Just before two o’ clock this morning, Atlanta Braves pitcher Scott Proctor hit a ground ball to third basemen Pedro Alvarez, allowing Alvarez to record the go ahead out at home plate.
There was just one piece of information missing from the play, the right call.
After catcher Michael McKenry slapped the tag on the shin area of Julio Lugo a couple of feet before home plate, home plate umpire Jerry Meals made one of the controversial calls in major league baseball history.
Meals called Lugo safe, sending a wave of confusion and anger throughout the stadium.
Manager Clint Hurdle sprinted out of the dugout to show his disappointment with Meals’ call.
After six plus hours of hard fought baseball, it seemed like the players, coaches and fans were cheated out of a proper end to such an amazing game.
Both teams went through every player on their team.
The only pitcher besides starters not to enter the game was Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan.
The one thing the Pirates don’t want to happen is for the outcome of the game to overshadow how well both teams played the game.
Atlanta scored three runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 3-3.
That would be the last time the fans saw someone cross the plate in the next 15 innings. Both bullpens were about to shut down multiple threats from the oppositions.
The Pirates combined for 13 1/3 innings allowing only the lone run and striking out 10 batters.
On the other side, the Atlanta relievers went 13 innings of scoreless baseball while adding 14 strike outs.
Not everything in the game was good news for the Braves though.
In the tenth inning, All-Star catcher Brian McCann strained his back attempting to throw out Neil Walker stealing second.
McCann had to be taken out of the game and was placed on the 15-day DL today.
The game featured the longest game played for both teams.
The win marked the longest game in franchise history for the Braves, passing the 1985 game against the New York Mets that lasted six hours and 10 minutes.
The devastating loss eclipsed the 1979 mark of six hours and 12 minutes game against the San Diego Padres.
The Pirates will look to bounce back from this game later on tonight when they face Jair Jurrjens in game three of the four-game series.
Paul Maholm will take the mound for the Pirates looking to go deep in the game to give the depleted bullpen a night off.
The Pirates move into third place with the loss, a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals and a half a game behind the Milwaukee Brewers.