Raise the Jolly … Holy_ Bleep_! Abandon Ship!

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Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Saturday, August. 25. The Pirates couldn’t have been much closer to a win … only to lose in the 15th inning.
The Brewers and Pirates had battled over 14 innings to a 4-4 stalemate. The Pirates managed to put two across in the top of the 15th. They were facing Jordan Lyles, the 9th pitcher and last reliever the Brewers could offer. Elias Diaz ripped a double to start the rally. Lyles chose to walk Polanco. Both men scored on a bloop hit by Francisco Cervelli that fell between Jonathan Schoop and Christian Yelich. In the home half the Pirates were able to get two Brewers out and get down to one strike on the pitcher Lyles before walking him. It hadn’t been easy up to then. Clay Holmes had walked the bases full. In spite of that, Their broadcaster Joe Block was just waiting to say “Raise the Jolly Roger” the victory cheer on Pirates’ games.
But then somehow it all went wrong. If there was an iceberg to sink this Pirate ship, it was a 2-run single with the bases full by Erik Kratz. That was followed by a game-winning hit off Holmes by Orlando Arcia. The man known as “El Nino” at least on this players’ weekend brought home pitcher Jordan Lyles and brought joy to any Brewers fans still there after this battle that must have seemed as long as the 30-years war. It took in fact 5 hours 36 minutes to vanquish the Pirates on a night where the home team scored 4 in the first and nothing for the next 13.2 innings.
It had been nearly 30 years since the Brewers pulled off a stunt like this. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Brewers’ last won after trailing by multiple runs in extra innings in August, 1992 against the Red Sox. No team in 2018 had won after being down by multiple runs in extra innings. Teams in that woeful position were 0–58.
The Pirates and Brewers weren’t the only teams working overtime, but they came closest to playing two games for the price of one. Two games went 10 innings. The Yankees, down 4-2 in the 8th tied it in that frame and won with a 3-run 10th inning. Luke Voit hit a pair of home runs to power the Yankees to victory. In Chicago, David “Bruiser” Bote (should rhyme with Brodie) struck again hitting his second walkoff home run within a couple of weeks. The other was a walk-off grand slam against the Nats on August 12. Daniel Murphy, late of the Nats hit his first home run as a Cub two innings earlier. This time, Bote bruised the ego of Raisel Iglesias. Bote had been slogging along, 4 hits in 29 tries but a recent consulation with Cubs’ reliever Brandon Kintzler seems to have done him a bit of good. Bote, Kris Bryant (2015) and Gabby Hartnett gback in 1923 are the only rookie Cubs with multiple walk-off home runs although Hartnett would be gone from this world 16 years before Dennis Eckersley coined the term “walk-off home run.” Only two rookies before Bote hit multiple walk-off bombs in the same month. One was Chris Young in 2007, the other Luke Easter in 1950.
The Cubs’ starter Alec Mills may have given his team as much of a surprise as Bote did at the end. Mills was making his MLB debut and had been awful in AAA, with a 5-12 mark and an ERA just south of 5. But in his debut he struck out 8 and gave just a run over 5.1 innings.

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