The Pittsburgh Pirates rallied from an early 5-0 deficit to defeat the New York Mets by a score of 6-5 in the series finale at Citi Field.
The victory sends the Pittsburgh Pirates into the All-Star break with a record of 34-56, and that game could be seen as a spark for the club in the second half.
The Mets inflicted all of their damage in a brutal first inning for the road staff. Brandon Nimmo doubled and Francisco Lindor belted a homer off of Chase de Jong to make it 2-0 just two batters into the game. Later in the inning, with two runners on and only one out, Michael Conforto would send another de Jong fastball over the wall to make it 5-0 in the first inning.
That opening sequence of the game was probably enough for most Pirates fans to turn the channel and watch something else, but the Battlin’ Buccos would chip away at that big deficit all afternoon.
The rally was started off the bats of Rodolfo Castro and Michael Perez, as they hit back-to-back jacks in the top half of the fifth to cut the Mets’ lead to three. Castro would continue to cut into the deficit in the very next inning, as he blasted an opposite field 2-run shot to make it a 1-run game. The power of Rodolfo Castro has been extremely evident during this road series in New York.
The Pittsburgh Pirates would cap off the rally in an electric top half of the ninth inning. After a quick flyout from Adam Frazier, Kevin Newman would deliver a clutch double to start the threat in the final frame. Bryan Reynolds would ground out to second base following Newman’s knock, and the Pirates were down to their final out of the afternoon. However, the Buccos were not done battling. John Nogowski did what he has been doing all week as a Pirate, ripping a base hit into center to score Newman and tie the game at 5. That was followed by a Ben Gamel single to right that moved Nogowski to third. Wilmer Difo then delivered the biggest hit of the afternoon, as he slapped one into left field to give the Pirates a 6-5 lead.
The 6-5 score would hold final as Rich Rod shut it down in the bottom half of the ninth. Clutch hits, including three-straight hits with two outs in the ninth, told the story for the Pirates in the final game before the All-Star break.
Show off that Power, Rodolfo!
As a guy who showed plenty of pop in Double-A Altoona, Rodolfo Castro has been seen as a candidate to earn some more playing time with the major league club in the second half of the season. After his performance in the series at Citi Field, there is almost no way he could be sent back down. Castro blasted a no-doubter on Saturday night, and followed it up with an even bigger performance on Sunday afternoon.
Castro smacked a homer to right center in the fifth inning to get the Pirates on the board. Then, in the very next inning, he really showed off his raw power by lifting an opposite field 2-run homer to left center field. He even showed plenty of positive emotion as he made his way around the bases, which is something that this ball club desperately needs.
Castro is making a strong case to be the starting second baseman if/when Adam Frazier is traded at the deadline.
There is a Trend Forming…
If you have followed the Pirates in recent years, it is clear that they almost always have some bizarre or exciting wins right before the All-Star break. Moments such as walking off the Cardinals on back-to-back nights in 2015, earning a 4-game sweep of the Brewers in 2017, completing a remarkable 5-game sweep of the Brewers in 2018 on a Josh Bell walk-off in the rain, winning 5 of 7 against NL Central foes in 2019, and now coming back from down 5-0 against the Mets on Sunday afternoon will all be remembered as bright spots for this franchise.
Looks like you don’t want to play the Pittsburgh Pirates before the All-Star break!
The MLB Draft and the All-Star break is next on the agenda for the Pirates. Pittsburgh will get the draft started with the first overall pick at 7PM ET on the MLB Network.
Enjoy the break Pirates fans and here’s to selecting a future Pittsburgh legend with the #1 pick!