The 2021 Pittsburgh Pirates will not go down in the record books as one of the most recognizable and memorable teams in franchise history, more likely the opposite, but still delivered numerous significant moments.
Every season is unique in its own way and shines a few positive lights into even a dark year for players and organizations.
Before the 2022 season begins and a new CBA agreement is reached, Bucs Dugout looks back on the 2021 campaign and the top moments throughout the year.
For the next several weeks, we will look back on the season that was with eight of the best moments of the season — bracket-style!
For the next four days, we will look back on two of the season’s top moments and at the end of the second moment, fans will vote on their favorite.
The moments that win out this week will be featured in the semifinals next week. The moments that win in the semifinals will move on to the finals to determine what the fans believe is the 2021 season’s top moment!
Here’s a look at Moment #1...
May 14-15: Pirates walk-off vs. Giants in back-to-back nights
In mid-May, the NL-best San Francisco Giants came to town as a solid midseason test for the Pirates in a four-game series.
After the Giants won the first game, the Pirates were looking to even up the series on Friday night. The pitching staff excelled, giving up just one run in nine innings, but the Pirates hadn’t scored yet.
Adam Frazier and Kevin Newman got on base and Bryan Reynolds brought Frazier home to tie the game.
The Pirates had their chance to win with no outs and a runner in scoring position in the ninth inning, but Jake McGee then struck out the next three batters to send the Pirates into their second extra-inning affair in three days.
The teams were held scoreless in the 10th, but in the 11th, the Giants scored their second run of the game as Austin Slater singled to score Brandon Crawford.
In the bottom of the 11th, the Pirates responded with an Adam Frazier triple to score the incumbent runner Michael Perez. Then, after Kevin Newman recorded the first out of the inning, the Giants intentionally walked Bryan Reynolds and Will Craig to load the bases for Gregory Polanco to try and force a double play.
Then, well, this happened...
El Coffee walks it off!#RaiseIt pic.twitter.com/odKTjqgAE0— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) May 15, 2021
Polanco’s walk-off only made the following night’s events that much more exciting.
The Pirates were trailing 6-2 on Saturday night in the seventh inning, but Jacob Stallings had some magic up his sleeve.
After tying the game with a 2-RBI double in the seventh, Stallings broke the tie with a walk-off homer to left field to clinch the second straight victory for the Buccos.
Raise It!!! WALK OFF 2 RUN BOMB JACOB STALLINGS #LetsGoBucs pic.twitter.com/uWEXiQLiFt— Jack (@MidWestLAFan) May 16, 2021
To have back-to-back dramatic wins against the NL’s best team of the year was mighty impressive and it’s a perfect way to kick off this list.
Stay tuned for today’s second moment and the subsequent poll!