1974 – Jim Rooker threw nine shutout frames as the Bucs beat the St. Louis Cards 1-0 in 10 innings at Busch Stadium, with Dave Giusti working the last frame for the save. The Bucs scored when pinch hitter Paul Popovich singled and was replaced by Miguel Dilone on the basepaths. He was bunted to second and came around on Richie Hebner’s single. The win moved the club to ½ game behind the Cards in a see-saw pennant race that Pittsburgh eventually eked out.
Jim Rooker 1974 Topps
1986 – Barry Bonds hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth off Philadelphia’s Steve Bedrosian to give Pirates a walkoff 6-5 win. The Bucs scored five times in the last two frames for the comeback; Mike Diaz was the hero, with three RBI at TRS. Four Pirate relievers tossed 6-⅔ innings of shutout ball, with Barry Jones getting the win.
2011 – The Bucs let the Reds tie the game in the ninth when Joel Hanrahan plunked Todd Frazier with a bases-loaded, two out, 3-2 pitch, but came back to claim a 4-3 walk off win when Jason Jaramillo doubled and came in on Ryan Ludwick’s knock. Garrett Jones’ two-run homer had staked the Pirates to an early lead.
2013 – For the first time in 21 years, the Pirates clinched a playoff spot with a 2-1 win at Wrigley Field. Charlie Morton tossed seven innings of three hit ball through seven and was up 1-0 on Neil Walker’s first inning homer. The Cubs tied it in the eighth on a ball that scooted through a drawn up infield, but the Bucs retook the lead in the ninth on Starling Marte’s two out, two strike homer deep into the bleachers. The drama wasn’t quite over; with two outs and Nate Schierholtz on first, Ryan Sweeney blooped a ball into right that glanced off Marlon Byrd’s mitt. Schierholtz was waved around, but an Andrew McCutchen-to-Justin Morneau-to-Russ Martin relay and tag were just enough to give Mark Melancon the win and Jason Grilli the save.
2014 – The Pirates guaranteed themselves a playoff berth with a 3-2 win over Atlanta at Turner Field, but it wasn’t easy. Down 2-0 after two innings, and saved from a bigger hole thanks only to bad Brave baserunning and a bases loaded, no out DP, Gerrit Cole found his rhythm and retired 17 straight Bravos. Andrew McCutchen scored on a delayed steal of home when the catcher’s throw to second was high in the fourth, then Travis Snider tied it with a leadoff homer in the fifth. Doubles by Cutch and Starling Marte gave the Pirates their first lead in the sixth. Cole worked seven innings and struck out eight for the win, with Jared Hughes picking up a hold and Tony Watson taking the save. To earn their playoff spot, the Pirates won 15-of-18 games after being written off following a sweep by the Cardinals in early September.
2015 – The Bucs defeated the Colorado Rockies 13-7 at Coors Field to clinch a post-season spot for not only the third straight year, but on the same date, too. The Pirates jumped out to a 7-1 lead after a first inning bloop and third inning blast by Neil Walker, who ended up going 4-for-5 with a homer and career best six RBI. But Charlie Morton couldn’t stand prosperity and was yanked in the fifth after a homer cut the lead to 7-6. The Buc bullpen took over, putting up zeros until the bats put up a six spot in the ninth, keyed by Sean Rodriguez’s bases loaded, bases clearing double on an 0-2 pitch. Joe Blanton got the win for Pittsburgh.