A smooth, autumnal breeze drifted down the Ohio Valley, up the Allegheny and right through PNC Park on this Tuesday night. The marquee showed Pirates vs. Tigers in a duel of contenders, the place was pretty much packed again, and the evening as a whole was about as pristine as one could hope for baseball in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The pennants stayed up.
That’s what got me, if you want to know.
Not sure how many fans ever notice those nine black and gold pennants, commemorating the franchise’s World Series and/or National League championships, lining the upper riverwalk beyond center field. They’re easily missed, even though each is individually lit, each so vital in importance. But on this night, they stood tall. And they stood the whole time. The breeze kept them perked up from Edinson Volquez’s first pitch to his fantastic stab to the final out of a 4-2 deflating of Detroit that both engaged and enthralled the crowd of 34,919 and, more important, pushed the Pirates within 1 1/2 games of the Brewers.
It’s a pennant race, Pittsburgh. We’ve got ourselves a pennant race, and I’ll be damned if the pennants themselves haven’t taken notice.