And what have you done?
Took two out of three
It sure was a lot of fun.
Thank you John and Yoko, a great song for a great series.
The Pirates defeated the Brewers ending a 22 game losing streak in Milwaukee on Tuesday with a 7-3 victory.
The man of the hour looked to be Trevor Hoffman.
“Hells Bells” resounded and chants of “It’s Trevor Time” could be heard around Miller Park. After all, the MLB saves leader deserves an ovation like that.
A few batters later, with the bases loaded Doumit jacked a grand slam deep into the second deck over the right field wall. That sealed the deal and ended the torment.
It never seemed like it would come.
The series began right where it left off in Pittsburgh following that 20-0 history making contest.
Pittsburgh fell 17-3. It was just an ugly game, something Pirates fans have been used to this past week.
The rubber match on Thursday was big. A win by the Pirates would actually tie the Brewers for fourth place in the Central. Now it is quite an accomplishment considering the beat down the Brewers have laid on the Bucs.
The marathon game went to the 14th inning. It should have been over way before that.
Hoffman came in again. Blew it again. Without saying, Pirates closer Octavio Dotel forfeited his own save a few innings later.
After going hitless the entire game Garrett Jones drove in the winning run to cap off the win and take the series. A great series. There is nothing better than raising the Jolly Roger in Miller Park. After all it was 22 game since it last happened.
photo credits: AP/postgazette.com
Guys, it is getting ugly. A 10-3 loss to the Astros on Sunday gave the Bucs a six game losing streak. After starting the year at 7-5, I was pumped. Optimism was abound amongst my 21 year old self. The city of Pittsburgh took notice and there was a bandwagon. Even Regis Philbin jumped on board.
The good wishes of Regis must have been the kiss of death.
Since then the Pirates have not won a game.
I thought that 20-0 debacle would have knocked some sense into the Pirates. Maybe a heralded speech by manager John Russell, a stern talking to by owner Bob Nutting or even some inspirational tactic used by Bill Mazeroski, would set this team ablaze and maybe pick up a few wins in Houston.
It was the complete opposite.
Friday-4-3 loss, Saturday- 5-2 loss, Sunday-10-3 tanking.
This team is depleted. There simply is no talent. Garrett Jones, pictured left, has fallen off the face of the earth.
He is now batting a miniscule .214. He struck out three times this weekend, but did score a meaningless run on Sunday.
There is no power souce on this lineup. Lastings Milledge is just a single machine. A major league rightfielder needs to drive the ball deep and over the fence, occasionally. Milledge doesn’t seem to have the wearwithall to do what is needed to be a big hitter in this lineup.
With the lack of power comes the lack of pitching.
Charlie Morton took the hill Sunday. There was speculation that he was going to come out firing. Hes said to have the best “stuff” on the staff. But “stuff” does not go far. It didn’t on Sunday either.
Looking to depress his 16.55 ERA Morton gave up five earned runs over just three innings. He struck out two batter and actually did bring down his ERA to 16.20.
Little triumphs need to be celebrated.
One forthcoming celebration was the recovery of Chris Jakubauskas.
In the first inning a Lance Berkman line drive blasted off his head. He was down for nearly ten minutes, legs wiggling. I ccould only imagine his pain. It hurt to see the highlights. He was able to stand up and left the field on a stretcher. After spending the night in the hospital he was placed on the DL. Sad thing is, he was just called up from the minors to get the start.
So what team is up next for the Pirates?
phot credits- AP/postgazette.com, milwaukeescoop.com
20…..to zero. That was not a Packers-Steelers score where the extra point was blocked. That was a Pirates-Brewers score. It was the worst loss in the history of the Pirates franchise.
And I was there to witness it.
Some friends and I came to the park on a whim on Thursday. Some of my classes were canceled due to a journalism conference my professors attended in Baltimore. I couldn’t think of a better way to sepend my semi-day off than at PNC Park. Outside the stadium it looked like many others had the same idea.
There was a packed line for tickets. Whether it was the gorgeous spring day, playing hookey or killing time before the Penguins playoff game later in the day fans flocked to PNC Park. At least thats what it seemed like on the outside.
