Game Recap: Pirates Overcome Umpires, Replays and TOOTBLANs as Stallings Walks Off the Giants

The Pirates must have been thinking that everybody was out to get them, because everybody was.  They were beset by replays that overturned two calls in their favor, and plagued by bad ball/strike calls, which led to Derek Shelton getting ejected in the eighth.  They had three runners thrown out on the bases, two at home.  They got two batters plunked and the normally reliable Tyler Anderson had the kind of first-inning problems most of the other starters have had.  Yet the Pirates won their second straight walkoff over the first-place Giants, this time by a score of 8-6 thanks to a Jacob Stallings dinger in the ninth.

Anderson got the gopher bug in the first, giving up a solo shot to Darren Ruf and a two-run blast to Brandon Crawford.  But he was more himself after that, giving up one run in the third and going five in all.  He allowed six hits and fanned seven.

Against Johnny Cueto, the Pirates stranded two in the first and hit into double plays in the third and fourth.  In the fifth, a Will Craig single and Ben Gamel double put two in scoring position with nobody out.  Erik Gonzalez bounced one off Cueto to first baseman Wilmer Flores and was called safe at first, but the call was overturned on replay.  That still brought in one run and pinch hitter Ka’ai Tom singled in another.  Tom went to third on an Adam Frazier double, but was thrown out at the plate after tagging up on Kevin Newman’s fly to shallow right.  That left the score 4-2.

Kyle Keller made his Pirates’ debut and it could have gone better.  A walk and a Mike Tauchman homer in the sixth gave San Francisco back their four-run lead.  Keller walked two more in the seventh and left with one out.  Chasen Shreve issued another walk to load the bases, but got a 5-2-3 double play to end the inning with the score still 6-2.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Pirates tied the game.  With two out and two on — Gonzalez on a walk and Troy Stokes, Jr., on a hit batsman — Newman singled in a run.  Bryan Reynolds got hit with another pitch to load the bases back up and Stallings ripped a double pastadivingLongoria to unload them and tie the score at 6-6.

In the eighth, Chris Stratton managed to survive, although Shelton didn’t, in the face of a plate umpire who pretty obviously left his heart in San Francisco.  Stratton fanned three in the inning to get around a hit and an alleged walk.  And Rich Rodriguez threw his usual scoreless inning in the ninth, notching the Pirates’ 13th strikeout of the game.

In the bottom of the ninth, events seemed to conspire against the Bucs again.  Frazier singled and, with one out, Reynolds doubled, but Frazier was thrown out at the plate.  The Giants should have been out of the inning.  If they’d done their homework, they’d have known not to pitch to Stallings in a potential walkoff situation.  Especially with the left-handed Jake McGee on the mound and Gregory Polanco up next.  But they didn’t and he yanked one into the left field seats for his third home run of the year.

Stallings finished with three hits and four RBIs.  Reynolds also had three hits.  Rodriguez got the win to go 2-0.

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