Pirates’ First postseason Win Since 1992
PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Pirates went 21 years between playoff video games. The wait can be considerably shorter this time around.
Russell Martin homered twice, Francisco Liriano was dominant for seven innings and the Pirates roared past Cincinnati for a 6-2 victory in the Nationwide League wild-card game Tuesday night time.
In front of a black-clad crowd savoring its first postseason sport since 1992, Marlon Byrd also connected and Andrew McCutchen had two hits and reached base 4 times for Pittsburgh.
“We’re for real,” McCutchen said. “We’re definitely for actual.”
Liriano scattered four hits for the Pirates, who will face St. Louis in Game 1 of the NL Division Collection on Thursday. Liriano struck out five and walked one to win the primary playoff game of his career.
“We didn’t talk about one-and-accomplished; we talked about one and run,” Pirates supervisor Clint Hurdle said. “Win one and run to St. Louis.”
Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto struggled in his third begin since coming off the disabled checklist final month. He gave up four runs in 3 1/three innings and appeared rattled by a raucous ballpark that taunted him by chanting his name.
The 36-year-previous Byrd, acquired by the Pirates in late August from the New York Mets, celebrated the first postseason at-bat of his 12-year profession – 1,250 video games – by sending Cueto’s fastball into the seats to present the Pirates the lead. The shot sent one other jolt by means of an already electric crowd, which began singing, “Cue-to, Cue-to,” in unison when Martin stepped in.
“This is 20 years of ready. You are seeing all of it come out in one night time,” Martin mentioned. “Hopefully we are able to keep this environment ’til late October.”
Martin sent a drive into the bleachers in left area. The Reds by no means recovered, ending a ninety-win season with a six-recreation dropping streak.
Three of these losses got here against Pittsburgh in Cincinnati, within the final series of the season, which decided the positioning of the win-or-die recreation.
Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker backed Cueto earlier than the game, saying his ace “thrives on this atmosphere.” Maybe, however the correct-hander by no means regarded snug in entrance of the largest crowd in PNC Park historical past, a place Cueto has dominated.
Cueto, who went in eight-2 at the ballpark by the Allegheny River, even lost his grip on the ball while standing on the mound.
A second later, he misplaced his grip on the sport.
Martin’s 405-foot shot to left-middle gave Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead and all the momentum Liriano would require.
Signed on the cheap in the offseason after a mediocre 2012 split between the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox, Liriano has been reborn in Pittsburgh. He went sixteen-8 with a three.02 PERIOD throughout the common season, his devastating slider almost unhittable in opposition to left-handers.
The Reds proved no match. Joey Votto went 0-for-four with two strikeouts. Jay Bruce produced an RBI single in the fourth but Cincinnati never really threatened on an evening baseball formally returned to Pittsburgh after a 20-yr trek through purgatory.
Shin-Soo Choo homered in the eighth, a drive to right area that was upheld by video assessment.
After the game, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips took to Twitter and shouldered the blame for the tip of Cincinnati’s season.
Pittsburgh’s 94-win regular season reignited a relationship sullied by years of mismanagement and miserable play. When the gates opened two hours earlier than the primary pitch, fans – most of them dressed in black on the urging of MVP candidate McCutchen – sprinted to their seats in anticipation of the club’s first postseason sport since Atlanta’s Sid Bream slid into residence forward of Barry Bonds’ throw within the bottom of the ninth in Sport 7 of the 1992 NL Championship Sequence.
The victory despatched the Braves to the World Series and the Pirates into an abyss it took an entire generation to flee.
The first step came with victory No. 82 on Sept. 9. The next came two weeks later when a win over the Chicago Cubs assured the Pirates of a wild-card spot. Essentially the most thrilling but lifted the workforce with the twenty sixth-highest payroll within the majors ($73.6 million) into a showdown with baseball royalty.
The Reds, meanwhile, head into an offseason that might be eventful. Baker has led Cincinnati to the playoffs in three of the previous four years however the Reds didn’t advance every time. They fell to the San Francisco Giants in five video games – after leading 2-0 – within the division series in 2012 and had been swept in the same round by Philadelphia in 2010.
This time, they didn’t even make it that far. Cincinnati spent many of the season because the third team in a 3-way race with the Pirates and the Cardinals for the NL Central title.
Cueto, who made three trips to the disabled listing this season with a strained lat, was pressed into service when projected starter Mat Latos discovered bone chips in his right (throwing) elbow.
At the time, it seemed like an improve. It wasn’t. The Pirates made it 3-zero on Tuesday on a sacrifice fly in the third by Pedro Alvarez, and Cueto was pulled when Starling Marte doubled with one out within the fourth. Marte sprinted house on native boy Neil Walker’s double off reliever Sean Marshall, and Walker scored on a fielder’s selection by Byrd to make it 5-1.
When Martin hit a drive to left off Logan Ondrusek within the seventh, the get together seemingly unthinkable for a group that lost a hundred and five games in 2010 began. Martin’s lengthy ball marked only the second multihomer playoff game in team history. Bob Robertson hit three in Game 2 of the 1971 NLCS.
Martin is the primary catcher to homer for 3 totally different teams in the postseason. He beforehand hit playoff homers for the
Los Angeles Dodgers
in 2008 and the
New York Yankees
in 2012… Liriano is the primary Pittsburgh left-hander to win a playoff sport since John Candelaria in Sport 3 of the 1979 World Collection… The Reds have lost 4 straight playoff games and eleven of their previous thirteen… Pittsburgh is the first dwelling crew to win for the reason that new wild-card format was introduced final season… The Pirates went 10-9 this 12 months in opposition to St. Louis… Byrd is the oldest participant to homer in his first postseason at-bat, in accordance with STATS.
Info from The Related Press was used on this report.