13,634 fans actually turned up, which is abysmal. Maybe we as fans deserved the pain that would be bestowed upon us for the next three and a half hours.
The Brewers looked like a team filled with baseball legends. They treated the Pirates like Little Leaguers teeing off for hit after hit which turned into run after run.
Four homeruns were hit in the ballgame. All off the bats of the Brew Crew. Jim Edmonds, George Kottarras, Prince Fielder and public enemy number one in Pittsburgh, Ryan Braun all blasted bombs into the bleachers.
The Pirates were swept by the Brewers and Pittsburgh natives let other Pittsburgh natives know it.
I just had to laugh at the guy who was rubbing the broom in every Pirate fan’s face around him, but really, what the heck? This is why I can’t be a diehard Penguin fan. I bet this guy did not cheer for the Pirates in the late 90′s early 2000′s. Yet they start winning and hes a full-fledged fan. Give it a few years, the Pirates are competitive, he will be back with avengence in a Pedro Alvarez t-shirt.
After that game however, how can I be so sure that my Bucs will ever be competitive? In that Brewers series the Pirates were outscore 36-1. The Pirates have a Majors worst 7.35 team ERA. More than one run higher than any other team. The offense is below NL average in most categories across the diamond according to Post Game host Rocco DeMaro.
There is no light at the end of the tunnel it seems. Watching that game hurt me, the few hundreds who joined me to see the final out, and 25 men who donned that Pirate jersey.
Reliever Brendan Donnelly said they should be ashamed to wear the black and gold. I can’t help but agree. Starting pitcher Daniel McCutchen cried while being interviewed. Outfielder Ryan Church simply said “I got nothin’, I’m embarrased.”
We all are Ryan, we all are.
I’m not letting go of that ticket stub. The worst loss record stood for 100 years. I will be sure to tell my grandkids about that day, the day I witnessed the worst loss in Pirates history. My grandkids won’t believe there were actually bad years as a Pirates fan, whilethey are celebrating a World Series dynasty.
Saturday and Sunday were two games that could make any baseball fan happy. The Pirates came from behind for a walkoff win on Saturday. On Sunday the Bucs got out on top early and sustained the lead until the end.
Raise your hand if your team is .500!
That little girl must be a Pirate fan because we are 7-5. Yes, its April and yes there are 150 games to be played but I will jump at any chance to get excited and the Pirates are giving me that chance right now.
The Buccos were destined for a loss on Saturday. Being down 43 in the bottom of the ninth with Francisco Cordero called upon for the save.
I thought we were done for.
Cordero is 4-for-4 in saves opportunities this year and is listed 27th on the all-time closers list.
Can’t you see why I thought we were done for?
But Cordero was erratic. Ryan Church laced a single to left, Ronny Cedeno walked and Lastings Milledge Walked. Garrett Jones stepped to the plate, battling a slump. Jones has been dissapointing fantasy owners everywhere with his lack of power which was expected after his monstrous opening day. He did come through with a hit off the wall to win the ballgame.
I was not able to watch the Pirate game on Sunday as I was covering the West Virginia baseball game. The 12th ranked Louisville Cardinals brought their own brooms to Morgantown and beat the Mountaineers up and down.
Louisville has one of the best pitching staffs in the country. On Sunday I had the pleasure of watching Gabriel Shaw mow down the Mountaineers. In seven innings he struck out six batters allowing just five hits.
Jedd Gyorko, pictured left, drove in the only run for West Virginia. Gyorko is a Morgantown native and high on many experts draft lists. He is a shortstop who will be picked up in the June draft, more than likely in the first few rounds.
Even though I was not watching the Pirates game, 13,860 at PNC Park did. The Buccos jumped out early and produced hits throughout the ballgame. Paul Maholm had a no hitter through four innings and looked the best he has all season. Octavio Dotel picked up the save even after surrendering a homerun to Jay Bruce, who hit two.
Backup catcher Jason Jaramillo brought in three runs with a double in the fifth inning. Jones struggled again, not reaching base in the game.
