As former Pirates radio and TV play-by-play man Lanny Frattare would bellow after a Pittsburgh win, “There’s nnnooo doubt about it.” Dirtbag won this game.
Gloveless Dirtbag bailed the Rays out with both the bat and the leather in a game far more frustrating than it was fun to watch.
Rays starter Jeff Niemann had a curveball and little else today and the pitchers, save Goggles who closed the game, weren’t much better. The fact J.P. Howell got the win was nothing more than a quirk and nothing to do with his mound appearance.
First, Dirtbag tied the game with a two-run homer in the sixth and his three-run homer in the ninth gave Goggles plenty of room to work with. And the way the Rays pitchers had thrown today, that four-run lead sure felt good.
Seemed like Dirtbag channeled his inner Albert Pujols as Dirtbag launched that three-run homer the way Pujols did off Brad Lidge to win Game 5 of the 2005 NLCS. Dirtbag simply crushed that ball.
But Dirtbag’s best play may have come in the bottom of the eighth. The Astros had pulled within a run and with two runners on base, Jason Bourgeois grounded to Dirtbag who had the presence of mind to tag out Clint Barmes who was trying to advance from second to third for the first out of a 5-3 double play to end the inning.
Finally, after a rough start to the season that began with an injury, it appears Dirtbag is rolling into form.