PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pirates are gearing up for their Wild Card matchup with the San Francisco Giants tonight. Meanwhile, Pirates’ fans are gearing up for another PNC Park blackout.

Last year, the “blackout” helped the Pirates take down the Cincinnati Reds in the Wild Card Game. Fans relentlessly chanted “Cueto,” mocking Cincinnati Reds’ starting pitcher Johnny Cueto.

After giving up a home run to Marlon Byrd, the Cueto chants became louder. Eventually, the pitcher dropped the ball on the mound and the crowd erupted. On the very next pitch, Russell Martin hit a home run to left-center sending the stadium into a frenzy.

“They took it to an extreme last year, they showed off,” Clint Hurdle said recalling last year’s game.  “The blackout mentality, the noise, the fervor and the passion. As you get out in the city, it’s special and it’s significant, and now we get to go out and play and do everything we can to push this forward.”

The players said last year’s Wild Card Game is something they’ll never forget.

“Loud to the point you can’t hear yourself think, can’t hear the ball off the bat. It’s a fun atmosphere, just hearing the crowd last year definitely gave us all the chills,” said Josh Harrison.

Neil Walker thinks this year will be the same.

“I think it’s going to be similar to last year. It’s going to be exciting. Everything is going to be turned up a couple of notches,” Walker said.

The Pirates have asked fans to wear their black Pirates gear to tonight’s game, hoping to capture some of that same magic from last season. Also, fans at the game will receive a Pirates Postseason Rally Towel when they enter the game.

Here’s a look at the schedule of events:

  • Federal Street  and the Clemente Bridge will be closed starting at 10 a.m.
  • Starting at 4:30 p.m. there will be activities on Federal Street including music by a Pittsburgh-based disc jockey, food trucks, the
    Budweiser Bar and more.
  • PNC Park Riverwalk opens at 5:30 p.m. and PNC Park gates will open at 6 p.m.
  • 7:30 p.m.: Ceremonial first pitch by Kent Tekulve
  • National Anthem by local musician Maddie Georgi
  • First pitch is at 8:07 p.m.

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