After All-Star Andrew McCutchen got hit in the fourth inning of the first game of their series with the Cincinnati Reds, and Neil Walker almost had his head removed from his shoulders by an errant up and in Aroldis Chapman 99-mph fastball later in the ninth, the Pittsburgh Pirates had simply had enough.
So Pirate starter Charlie Morton simply did what needed to be done: he beaned Shin in the shin.
Morton hit Reds’ leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo in the leg with his very first pitch of the ballgame, sending the message to the Reds that the Pirates were not going to be intimidated by their division rivals. They backed up that swashbuckling attitude with a solid 4-0 shutout in Game 2 of the pivotal four-game series, led by Morton’s masterful 5.1 innings of three-hit scoreless pitching and Pedro Alvarez‘s two-run first-inning single.
It was all hands on deck for the Bucs as they jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and never looked back.
With Morton due up first in the top half of the next inning though, it remained to be seen if Reds’ starting pitcher Mat Latos, who could be seen yelling at Morton from the dugout after the message pitch, would take further revenge or considered the scored settled. The at-bat went without further incident and Morton went on to do the rest of the talking with his arm.
Stay tuned to the rest of the series though, as bad blood no doubt remains between the two hard-nosed opponents.
The game was a good barometer of the team’s current mindset toward all their opponents so far this impressive season: respect all, fear no one. The Pirates demonstrated again that they weren’t going to back down regardless of who or where they were playing. This particular game said a lot about the make-up of the 2013 Pirates, and their fans should be well pleased with their team’s consistent effort and no-nonsense attitude.
All hands are on deck so far for the Pirates this season — and they are taking no prisoners.