Pittsburgh will advance to the National League Division Series against the National League’s top seed, the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates won the season series, 10-9, against St. Louis.
The home team led in this one the entire way, taking the lead for good in the second after two solo home runs and then adding four more runs throughout the remainder of the game. Marlon Byrd hit a home run in his first-ever postseason at-bat, while catcher Russell Martin hit two homers in the victory, which went to starting pitcher Francisco Liriano. Johnny Cueto, who was loudly skewered by the crowd in his four innings of work, took the loss.
Pittsburgh smacked the Reds in the final series of the regular season and they did so again on Tuesday night. Cincinnati never really appeared to be in the game as Liriano cruised through inning after inning while Dusty Baker was digging deep into his bullpen.
The Pirates were the better team in this game (and season) and they will have what should be a great series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Before that happens, Pittsburgh will celebrate their first playoff win in a long, long time after having been a dead franchise for decades.
Tomorrow night, the Rays will play the Indians in the American League Wild Card game.