Today’s Game Rewind is technically a Games Rewinds. It was a doubleheader on May 28, 2004 against the Chicago Cubs and they both featured a player celebrating a birthday today. If you saw today’s This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History, the titled mentioned Rob Mackowiak, who had the day of his life back in 2004.
Before he even put on his Pittsburgh Pirates uniform on May 28, 2004, Mackowiak had a great day. His son Garrett was born that morning. In fact, he didn’t arrive at PNC Park until an hour before game time, well after the normal arrival time. Mackowiak was in the starting lineup that day and didn’t do so well in the first eight innings. He was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He more than made up for it in the ninth.
The Pirates trailed 5-4 going into the bottom of the ninth, but that didn’t last long. Tike Redman tripled to lead-off the frame, then he scored one batter later on an Abraham Nunez single. Jason Kendall singled, then after a Jack Wilson out, Daryl Ward was intentionally walked to load the bases. Craig Wilson had the first chance to end the game and he struck out. That was followed by Mackowiak, who worked the count to 2-1 before driving a ball over the right-center field wall for a walk-off grand slam.
That would have been enough to make it the day of his life, but Mackowiak wasn’t done. He didn’t start game two of the doubleheader, but that didn’t make a difference on this day. Mackowiak came into the game on a double switch in the seventh inning and walked in his first at-bat. With the Cubs ahead 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Mackowiak came up with a man on first base and hit a game-tying home run. The Pirates won the game in the bottom of the tenth with a walk-off homer by Craig Wilson on the first pitch of the inning. Mockowiak’s homer was also on the first pitch he saw.
Mackowiak had two hits on the day and he drove in six runs, winning one game and tying the other in the ninth. What some people forget is that the proud new papa wasn’t done celebrating his son’s birth. On the very next day, he drove in five runs in a 10-7 win over the Cubs. Mackwiak hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, then hit a two-run double in the seventh inning, making it an 8-5 game at the time.
You can watch the full second game here, though it is the Cubs broadcast, so you don’t quite get the excitement of the calls:
You can find the boxscores to both games here. Kip Wells and Oliver Perez were the starters. Jason Kendall caught both games:
Here are links to the previous Game Rewind articles.