The Pirates remain at home to face the Brewers this week. Standing just a half game out of first place in the NL Central. This is a big series if the Pirates hope to keep their heads over water in the division and to sustain .500.
photo credit: freeclipartnow.com, nordinho.net, postgazette.com, msnsportsnet.com
The Pirates may be at .500, but I have yet to lose. In my second trip to PNC Park this Spring the Bucs have not dissapointed winning the pair of games. Not only did the Pirates treat my friends and I to a gem of a ballgame, the city of Pittsburgh did as well.
From Morgantown we arrived in Pittsburgh around 4 o’clock. The drive up to the city was probably the worst conditions I have ever had the displeasure of driving through. The winds combined with rain, combined with debris flying from cars was absolutely horrendous. I was legit scared but kept my cool and we made it.
It has been a plan of ours to check out the Andy Warhol Museum sometime before a Pirate game. We got the opportunity on Friday for only 4 bucks. The museum is just a two minute walk from PNC Park right on the North Shore. After paying and walking to the first exhibit I
realized this was not my scene.
Now I did appreciate the artwork, I guess just not enough. It was trippy, weird and sometimes disturbing. I wouldn’t pay more than four dollars for the experience again. The coolest part was the room with floating metallic ballons. I could have stayed in there for hours.
When we walked through the gates of PNC Park the song “Centerfield” by John Fogerty was playing. The same song that was played in the same exact moment Opening Day. I love this song and really puts me in the mood for baseball!
From the concourse we were greeted with this albatross.
In the meantime the “Milledge People” were setting up shop before the hard rains came.
Last year some buddies and I made a sign for leftfielder Nyjer Morgan. “Morgantown” it read. When Lastings Milledge was acquired we had speculated about doing the same in the form of a “Milledge People” sign. Well, these guys beat us to the punch and sure did pull it off well.
Speaking of Lastings, here is rocking the number 42 jersey.
Even though Jackie Robinson Day was technically yesterday, the Pirates had the day off. I was glad to see the whole team, even the Reds, wearing the number 42. This was my first Jackie Robinson Day I have ever attended. It was also a Lastings Milledge Day.
First off, Zach Duke pitched fantastic. Seven innings of not allowing a run and surrendering just six hits, it was a gem. After a leadoff walk in the 7th, he was pulled and the Pirates releievers collectively gave up three runs. It was sad for Zach because he was shooting for his third wn of the season. The win was given to Octavio Dotel after Milledge’s walk off hit to score Andrew McCutchen in the bottom of the 9th.
I as too excited to snap a picture but here is one from the Associated Press and Pittsburgh Post Gazeette showing the team’s jubilation.
Thank you Edgar Renteria.
Everything fell apart for the Pirates in the series. Falling apart may not be the best descrption because it seems like this team is what we’re going to get all season.
Charlie Morton got shelled on Wednesday giving up 3 home runs. One of which included an inside the parker by Aubrey Huff. Not the speed king at all but he just lucked out. His deep ball carromed off the base of the wall and took a bounce that would never occur 99 times out of 100. After watching the replay about 25 times I can assure everyone that it was not Garrett Jones’ fault for misplaying it.
Wednesday was the only game where the Bucs manufactured key runs. Aki Iwamura drove in a key run in the ninth inning and hit a home run earlir in the game. Andy LaRoche also helped out with his first home run of the season, a two run shot.
The west coast was not kind to Pittsburgh as we won just two of six. With a 4-5 record the Pirates face the 5-4 Reds. Now it is early in the season but I’m taken the Divisonal race seriously because lets face it. The Pirates are not going to be doing anything this year.
A sweep would be nice. And so would 2 out of 3. COming out of the weekend standing at or above .500 is the goal.
See ya’ll at PNC Park on Friday!
photo credit: zimbio.com
Ten of my closest friends at WVU make a pact that every nice day we have to attempt to get a game of softball in. Sunday was one of those days where we all were on the same page, we found an open field and it worked.
