Pirates Win 1-0 in Extra Innings After Being No-Hit For Nine Innings

PITTSBURGH — Los Angeles Dodgers starter Rich Hill pitched a nine-inning no-hitter against the Pirates on Wednesday.

It wasn’t enough to earn him a win.

Josh Harrison led off the bottom of the 10th inning with a solo home run that just cleared the short fence near the foul pole and the outstretched glove of left fielder Curtis Granderson to break up the no-hitter and give the Pirates a 1-0, walk-off victory.

Hill had a perfect game going into the ninth. Jordy Mercer broke that up when he reached on an error to lead off that inning. Chris Stewart bunted him into scoring position, but pinch-hitter Jose Osuna and Starling Marte both grounded out.

Hill finished with nine-plus innings, one hit, one run and 10 strikeouts on just 99 pitches.

Trevor Williams pitched the best game of his career, matching Hill frame for frame through eight innings. He worked around seven hits and five walks with the help of a pair of 4-6-3 double plays and 10 men left on base. Williams threw a career-high 114 pitches, 67 of which went for strikes.

Felipe Rivero and Juan Nicasio each pitched scoreless innings of relief.

Each club had some fantastic defensive plays to preserve the scoreless tie late in the game. Jordy Mercer made a vertical leap to Forsythe in the eighth with two men on. Chase Utley made a diving stop against Josh Bell in the bottom half of that inning.

Here’s more from Harrison and Williams on a crazy night from PNC Park:

HE SAID IT

“I have tremendous personal, professional respect for him. That’s the kind of story that could be made into a movie some day.” — Pirates manager Clint Hurdle before the game on Dodgers starter Rich Hill.

“It’s a pretty good part of the movie. I can’t imagine there’s any dishonor walking off the field, giving up one run.” — Hurdle on the Pirates narrowly preventing Hill from recording his first career no-hitter.

GAME IN GRAPHS

At just 93.6 MPH, Harrison’s home run didn’t have a ton of exit velocity, but it was the third hardest-hit ball off Hill all night. Only Starling Marte’s ground out in the seventh inning cracked the century mark. Luckily for Harrison, his ball hooked far enough toward the foul pole to find the shorter part of the fence and keep it away from the glove of Granderson. Statcast gave it a hit probability of just 16 percent.

QUICK HITS

***Hill becomes the first pitcher to lose a perfect game bid on an error in the ninth inning. It was the fourth complete game of his career. Harrison is the first player to break up a no-hitter with a walk-off home run.

***Tim Williams wrote earlier today about the Pirates using this August and September to get experience for their younger players going forward, now that they’re out of the pennant race. It doesn’t get much bigger of a stage than a perfect game in the ninth inning with the score tied. Hurdle seemed excited about his young players getting put in that situation.

“It’s a great environment to play through for the guys that were on the field,” he said. “I know there’s guys that have experienced more. Freese has been to the seventh game of the World Series. But for some of our guys, to be a part of that, watch it unfold, battle through it and win a game, I think that adds to the value of the experience you can gain up here.”

***Trevor Williams dealt with a ton of traffic on the bases, pitching just one clean inning in his eight. He said his two-seam fastball was the key to navigating the jams.

“My sinker is really my failsafe pitch,” he said. “We had a lot of round balls behind me that ended up getting two outs for us. It’s my best pitch. I like to go to it a lot. We could have bases loaded and I know that I can always get an out with that pitch.”

  • I didn’t see how Harrison came out of the box, but if that one stays in, does Josh have an ITP Hr? Granderson looked banged up pretty good and with that angle, that ball might have bounced away from him.

    • If it looked like it was staying in the park, Grandy wouldn’t have taken the exact same route into the wall.

      • Okay well say it hits off grandy’s glove and kicks off the wall back to CF then….

  • Man, was that a terrific game to watch. Hill was incredible, Williams battled and battled and some great defense was played on both sides. Hats off to JHay for being JHay and Granderson made one hell of an effort to snag that HR. THIS is why I love baseball.

  • Seems stat cast is still working some things out

    • terrygordon30
      August 24, 2017 1:42 am

      Yup, you deserve an upvote!

    • Alan Saunders
      August 24, 2017 8:04 am

      I don’t know how many parks that’s a homer in, but it can’t be many.

      • I guess it’s good to know but I question why a simulation is ignoring the actual environment something is taking place in.

        • Statcast calculates Hit Probability and Catch Probability differently.

          In calculating Hit Probability, Statcast completes ignores location of contact and position of fielder. Simply looks at exit velocity and launch angle. It strips away all ability from the batter to control direction of the ball, essentially saying that the direction the ball is hit comes down to pure chance.

          In calculating Catch Probability, Statcast only looks at hang time and distance the fielder had to travel. So for JHay’s ball, Statcast claims that it was both a low probability hit AND a low probability catch.

          I think this is silly.

          • Yeah statcast Matt Kemp pulling everything is random

          • “saying that the direction the ball is hit comes down to pure chance” – and that’s the problem with statcast. anyone with a basic understanding of physics and general logic knows differently

      • Based solely on direction and distance, that ball would’ve been out of *all* BUT four parks!

        https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/player?player_id=543281&pos=2B&player_type=batter&season=2017&tab=spray_chart_tab

  • There’s been lots of good pitching in the Pirate system this year, Morgantown to PNC Park. Problem is, the five starters at PNC never got together to pitch well at same time, allowing Pirates to at least play small ball! Good job Huntington on starters but questions on PNC relief squad all year?

    And now more questions? Where are the star position players in the minor leagues? Lots of winning teams, but few stars to point to and lead? Too many Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer type players in Minors to expect much help in next several years. My .02.

    • terrygordon30
      August 24, 2017 1:41 am

      I would be very happy if having more Josh Harrison type players in the minors was a problem for the Pirates.

    • How many true “star ” players are there in MLB ? Cardinals ? Mets ? Braves ? Rays ? Giants ? Mariners ? etc etc

      • Good question!

        If we call 4-WAR “star”-level (the justification that has been used in the past to, rightfully, call Starling Marte an unheralded “star” player) then the league has averaged 42 “star” players over the last three years. The distribution of stars is far from even, which I’m sure is intuitive for you. The league stratifies into teams that hoard quality talent, and teams that either are or should be rebuilding. Last year, for instance, 24 of 45 4-WAR players were one the ten playoff teams. Half the league’s stars were on a third of the league’s teams.

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