May 8, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Nate McLouth (2) and Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata (center) and third baseman Josh Harrison (5) celebrate after Pirates catcher Rod Barajas (not pictured) hit a game winning two run walk-off home run to defeat the Washington Nationals 5-4 during the ninth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
A.J. Burnett struck out 10 in a brilliant eight-inning start, and Garrett Jones and Andrew McCutchen both homered, but forget about that -- that's boring. The Pirates lost their 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth when Joel Hanrahan allowed a two-run blast to center by our old friend Adam LaRoche. Since it's May and it's LaRoche, I'm sure that had Pirates fans cursing their fortunes for following the kind of team that loses so much that it has no problem finding new and uniquely painful ways of doing it.
But hold on -- things were about to get weirder. In the bottom of the inning, Henry Rodriguez came on and got Casey McGehee to fly out. Then Alex Presley singled. Then Yamaico Navarro struck out to make the Bucs' second out, bringing up ... wait for it ... Rod Barajas, baby. Barajas, who was hitting .133/.200/.183 with zero RBIs entering the game, hammered a 96-MPH fastball deep to left, where it landed just to the right of the foul pole. 5-4 Bucs, and the handful of fans remaining in the stadium went nuts. What a bizarre win for the Pirates. It's too bad Burnett and McCutchen -- whose homer was his first of the year -- won't get the credit they deserve, but ... Rod Barajas. Wow.