With the Pittsburgh Pirates coming in on the heels of a four game sweep and Aaron Judge chasing history for the New York Yankees, most chatter wasn’t about whether the Pirates would lose, but by how much.
Things were going great at first, but, you know: The Pirates.
In just his second career MLB start, Luis Ortiz showcased why some have said he has the best raw stuff in the system. He once again lit up the radar guns touching 100.0 MPH twice.
Through three innings, Ortiz held the Yankees’ potent offense hitless. The Pirates offense themselves weren’t able to generate much in the first three innings, but were able to breakthrough in the fourth when Nestor Cortes walked Oneil Cruz to load the bases. Greg Allen followed with a sacrifice fly to push the first run across for a 1-0 lead.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Gleyber Torres reached on a single, ending Ortiz’s no-hit bid. Ortiz then struck out the next two batters. The 23 year old Dominican was breezing along before he got a taste of the hapless defense behind him. Starting off the inning, Oswaldo Cabrera hit a flyball to center field that Bryan Reynolds had lined up, before Diego Castillo (while Reynolds was clearly yelling for the ball) hit Reynolds’ elbow with his glove causing him to drop it for a two-base error. Two runs would eventually come across — one earned — by way of two RBI singles making it 2-1.
Ortiz’s evening would end after the fifth with three hits allowed, two walks, two runs with only one earned, and five strikeouts. He threw 45 of his 74 pitches for strikes, with 42 fastballs and 30 sliders. He generated six ground outs to one flyout with an average exit velocity of 85.4 MPH.
In the top of the sixth the Pirates offense quickly took the lead back. Jack Suwinski pinch hit for Castillo to lead off the inning and hit a single. After an out Cruz drew his third walk of the evening. Two batters later with two on and two out Jason Delay lined a ball to the right center gap for a 3-2 lead.
Derek Shelton went with Duane Underwood Jr. after regaining the lead for the sixth and Underwood gave it right back. A wild pitch put runners on second and third with one out when former St. Louis Cardinal making his Yankee debut, Harrison Bader, hit a two-run single to give the lead back at 4-3.
Reynolds led off the seventh inning and took the first pitch he saw into the right field stands for his 24th HR of the season, tying the game at 4-4.
Robert Stephenson came on for the seventh inning. He labored a bit throwing 24 pitches in total, but kept the game tied allowing only a single to go with two strike outs.
Pirates offense kicked things up a notch in the 8th pushing across four runs. Reynolds collected his fourth hit in five at bats with a RBI single, before Rodolfo Castro connected for a three-run HR against former Pirates reliever Clay Holmes. That made it 8-4 and excitement was building.
To the bottom of the ninth inning. We’ll keep this short in saying that Wil Crowe is either not suited for late innings or just really hitting a brick wall. Aaron Judge kicked off the inning with his 60th HR of the season. A walk and two hitters later to load the bases, Giancarlo Stanton stepped to the plate and blasted a walk-off grand slam and 9-8 victory for the Yankees.
Pirates Baseball in 2022.
Pirates @ Yankees
Time: 7:05 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Roansy Contreras (5-4, 3.24)
Yankees Starter: Luis Severino (5-3, 3.45)
Contreras Notes: This will be Roansy Contreras 16th start of the season and if it’s anything like his last, it may not last long at the behest of the front office and coaching staff. He pitched four innings with only 55 pitches against the Cincinnati Reds. He allowed only one earned run with three strike outs and three hits allowed.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 21, 2022
1. Aaron Judge (R) RF
2. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
3. Gleyber Torres (R) 2B
4. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B
5. Giancarlo Stanton (R) DH
6. Oswaldo Cabrera (S) LF
7. Harrison Bader (R) CF
8. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (R) SS
9. Jose Trevino (R) C