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Pirates clinch home field for Wild Card game, will host first playoff game since 1992

Sep 28, 2013, 4:32 PM EDT

Marlon Byrd, Pedro Alvarez AP

It’s official: playoff baseball is coming back to Pittsburgh.

On the strength of six home runs, the Pirates defeated the Reds 8-3 this afternoon at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. With the victory, the Pirates clinched home field for the Wild Card game on Tuesday against the Reds. It will be the first home playoff game for the Pirates since Game 5 of the 1992 NLCS and the first playoff game in the history of PNC Park. Now that’s going to be fun.

As for today’s power explosion, Neil Walker hit two home runs while Andrew McCutchen, Marlon Byrd, Pedro Alvarez, and Andrew Lambo also went deep. Bronson Arroyo gave up five of them, setting a new career-high.

The Pirates have already chosen Francisco Liriano to start Tuesday’s Wild Card play-in game, but the Reds have yet to make an official announcement on a starter. Mat Latos is the likely favorite for the assignment.

  1. pitpenguinsrulez - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    OH HELL YEAH!!!! Playoff baseball is coming back to the burgh!! The atmosphere in PNC with close to 40k in attendence will be sick!! Ive waited a long time to see this day and it officially happens!! LETS GO PIRATES!! RAISE IT BABY!!

  2. nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    With my “local” teams out of it, I’ll be cheering for the Pirates in this one. After such a long wait, it would be nice for their fans to get more than one playoff game this year.

  3. markjames23 - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Congratulations, Buccos. Assuming my Indians don’t have a catastrophic collapse in the last two games of the season, we’ll have Indians and Pirates playoff baseball for the first time since the existence of both franchises.

    • janessa31888 - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:18 PM

      Wow. I did not know that. I guess when the Pirates were good, the Indians were bad and vice versa. Recently, both teams have collapsed in August and September. Not this year. PLAYOFFS!!!!!!!!!

      • apkyletexas - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:26 PM

        For the vast majority of MLB history, the “playoffs” were just the two league winners in the World Series. There has been a World Series since the 1880’s, and the two league winners faced off from 1903 to 1968. It wasn’t until 1969 that we got a 4-team playoff with 2 division winners from each league. We didn’t get an 8-team field until 1994 – and by then, the Pirates were already well on their way to their 2+ decades of record-setting losing. The Indians had missed the prior 4 decades – they were out of the playoffs from 1955-1994.

  4. Stiller43 - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Liriano at home? Lights out.

    Bring on the cards!

  5. agc99 - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    We’ve been waiting along time for this.

  6. drewsylvania - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Love this. Now if Texas can kick the morally-abhorrent Rays out of the playoffs,

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:36 PM

      Oh Drew, but then we’d be deprived of getting to enjoy seeing baseball in the most beautiful ballpark in the Majors! Well, OK, maybe not the MOST beautiful, but it’s among the top 30.

      • dan1111 - Sep 29, 2013 at 3:25 AM

        “it’s among the top 30”.

        You forgot that the opening series was played in the Tokyo Dome. It might just make it into the top 31, though.

  7. thebadguyswon - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Very happy for Pirates fans. Congratulations guys and best of luck.

  8. jimeejohnson - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    One sandwich with fries and coleslaw in between the bread coming right up!

  9. perryt200 - Sep 28, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    It is gonna be so sad for the Bucs if all they get is a one game playoff.

    The Reds won’t be showing up to roll over.

    • dan1111 - Sep 29, 2013 at 3:27 AM

      I hope they go further than that, but just returning to the playoffs makes this a great season. And they are built to compete for years to come.

  10. romoscollarbone - Sep 29, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    Since the Yanks are out, I’m happy that Pittsburgh has been able to Get the monkey of their backs.

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