Pirate Chat Night 2015, I believe, can be considered nothing less than a roaring success.
First off, fifty tickets were sold, and all time record. As we know, life gets in the way of things sometimes, so while not all fifty folks were able to attend, we did get, by my unofficial count, 45 of the original intended attendees to show up on what turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous night.
The pre-game gathering at Dominic's was an absolute blast. It gets better each year, and I am thinking that next year we should all just meet there for lunch and hang around all afternoon until game time. What do you all think?
We all know what then happened. The Pirates held an 8-3 lead over the Diamondbacks before turning the game over to the most reliable back end of the bullpen in baseball, only to see the D-backs score three in the eighth, and two in the ninth, which resulted in Mark Melancon's first blown save since April. What then followed was six agonizing extra innings, wherein Arquemedes Caminero and Joe Blanton shutout Arizona, whose bullpen was doing the same thing to the Pirates' bats until the bottom of the 15th inning when a two out triple by the unlikeliest of all Pirates, Pedro Florimon (1-for-19 before that at bat) scored Francisco Cervelli all the way from first base. Bedlam ensued:
The real magic of the night, though, was the fact that the game went fifteen innings. With each extra frame, PNC Park became less and less crowed, including our own Pirate Chat group. That, however, only increased the fun. We were able to move around within our section and talk more freely among ourselves. My pictures of the event weren't all that great this year, but these might give you an idea as to how we all began to look as the evening went on and on and on...
By my count, twenty of us made it through all the way to the end of the fifteen innings, and I would like to shout out and recognize those that did. So I present to you The Fifteen Inning Honor Roll:
Donny and Max Copper
Gary Reiche and his wife
Joe and Alex Risacher
Elena and Matt Szymanowski, and Matt's buddy, Joey
If I left anyone out, I apologize.
It was terrific night out and a fun time with a lot of great folks, and the Pirates won the game. The team now sports a record of 3-0 on Pirate Chat Nights.
See you all next year, folks!