Postseason Atmosphere In Pittsburgh As Cardinals, Pirates Fight For Central Title

  • Nicholas Persichilli
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA

PNC Park on a beautiful day from just across the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, PA.
Credit: Nicholas Persichilli, Reading Between The Seams

The Roberto Clemente Bridge is closed to traffic around game time. Pedestrians walk across it to see their Pirates at PNC Park (Left side).
Credit: Nicholas Persichilli, Reading Between the Seams

About a month and a half ago, I got on Pirates.com to buy some tickets for some games with potential Postseason implications. One of the games that I picked was last night’s Cardinals/Pirates game at PNC.

I’m new to Western PA, I’m a New Yorker at heart, and a die hard Yankees fan. All season, I’ve heard Pirates fans complaining about the team’s collapses in the last few years. The fan base was already prepared for a late season collapse in April. I went to a game earlier in the year a a whim. I didn’t have tickets in advance. I walked up to the ticket window about ten minutes before first pitch, and I got two lower level seats.

I figured that if I’m buying tickets in mid June for a game in late August, there should be some pretty good seats available, right? I was wrong. The best seats available were in section 333, which is the edge of the upper deck on the third base line. I bought them, expecting to need binoculars, but PNC is set up very nicely, and our seats were actually very good. I’ll warn you in advance, all of the pictures were taken with my iPhone, which doesn’t have a very good zoom, but I still think they turned out okay.

Last night’s game was a “Free T-Shirt Friday”, and all fans got a free Pirates t-shirt, sponsored by RE/MAX. check out the shirts!

Pirates “Free T-Shirt Friday” shirts courtesy of RE/MAX.
Credit: Nicholas Persichilli, Reading Between the Seams

Before the game, I decided to check out the Rivertowne Brewing Hall of Fame Club, a restaurant located beyond the left field wall. I asked Matt, our very polite waiter what the craziest dish that we could only get in Pittsburgh. He gave me the answer that I expected, the Brunch Burger. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s your average every day burger with cheese, bacon but they add the Pittsburgh touch, with a fried egg on top. That’s not the crazy part though… The bun for this giant burger is actually a glazed donut with black and gold sprinkles. It was surprisingly delicious. I made sure to take a picture for your enjoyment. Check it out:

Brunch Burger at PNC Park’s Rivertowne Brewing Hall of Fame Club.
Credit: Nicholas Persichilli, Reading Between the Seams

The view from the (thankfully) air conditioned restaurant wasn’t bad either. Try to ignore the Yankees phone case in the reflection while you check it out!

View From The PNC Park’s Rivertowne Brewing Hall of Fame Club.
Credit: Nicholas Persichilli, Reading Between the Seams

Once it got close to game time, the restaurant reached capacity, and people were waiting “patiently” to grab the good seats near the windows. As soon as my check was paid, people were already trying to take my seat, and an light hearted argument as to who was waiting longer broke out. I can’t blame them, the food was great and so is the view.

We got to our seats and looked out into the stadium into a sea of black and gold. There were several decent sized pockets of red though, as the Cardinals fans seem to have travelled well.

Francisco Liriano started for the Buccos (as Pirates fans call their team). He got through the first inning allowing only a walk.

Shelby Miller started for the Cards, and his first inning wasn’t as pretty, as he gave up 3 hits and 2 runs. The stadium was already very loud prior to first pitch. When Tabata and Walker led off the game with a single and then a double respectively, the stadium got even louder. After Andrew McCutchen struck out with runners on second and third, Pedro Alvarez was hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases for Garrett Jones. Jones hit a double, driving in two runs. This was only the start of his huge game. He finished the night just a triple shy of the cycle, driving in 4 of the Pirates 5 runs.

After that first inning, the stadium never really quieted down. It actually managed to get even louder in the bottom of the 4th inning, when Garrett Jones and Russell Martin hit back to back homeruns, which are referred to as “Bucco Bombs” in Pittsburgh. Here are some of the fans in section 333 celebrating! The stadium was shaking with excitement, so I apologize for the blur.

Fans in PNC Park’s Section 333 celebrate after back to back “Bucco Bombs”.
Credit: Nicholas Persichilli, Reading Between the Seams

 

The Cardinals offense never really got anything going in this game. They managed only four hits, and two walks. They never had a runner reach third base. Francisco Liriano went 8 strong innings, giving up two of those hits and both of the walks, earning himself a win.

Mark Melancon closed out the game in front of an extremely loud crowd. He allowed two hits, but a double play got him out of trouble and gave the Pirates the win.

The Cardinals used 3 pitchers after Miller left the game with 1 out in the 5th inning. Sam Freeman entered the game in the 5th, and allowed 1 hit, notching one strikeout in an inning and two thirds. Fernando Salas relieved Freeman to start the 7th, and he put the Pirates down 1-2-3, striking out one. Randy Choate came in for the Cardinals in the 8th, and he also putting down the Pirates in order.

The win put the Pirates in a tie with the Cardinals for first place in the National League Central division. The next two games are huge for both teams, as the regular season enters its final month. Here is a picture of the Pirates celebrating on the infield after a big win for the club.

The Pittsburgh Pirates celebrate on the field after their 5-0 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on 8/30/13.
Credit: Nicholas Persichilli, Reading Between the Seams

Nicholas Persichilli
Reading Between the Seams
Part of the Sports-Kings Network


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