It was a play at the plate in the 19th inning on Wednesday morning between the Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates. Third basemen Pedro Alvarez fielded a grounder and threw it to Michael McKenry for what appeared to be an out at home. Umpire Jerry Meals called Julio Lugo safe, but clearly he was tagged on his leg.
Obviously, the Pirates had chances throughout the game, but that doesn’t mean that Meals didn’t end the game prematurely. It is horrible that a game that lasted over six hours ended like this. There is no excuse whatsoever.
The Pirates did have opportunites, however.
With one out in the top of the ninth inning, the Pirates attempted a squeeze play with Xavier Paul at the plate. The Atlanta Braves scoped the play out with a pitch-out and Michael McKenry was thrown out back at third base.
It was a move by manager Clint Hurdle that would have been applauded if it worked. The fact is that the gutsy call didn’t.
Hindsight is 20/20, therefore if you would have said, “Wow, that was a great call by Hurdle, I love it,” then you should say the same thing here.
Aggressive baseball has been a major reason why the Pirates have been competitive in 2011. I love it, and will stand-by the decision from Hurdle because he has done it all season long.
Another huge sequence came when Pedro Alvarez stepped to the plate with a runner on first and second. He does what he has always done – watch pitches. I don’t get it, I don’t understand why he continues to do it and I really don’t know why he continues to put himself in the early hole.
SWING Pedro, Swing!
He watched strike three, and Lyle Overbay struck out to end the inning.
Neil Walker started the game with a triple off the right field wall to score Paul to give the Pirates a 1-0 advantage.
Alvarez picked-up McCutchen, who popped up, with a RBI single to right field that scored Walker to give the Pirates a two-run advantage.
McKenry hit his second home run of the season in the second inning to increase the lead to 3-0.
The Braves got going in the third inning with a Dan Uggla RBI single to center. Jason Heyward knocked in a pair in the same inning to tie the score at three.
Scott Proctor knocked in Julio Lugo for the game-winning run.
Proctor (2-3) picked up the victory.
D. McCutchen (3-2) got the loss.
Paul 2-7, 2 BB
Walker 3-8, RBI, BB
McCutchen 0-6, 3 BB
Alvarez 1-7, RBI
McKenry 3-7, HR, RBI, BB
Daniel McCutchen 0-1