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6/2 From 1966: Starg Duo; 150 For Vern; Archie Out; Longest Day; Windy Win; Gems & Game Stories; RIP Buster; HBD Chance

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  • 1966 - Vern Law tossed a complete game, three-hit shutout over the Mets at Shea Stadium in a 5-0 victory. It was The Deacon’s 150th Pirates win (he would finish his career with 162, sixth-most in franchise history) and he became the last Buc hurler to reach that landmark. The Deac helped himself; he had two hits, including a solo homer, and scored twice. Donn Clendenon also went long. 
  • 1968 - Willie Stargell homered in both ends of a doubleheader, collecting six hits and driving in six runs in the two contests. He pushed his BA to .300 for the first time in his career and capped a four-game long ball streak. The one-man show wasn’t quite enough as the Pirates split the twinbill with the Atlanta Braves at Forbes Field, winning the opener 8-4 but losing the nightcap 10-5. Matty Alou collected two hits in each game as Ronnie Kline won the opener and Bob Moose dropped the nightcap. 
  • 1972 - IF Chance Sanford was born in Houston, Texas. Chance got into 14 games in 1998 and went 4-for-28 (.143) as a 26-year-old rookie. He was a 27th round pick of the Buccos in the 1992 draft and was released after the year; he got into five games with the Dodgers the following season and closed out his career playing indie ball. 
Big Daddy – 1987 Topps
  • 1987 - Rick Reuschel fired a two-hitter against the Atlanta Braves at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, ending a six game Pirate losing streak. Andy Van Slyke’s homer accounted for two Bucco runs, and he made a great catch in the ninth to help save the 4-0 victory. Rafe Belliard scored twice. It was Reuschel’s ninth straight win over Atlanta.
  • 1992 – Randy Tomlin won his sixth game by getting the LA Dodgers to beat the ball into the dirt for a 1-0 win at TRS. The lefty got 15 of his 21 outs via the grounder, and more importantly, coaxed three Blue DP balls to allow his six-hitter to stand. The Bucs weren’t exactly lighting it up against Tom Candiotti, but with two outs in the seventh, he walked three straight Pirates (one intentionally), finally losing Dave Clark on a 3-1 pitch, to force home the game’s only run. Roger Mason cleaned it up over the final two frames to save Tomlin’s win. For Randy, it was his second victory of a six-game winning streak. He claimed 14 triumphs during the campaign, the only time in his career he reached double-digit wins for a season. 
  • 1998 - The Pirates beat the Mets 5-2 at TRS behind Chris Peter’s pitching and a bases-loaded triple by Kevin Young for their fourth straight victory, but the big story was that they earned the win in the midst of a tornado. The game was delayed nearly an hour by the gale, but Peters came back after the break in the third frame to work five innings. The Post Gazette noted that a couple of Pirates gathered up hailstones from the dugout before play resumed. The tornado touched down on nearby Mt. Washington and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s banner headline screamed “Torn Asunder.” 
  • 2008 - The Bucs beat the Cardinals 5-4 at Busch Stadium. Jason Michaels provided the muscle by blasting a seventh-inning, two-out pinch-hit grand slam on the first pitch he saw from Adam Wainwright. Matt Capps saved the win for Franquelis Osoria. 
Jason Michaels – 2009 Topps Black Border
  • 2011 - Pittsburgh blew a 7-0 advantage to the Mets and lost 9-8 at Citi Field as Paul Maholm couldn’t hold the lead and left with the game tied. Jose Veras then self-destructed in the eighth, giving up a hit, four walks and a wild pitch. The Buc wasted a homer and four RBI from Neil Walker and a four-hit day, with a triple, two stolen bases and three runs scored, from Xavier Nady. 
  • 2013 – The Reds raced to a 4-0 first inning lead against Jeanmar Gomez and the righty was yanked after the frame with forearm tightness. But the Pirate bullpen put up 10 scoreless frames, allowing just five hits, while Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones homered – Jones became the first Pirate to reach the Allegheny on the fly with his 463’ blast – to send the game into extra innings at PNC Park. The Pirates took it in the 11th on Travis Snider’s soft two-out liner that scored Russ Martin from second for a walk-off 5-4 win. 
  • 2014 - The Pirates romped at Petco Park, winning 10-3 as the San Diego Padres ran through seven pitchers and 249 pitches during the longest nine-inning game in SD history at 4:04. Of the 53 men Pittsburgh sent to the plate, 26 reached base. They went 9-for-20 with RISP and still stranded 16 men, loading the bases seven different times. San Diego left 11 runners of their own on the pond, and went 1-for-10 with RISP. Jordy Mercer went 4-for-5 with a homer, four RBI and two runs scored, while Josh Harrison and Neil Walker added three hits each. Charlie Morton got the win, but the Pirates had to use three relievers of their own to close out the contest. There were six HBP without a warning being issued and twelve walks combined during the game. It was only the second time during an NL game of the modern (post-1914) era that each team hit three batters in the same game. The other time it happened was Aug. 15th, 2007, when the New York Mets played, natch, the Bucs. 
  • 2017 - You wouldn’t expect this kind of game from a Gerrit Cole – Matt Harvey match, but the Bucs and Mets exchanged big innings with the Pirates coming out on top at Citi Field 12-7. The Pirates put up a three spot in the fourth to take the lead on Elias Diaz’s bases-loaded, three-run double. The New York nine answered in the fifth with five runs off Cole to take a 7-4 advantage. The Corsairs then responded with a seven-spot in the sixth off Harvey and reliever Paul Sewald, keyed by Diaz’s three-run homer, his first as a major leaguer, to jump ahead 11-7. Then the storm abated; the only other run to score was on Josh Harrison’s solo shot in the eighth. Josh Bell also went long in the victory, and even with the sketchy start, Cole got the win, making up for some early-season hard-luck losses. Diaz ended up with six RBI, the first six-pack by a Pirates rookie since Andrew McCutchen in 2009. 
Buster’s memorial vid – 2018 PNC Park
  • 2018 - Bruce Kison passed away of cancer at the age of 68. Kison was selected by Pittsburgh in the 14th round of the 1968 amateur draft and made his big league debut on July 4th, 1971. “Buster” was best known for winning Game 4 of the 1971 World Series, the first night game in World Series history, by tossing 6-1/3 scoreless innings of one-hit relief against Baltimore. Kison made more news when he hopped in a helicopter after the Game 7 win at Baltimore to zip home for his wedding, along with best man Bob Moose; a police escort took him from the airport to the church. He was a combative and competitive guy on the mound, once brawling with Mike Schmidt. Bruce spent nine of his 15 MLB years with the Bucs (1971-79; 81-63-6/3.49) and when he retired, he became a minor league pitching instructor for Pittsburgh in 1986, bullpen coach for Kansas City from 1992-93, the Royals pitching coach from 1994-98 and Baltimore’s pitching coach in 1999. He then worked as a scout for Baltimore until a few months before his demise. 
  • 2020 - The year continued spinning on its crazy trajectory when the Bucs announced that 31-year-old RHP Chris Archer underwent surgery to relieve symptoms of neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome. He was done for the season (if one were to break out) and with major surgery and an $11M team option in 2021, he was seemingly done as a Bucco after Neal Huntington had sent Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow and Shane Baz to Tampa for him in 2018. Archie got 33 Pittsburgh starts, winning six games while posting a 4.92 ERA.


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