AUBREY BRUCE

When I think of an act of nature, I usually visualize some poor souls living on some of America’s flatlands, those living close to earthquake faults, major flooding zones and tornado hotspots, always facing the risk of losing their homes. I would have never in a zillion years equated a victory by the Pittsburgh Pirates over any opponent as being part of an “act of nature.”

Aside from the natural injuries that the Pirates have suffered recently, they were bound to catch a break sometime, however miniscule. During several of his previous starts, Pirates pitcher Chad Kuhl (1-4), appeared to be battling “Triple-A-itis,” “Nervo-litis,” or just plain bad pitching.  However, after being rain-soaked for most of the game, Mother Nature aided the Pirates in securing a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on May 21 at PNC Park.

The victory came by way of Pirates infielder David Freese being hit by a pitch thrown by Phillies starter Aaron Nola with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning, forcing home Pirates outfielder Adam Frazier with the game’s only run. Freese was not really trying to get out of the way and admitted it. “I’m not really good about getting out of the way, anyway,” Freese said. “But I saw it coming and I was trying to wear it, for sure. Just get that RBI.”

After several subpar outings by Kuhl, he and his relief mates had a healthy dose of nature coupled with a few “celluloid digital tools” to help Kuhl steady his ship. Kuhl commented: “I looked back, watched a ton of video and tried to get back to when I was good. It feels great to have it show up in the game—all the work paying off. It just feels like I’m on the right track.”

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