The Pittsburgh Pirates won in a walk off yesterday. Not a walk off home run or a walk off hit but a replay walk off. Replay reversed Starling Marte being called out at home plate in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night. It was the first that instant replay ended a game in baseball history.
Of course this is the first year of instant replay in baseball and the event caught the attention of a national audience as this never before scenario at the end of the game unfolded.
Consequently Pittsburgh defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-1 as Marte drove a two out triple off the right field wall, and then raced home when the relay throw got past Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott ruled Marte out. One minute and 14 seconds later replay reversed the call. Pirates win, Giants lose and history was made.
“I thought he was safe,” said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle who challenged Wolcott’s call. The Giants manager disagreed.
“I couldn’t really tell on the scoreboard,” Bochy said. “You’re at the mercy of whether or not they consider it conclusive, and they did.”
The bottom line was the Pirates won. The win column will not look any worse for a replay walk off.
Pirate Pitching staff gets a boost – Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton dominated the Giants Tuesday night, pitching eight innings, giving up just three hits and just one unearned run. Morton’s performance gave Hurdle’s bullpen a much needed break as the Pirates had given up at least five runs in their previous seven games. During that stretch the Pirates won only two games and fell 9.5 games behind the division leading Milwaukee Brewers. Pittsburgh will begin a three-game series with the defending National League champion St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park in Pittsburgh this Friday.
Pirates Getting Injured Players Back – No team in baseball has been hit harder with injuries than the Cincinnati Reds, but the Pirates have had their share of players on the injured list as well. Jeff Locke made his first appearance of the season Monday and it showed. The Pirates left-hander gave up six earned runs and eight hits in 5.1 innings Monday against the Giants. It was not an ideal start but at least the Pirates have one of their starters back from last season.
Hurdle also hopes to get back closer Jason Grilli and catcher Russell Martin soon, both of whom played a huge role in the Pirates winning the National League Wild Card last season.
Both players went on the 15-day disabled list April 26 with injuries that are not considered serious, but required being shut down for awhile. Grilli suffered a left oblique strain and was planning to throw off a mound Wednesday. Martin strained his left hamstring and is hoping to resume baseball activities Friday as part of his rehabilitation.
This gives Hurdle some hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Where he gets all his players back and a winning streak is started with a little bit of history as the Pittsburgh Pirates won the first ever game and coined a new phrase. The replay walk off.
Commentary by Mick Varner
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the Pittsburgh Pirates