So when our Pirates began the bottom of the seventh inning, they were tied with the Cubs 3-3. It had already taken a lot to get that far, as Chris Leroux had bailed Ross Ohlendorf out of a no-out, bases loaded situation in the fifth inning. But Daniel McCutchen came on in the seventh and put on the first four batters he faced, with two of those scoring. After that, the Pirates turned to the recently-unreliable Chris Resop with a two-run deficit, two runners on and nobody out. And then the game went into a long delay.
Game over, I thought. It was a game between two irrelevant teams right at the start of college football season. They easily could have just ended it there. And if they hadn't, the Pirates were already in a deep, deep hole.
But the game resumed at around 5:00 Eastern, four hours after it began. And Resop stranded both runners, getting the Cubs with a strikeout, a fly ball, and another strikeout. Then he pitched another scoreless frame in the eighth.
And then, Carlos Marmol. It was Marmol, you'll recall, who allowed that miraculous eighth-inning three-run homer by Michael McKenry on July 8. Well, this time, he put on Xavier Paul, Jose Tabata, and Andrew McCutchen, bringing up Derrek Lee - who just returned to the lineup - with two outs. And Lee hit a ball hard into the now-nearly-empty bleachers in left field, putting the Pirates up 7-5 with a grand slam.
From the camera angles I saw, the Bucs' reaction in the clubhouse was really funny. It wasn't outright jubilation. It was more like, 'Wow, I can't believe we got away with this.' Given everything the Pirates had against them - the rain delay, the way their offense has played recently, the game situation - it was another miracle that they won this one.