PITTSBURGH -- When the Pirates' first hit falls, catcher Chris Stewart reminds his teammates, "Nobody no-hits the Bucs." He'll repeat it every day, even if it's the first inning and even if his teammates subsequently remind him of Max Scherzer's no-hitter against Pittsburgh in 2015 and Homer Bailey's in '12.They
PITTSBURGH -- When the Pirates' first hit falls, catcher Chris Stewart reminds his teammates, "Nobody no-hits the Bucs." He'll repeat it every day, even if it's the first inning and even if his teammates subsequently remind him of Max Scherzer's no-hitter against Pittsburgh in 2015 and Homer Bailey's in '12.
They almost added a third name to that list of recent history Wednesday night, as Dodgers lefty Rich Hill carried a perfect game into the ninth inning and a no-hitter into the 10th. But when Josh Harrison's home run landed just over the wall in the left-field corner for a 1-0 win at PNC Park, Stewart rushed out of the dugout and joined the celebration around Harrison at home plate. He had something to say.
"It took me a little while longer to say it today, but I finally was able to say it in that 10th inning," Stewart said. "Yeah, nobody no-hits the Bucs."
"It just happened to come in the 10th inning today," Harrison added, smiling. "It took us a little longer tonight, but glad that we got it out of the way."
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As excited as they were to turn history on its head and beat the Dodgers, the Pirates couldn't help but feel for Hill. The left-hander flummoxed them all night with nothing but fastballs and curveballs, striking out 10 batters without a walk.
His perfect game ended when third baseman John Forsythe booted Jordy Mercer's grounder in the ninth inning. Unable to squeeze any run support out of the Dodgers' usually prolific offense, Hill still pushed into extra innings with a no-hitter intact.
Then, with one swing by Harrison, the no-hitter had vanished, the shutout was gone and the game was over. Untouchable all night, Hill was saddled with a loss.
"It's insane how baseball works. Baseball sucks at times," said Pirates starter Trevor Williams, who shut out the Dodgers for eight innings. "Baseball's weird. It's designed to break your heart. I'm so glad we hit the walk-off homer.
"Baseball's so weird. Sometimes you end up with that loss. It's crazy."
Stewart sympathized with Hill as well, even if the two got into a brief argument after Hill sped up his delivery against Stewart late in the game. Stewart likened Hill's outcome to the Pirates' disappointing season. They've scratched, clawed and never quit, but they're five games below .500 and eight games out of a spot in the postseason.
"It's one of those situations where you do everything right on the field and it doesn't work out your way," Stewart said. "It's kind of funny, because that's how it seems like our season's been going -- kind of the opposite of what happened for us tonight.
"You've got to tip your hat to Hill. Threw a heck of a game, battled out there, had to go out for the 10th inning to try to preserve the no-hitter. J-Hay got him, and we ended up winning the game. That's how it gets chalked up sometimes: nine-plus innings, one hit, one big loss."
Afterward, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle sat in the interview room at PNC Park and smiled. He's spent 43 years in professional baseball, and he's seen pretty much everything. But a game like that? The first no-hitter in Major League history to be ended by a walk-off homer?
"I don't even know if I've got answers," Hurdle said, laughing. "I just got caught up in watching the game. No. Crazy. … It's a fantastic game. It just shows the beauty of the game and the things you can't draw up beforehand."
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.