Bucs endure long night to deliver Hurdle's 900th win
Marte's 13th-inning single gives Pirates dramatic victory
PITTSBURGH -- The last few days, Clint Hurdle made it clear he didn't want to make a big deal out of his 900th win. It's a round number, one matched by only four other active managers, but all Hurdle could really say was he's humbled to have managed so many games in the first place.
But the Pirates made sure Hurdle's 900th win was a memorable one with Friday's 1-0, 13-inning win on Starling Marte's RBI single which scored Chris Stewart exactly six hours after the game was scheduled to start.
There were missed opportunities and brilliant plays on both sides. There were ups and downs and a lot of zeros on the scoreboard. In the end, it was almost poetic.
"Pretty much a snapshot of my career and my life. Just keep grinding," Hurdle said, pausing to laugh. "Just keep grinding."
The Pirates' manager has been through more than most as a player, manager and person. But he admitted he'd never taken part in a game quite like the one that unfolded as Friday night gave way to Saturday morning at PNC Park.
The Bucs left 17 men on base. The Phillies stranded 13. Philadelphia was 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, while Pittsburgh had an identical total until Marte's single up the middle drove in Stewart at 1:05 a.m. ET.
"They've got to do it, too," third baseman Josh Harrison said. "You don't find any excuses. You just deal with it."
After a lengthy rain delay, lefty starter Jeff Locke began the unlikely pitchers' duel by throwing together six scoreless innings. Six Pirates relievers combined to allow five hits and two walks over seven innings.
There were several remarkable defensive plays, from Gregory Polanco's collision with the Clemente Wall in the sixth to Harrison's game-saving, barehanded grab-and-throw in the 10th.
"You stop counting the chances that are missed and just play the game," Hurdle said. "You get opportunities, you don't push them across, you've got to go play defense and you've got to pitch. That's what we did."
The Pirates left the bases loaded in the eighth and again in the 10th. They emptied their bench until the last man off of it, Stewart, reached on a one-out single in the 13th.
Then Marte, who hadn't hit the ball out of the infield all night, bounced a 91-mph slider between two diving Phillies. Stewart slid home and the Pirates finally exhaled at the end of a long night.
"I think there's a lot of feelings you can use to describe that moment. Relief, definitely, that it's finally over," Stewart said. "You can look forward to tomorrow's game now -- or today's game, later today. ... Just elation at the time."