Despite the fact the Pittsburgh Pirates suffered the worst collapse in MLB history, 2012 was mostly an enjoyable campaign, and certainly the most memorable season since maybe 1997. Every season, even the ones with memorable slides, have a favorite part for fans. Everyone's is different, of course, but my favorite part of the season occurred on August 19th.
After achieving their apex earlier in the month with a 60-44 record and a healthy lead in the National League wild card standings, the Pirates were in a bit of a tailspin. The team had just lost nine of its previous 14 games. On a Thursday afternoon, Pittsburgh rallied to knock off the Dodgers at PNC Park to salvage the final game of a four-game swing, and the final game of an 11-game homestand in which the Buccos went 4-7.
Next up was a trip to St. Louis to play the only team the Pirates seemed to do well against down the stretch, the World Champion Cardinals.
After splitting the first two games of the weekend series, the rubber match saw the two teams battle it out for 19 grueling innings on Sunday, August 19th. About a year earlier, on July, 26th, 2011, the Buccos lost to the Braves in a 19 inning game in Atlanta, in which Pittsburgh seemed to be screwed by home plate umpire Jerry Meals.
I had a bad feeling the Cardinals game would end the same way. However, thanks to a heroic job by a bullpen that held St. Louis to one run over the last 15 innings, Pittsburgh was able to finally win it on a Pedro Alvarez home run in the top of the 19th.
The Pirates won, 6-3, and when they flashed the score at Heinz Field during the Steelers' preseason game against the Colts, the entire stadium erupted. It was certainly a memorable night, and just a couple days later, I was inspired to write this satirical piece about following the antics and frustrations of the fans on the Bucsdugout game thread.
That's my favorite part of 2012, what about you?