It was destined to be a historic day anyway, as Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina were going to be playing their last game in St. Louis. Pregame ceremonies meant the game didn’t start quite on time, but ehh. With Adam Wainwright, who is also widely rumored to be retiring after this season, on the mound against a team (that would be our Pirates) that hadn’t beat him in over ten years at home, no one on the Cardinals was really worried.
But the Pirates, being Pirates, came to spoil a good time, and so they did, getting the 7-5 win over Wainwright and the Cardinals, the first time they’d beaten Wainwright in St. Louis since June 29, 2012. That game was a 14-5 win with 19 hits by such luminaries as Clint Barmes, Garrett Jones and Alex Presley, who each homered.
The game didn’t start out that promisingly for the Bucs, with Brendan Donavan reaching on an error by first baseman Ben Gamel (no, that’s not a typo) and Alec Burleson doubling off Roansy Contreras, then one of the men of the hour, Albert Pujols, hit a ground-rule double to get both of them home. Not to be outdone, Yadier Molina sac-flied his retirement mate home to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead in the first.
But wait! Gamel wanted redemption for the error, and with Jack Suwinski walking and Cal Mitchell singling in the top of the second, this happened:
Big Game Ben Gamel pic.twitter.com/wvnio2YErk— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) October 2, 2022
The Bucs added another run in the third when Oneil Cruz singled, stole second, advanced on Bryan Reynolds’s groundout and Miguel Andujar sac’ing him home. However, Pujols was Pujols and homered, tying things up again.
Contreras came out after the third (I don’t know why either) and Chase De Jong came in and gave up two doubles in a row to Dylan Carlson and Paul DeJong to give the Cardinals back the lead. But ... the Pirates came back in the fifth, playing more small ball with Ji Hwan Bae singling (and stealing), Oneil Cruz doubling and Andujar getting another sac RBI and Suwinski singling Cruz home to regain the lead.
Then Bee-Rey prompted angry bees and colorful unicorns with this shot:
That's No. 27 for Reynolds! pic.twitter.com/pagN9t1Tx0— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) October 2, 2022
And they held the lead, even with Duane Underwood coming in. Yohan Ramirez and Robert Stephenson came in after him and hung on as well, then David Bednar got his second save since coming off the IL.
But I think it’s safe to say that everyone, including the Pirates, will remember this game for this: