Russell Martin's Late Inning Heroics Carry Pittsburgh Pirates to Fifth Straight Win

By Zach Slotter
pittsburgh pirates team
Charles LeClaire – USA Today Sports

It’s August 8 and the Pittsburgh Pirates have the best record in baseball. They put together a comeback win this afternoon against the Miami Marlins to improve their record to 70-44 on the season and increase their lead in the NL Central to 3.5 games.

Early on, it was the Marlins’ young ace Jose Fernandez in control, and he left the game after five innings with a 4-2 lead. But the Pirates were able to battle back and get to the bullpen in the seventh with two sacrifice flies. They won it in the 10th inning on a Russell Martin walk-off single.

So what does this mean? The Pirates have now won five straight games and have gone 6-2 overall since the trade deadline. Many were skeptical of the Pirates for not making a move for another bat at the deadline because this is the closest they have been to the postseason in years.

Not many people think the platoon of Jose Tabata and Alex Presley in right field and the platoon of Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez at first base will be enough to compete for a pennant and a World Series ring. But the Pirates have instilled their faith in these four, and they made that message loud and clear when they decided not to make a move for Alex Rios, Alexi Ramirez or Justin Morneau.

Since then they have increased their lead in the division by 2.5 games, and on this afternoon the four previously mentioned players went 3-for-8 with three runs scored and an RBI. If they can get productivity like this through October, Pirates management will look like geniuses for staying intact at the deadline and not depleting their farm system.

I’m sure at this point management players and fans will be ecstatic with just a postseason berth.

Zach Slotter is a contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @zslot6, Like his Facebook page and add him on Google.

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