PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — After a big Game 2 win in St. Louis, the National League Division Series is shifting to Pittsburgh, and Pirates’ fans are breathing a sigh of relief after the bad loss in Game 1.
With the series coming home, the Pirates players are asking fans to create another “blackout” at PNC Park for Game 3 Sunday afternoon.
Shortly after Game 2 ended, Andrew McCutchen tweeted, “Sunday… BLACK IT OUT! #PNCBLACKOUT Lets goooo!
It’s clear the Bucs want to see fans in black just like last Tuesday’s Wild Card game against the Cincinnati Reds.
But the fact that the game was played in St. Louis today didn’t stop fans from coming out to the North Shore.
It was a picture perfect day for baseball at PNC Park. Of course, there were no players on the field.
But the most of the most beautiful ballpark in America was beaming in the bright sunshine and welcoming the faithful in for free to enjoy the game on one of the biggest TV sets around.
“I think it was great because I don’t have any premium channels at home, and I get to sit at the park on nice day, big screen,” said fan Mark Vinston, of North Versailles.
“I think it’s wonderful,” added fan Anita Ashmore, of Midway. “A lot of people want to be a part of this. It’s been a long time coming, and we can just be here and enjoy it.”
And the fans loyalty was rewarded when Gerrit Cole drove in Pedro Alvarez for the first run of the ball game. And with that, the fun was just beginning, making fans forget about the disappointment of Game 1.
As the game rolled on the jumbotron, the Pirates’ grounds crew worked to ready the playing surface for Sunday’s Game 3.
Fans in the stands cheered on every Pirates success as if the game was happening on the field in front of them.
And now, with the Pirates’ Game 2 victory, the series is coming home even, and fans couldn’t be happier.
“I’ve waited 21 years for a winning Pirates team, and now we have it, and we’re super excited,” said one fan.
PHOTO GALLERY: Click here for photos from the Game 2 victory!
Meanwhile, in St. Louis…
It was a sea of red at Busch Stadium Friday, showing clearly that Cardinals fans outnumbered Pirates fans. But the Bucs’ fans were plenty confident as they arrived despite a disastrous Game 1.
“I’m hoping the Cole Train shows up and puts on a show,” said Jeff McConnell, a New Castle native.
From the very beginning there was something different in the air, a momentum that didn’t exist for the Pirates on Thursday evening.
The score mirrored the lopsided image of Game 1, only this time Cardinals’ fans left dejected and the Pirates’ fans were the ones with big smiles.
“It was awesome. They’re going to go back to Pittsburgh and shut them down,” said Greg Hardy, of Rochester, N.Y.
Jeff Swaney, originally from Uniontown, brought his whole family and they’re thrilled with the Buccos’ performance.
“The Pirates got off to a good start and Cole did an awesome job, held them down. I thought they might leave him in longer, but they didn’t,” said Swaney. “It was just a flip from yesterday.”
Game 3 in this best-of-five series is set for Sunday. The Pirates will be back home at PNC Park. It starts at 4:30 p.m., and will be broadcast on TBS.
Game 4 at PNC Park will be played on Monday at 3:07 p.m. If necessary, Game 5 would be played back in St. Louis at 5:07 p.m. on Wednesday.