I don’t know about you, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching Joshua Palacios on the Pirates last season.
Whether it was his contagious attitude or his ability to spark a rally, he made several games fun to watch in 2023.
One in particular capped off a successful Yinzerpalooza (and his birthday), when he notched his first career walk-off home run against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 30.
After both teams held each other in check through the first three innings, Alec Bohm opened the scoring with a two-run home run off Rich Hill in the fourth. Bryan Reynolds answered back in the sixth with a blast of his own to tie the game at two.
Philadelphia reclaimed the lead in the seventh thanks to a pair of singles, but the Pirates were resilient, gaining a run off a Reynolds single in the bottom of the frame and then a sacrifice fly by Nick Gonzales in the eighth.
The tie forced extra innings and it looked bleak for the Pirates in the top of the tenth.
The Phillies had two runners in scoring position with no outs when Trea Turner lofted a fly ball to right field. Henry Davis made the catch and muscled a dart to home plate, preventing Bryce Harper from scoring and, in turn, starting a 9-2-4-2 double play.
With momentum on the Pirates’ side heading into the bottom of the tenth, Palacios dug in and gave himself a nifty birthday gift.
Palacios had several key moments in his first season with Pittsburgh but this one takes the cake. It might’ve even bought him another one-year deal for 2024.