- 1960 – Sandy Koufax was doing Sandy Koufax things all night at Forbes Field, topping the Bucs 1-0 at Forbes Field. The southpaw gave up one hit, a single to his mound opponent Bennie Daniels, and offset a wild streak of six walks by fanning 10 while going the distance. The second frame was the Pirates’ best chance when they loaded the bases with two outs, but couldn’t cash in; only one other Bucco runner reached second. Daniels was pretty sharp himself, giving up four hits and whiffing six in seven frames before Roy Face finished up. It was scoreless into the seventh, when Norm Larkin led off with a two-bagger and scored two outs later on Tommy Davis’ double. It was a frustrating loss, but proved to be a minor bump on the road to the World Series for the Bucs.
- 1963 – The Bucs sent OF Bob Skinner to the Reds for Jerry Lynch, who started his career in Pittsburgh. Lynch spent his last four years as a Pirate and set the MLB pinch hit home run record of 18 (since surpassed by Matt Stairs) in a Bucco uniform. Skinner spent nine seasons with Pittsburgh, compiling a .280 BA, and lasted five more years in the show.
|Jerry Lynch – 1964 Topps|
- 1965 – The Pirates came to Milwaukee in the throes of an eight-game losing streak and left with a three-game sweep of the Braves at County Stadium, taking a 10-1 victory in the series finale with the match iced by an Andre Rogers grand slam. Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski each had three hits to back Bob Veale’s complete game, four-hit performance. The combination of the sad sack Pirates and some unseasonably cool weather didn’t do much to line the owners’ pockets – the set drew just 7,394 fans for the three contests, with the biggest crowd being 2,679 for the Friday night series opener. Of course, the fact that the Braves announced their move to Atlanta just a week or two prior probably didn’t help spin the turnstiles, either. After the relo, Milwaukee went without MLB ball until 1970 when the Brewers (nee Seattle Pilots) arrived.
- 1978 – Reliever Mike Gonzalez was born in Corpus Christi. He was drafted by the Pirates and pitched his first four seasons (2003-06) in Pittsburgh. Gonzo became a rare LH closer in 2006, earning 24 saves before being sent to Atlanta in the off season as part of the Adam LaRoche deal. He last pitched in the majors in 2013 for the Brewers.
- 1984 – Bucco lefty John Candelaria struck out 12 batters in eight innings of work as the Pirates beat Cincinnati, 7-2, at Three Rivers Stadium. It was Candelaria’s fourth win of the year. The Pirates took the lead with six runs in the fifth inning and never looked back. Catcher Tony Pena went 3-for-4 with a triple.
- 1985 – The Pirates fired GM Pete Peterson and replaced him with former GM Joe Brown; ironically, Peterson had taken Brown’s spot back in 1976. Pittsburgh was in last place in the division and last in attendance, too, prompting owner John Galbraith to pull the trigger. Joe steered the club until November, when Syd Thrift was named GM and Jim Leyland replaced Chuck Tanner. Pete eventually caught on with the Yankees, then joined the Padres and Blue Jays before retiring in 1995.
|John Smiley – 1989 Panini sticker|
- 1989 – John Smiley struck out nine batters and tossed a complete game in a 5-2 victory over Zane Smith and the Braves in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Glenn Wilson had two hits, including a two-run homer, to lead the attack. The win was Smiley’s fifth in a row en route to winning 12 games for the Bucs that year. The 24-year-old’s 1989 campaign would see him set personal full-time bests in ERA (2.81) and WHIP (1.086).
- 1998 - Jason Kendall had a big if somewhat painful day at Pro Players Stadium against Florida in Pittsburgh’s 10-4 victory. He went 3-for-3 with three RBI. After his first inning single knocked in a run, he was rewarded with a pair of HBPs; he responded with a double & single to plate two more runs and touch the dish once with his following pair of swings. Turner Ward also drove in three runs and Tony Womack scored three times. Jon Lieber got the win and Ricardo Rincon the save.
- 1999 – Jason Schmidt left after two innings, with the Florida Marlins up 5-0 (he missed the next start with “dead arm”). But the Bucs came all the way back at Pro Player Stadium. They did it the hard way, too. They plated their runs on a sac fly, a grounder, an single/error followed by a rap, a wild pitch/missed catch, a double play and softly scored the winner in the ninth. Mike Benjamin singled off a glove, went to second on a balk, tagged to third and scored on Al Martin’s blooper that barely cleared short. They may have grunted to score runs, but the victory was thanks to a great bullpen effort: Jeff Wallace got the win, the save went to Mike Williams and goose eggs were tossed by relievers Chris Peters and Brad Clontz.
- 2010 - Ryan Doumit had a day as the Bucs walked off with a 3-2, 10-inning win over Atlanta in front of 23,045 fans at PNC Park. The Pirates left the bases loaded in the seventh, failing to add to a 2-1 lead, before former Bucco Eric Hinske homered off Evan Meek to tie the game in the eighth. The game went on quietly when with two outs in the 10th, Dewey jumped on Takashi Saito’s first pitch and knocked it over the RF wall. The blast gave Octavio Dotel the win in a match started by Zach Duke. Doumit’s three hits led the parade; Aki Iwamura and Andrew McCutchen added a pair of knocks apiece.
|Vogey after the beaning – 5/22/2016 photo Gene Puskar/AP|
- 2016 - In one of PNC Park’s scarier moments, witnessed by 34,529 stunned fans, Pirates pitcher Ryan Vogelsong was hit in the face with an 0-2 fastball by the Rockies Jordan Lyles in the second inning and was carted off the field with facial fractures. Ryan was temporarily blinded in one eye after the beaning, but his vision slowly recovered to nearly normal. He had surgery and against the odds returned to the mound on August 4th and pitched well (six innings, one run, three hits) in his return. The Bucs, btw, won the match against Colorado by a 6-3 score and Lyles was introduced to instant karma – he lost the game and then was sent to the minors the next day.
- 2019 - Colorado had run away with the first two games of the series at PNC Park and were threatening to sweep, but today the worm turned. The Pirates scored four runs in the first and had an 8-0 lead after four frames with their unlikely early season ace, Jordan Lyles, on the hill. But with two outs in the sixth (he had retired his 14th Rox in a row to start the inning), the wheels came off – the Rocky Mountain gang banged out five hits with a pair of walks against Lyles and Geoff Hartlieb to make it 8-6. It made the fans reach for the nitroglycerine tabs, but proved to be the Rockies last hurrah as the Pirates swatted three long balls in the seventh and cruised to a 14-6 win. Lyles got the win, though his ERA jumped from 1.97 to 2.81. The Pirates collected 15 hits (three each from Colin Maran and Josh Bell) with homers from Bell, Gregory Polanco, Starling Marte and Bryan Reynolds. It was the biggest offensive output of the season for Pittsburgh and its largest margin of victory.
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