a 12-6 series lead. Game 162 starts tomorrow at 3:05 EST as Pirate righty Trevor Williams (7-8, 5.52 ERA) squares off with Tyler Mahle (2-12, 5.34 ERA) of the Reds. Regardless of the outcome, 2019 will mark the fewest wins in a year for this Pirates team since an abysmal 57-105 season in 2010.