Part of what made the day so great is that I was not even able to watch the Pirate game today. The Extra Innings package blocks the games out regardless because I am in the Pittsburgh market and Fox Sports Pittsburgh was showing the Penguins game today.
I was however game tracking it on my buddy’s iphone. I was happy and please. Up until the 4th inning. The Pirates were up with a nice 4-2 lead. Andrew McCutchen teed off for his first homerun of the year and pitcher Daniel McCutchen was progressing smoothly. I will say it again-up until the 4th inning.
The Diamondbacks put up a whooping 13 runs in one inning alone to win the ballgame 15-6.
Theres not much to be happy about a 15 run performance but take away that one inning and the Bucs win the game easily.
Daniel McCutchen will be sent down tomorrow because relief pitcher Joel Hanrahan is ready to begin the season after an injury. If I was in charge I would send current relief pitcher Hayden Penn with him. Penn currently has an inflated ERA of 30.80 and has been shelled in both of his appearances this season and does not look like a major league caliber pitcher.
There were some bright spots in Arizona this weekend, most coming on Saturday.
Duke looked awesoem, maybe the best since his Opening Day start of 2009, pictured above. He went eight innings and only walked two batters. Duke gave up just a 2-run homer to Mark Reynolds and managed to work out of a handful of tough jams. He stands at 2-0 on the year which not only helps his confidence early on, it also elevates his staff ace status.
Leadoff man Aki Iwamura belted his first homrun of the year and went 2-for-4. Iwamura has been a gem the past few games after beginning the year 0-for-8. He has been working counts and waiting on his pitches. Hopefully he continues to find his stride and become confortable.
The guy touching Aki on the head has not quite been the guy he was the first two games.
Garrett Jones was 0-for-4 on Sunday striking out and grounding into a double play. His breakout game and opening day seems so long ago as Jones is batting just .208 right now. It can’t really be said that he will breakout of this slump because he never has had the opportunity before. We know the power is there, but the question remians, can he deliever consistently?
I for one am happy to just be leaving Chase Field. It has not been very welcoming to Pittsburgh in recent years. Thej Pirates have lost 11 of their last 18 in Pheonix and have won just two out of their last six.
I love Chase Field. I was there for the Pirates series last year and enjoyed the atmosphere, affordability and fans at the stadium. However I cannot say the curse the team or ballpark bestows upon the Pirates is good in anyone, simply because it is not.
It is a nice place to watch a game, and I am not a big fan of retractable roofs at all!
Anywho, it will be a late night for me tomorrow as I have a paper to write and get to watch the Bucs at ten pm. Its Pirates-Giants in San Francisco. 3-3 right now and I would love to take 2-of-3.
photo credits: Associated Press
Well reality sunk in and hell has not frozen over.
The Pirates will not be undefeated this season.
The Dodgers laid it on the Bucs 11-2. The lack of offense on our end was thanks to excellent starting pitching from my fantasy team ace, Chad Billingsley. He hit 100 pitches within the first five innings and later handed the ball over to Jared “Dream” Weaver. He worked his way out of jams and worked masterfully.
Even though the Bucs lost their first game of the season, by nine runs at that, taking two of three from the Dodgers is no easy feat. I am very proud of the team and their scrappy play thus far in the young infant season.
Wednesdays game was glorious. A lot of my West Virginia friends made the trip up but I had to stay home. As weird as it was for six guys who are not Pirates fans to drive an hour for a Pirates game, they had a great time and were not only treated to a walk off win, but dollar tickets as well! Soak that in for a sec, dollar tickets! They had great seats too, section 113 down the left field line.
With three games down I still remain optimistic that Pittsburgh will surprise people this year. .500 is reachable!
The squad now heads to Pheonix with a weekend series at Chase Field against the Diamondbacks.
photo credits: Keith Srakocic/AP, Peter Diana/Post Gazette
This has been a Spring Break I will never forget. Three amazing events all wrapped in a week was so very special.
You all read about my Cooperstown trip and here is a quick, depressing synopsis of my Saturday in Indianapolis.
It was surreal. Surreal that not only was West Virginia playing in the Final Four but also that I was there to witness it. However, the Mountaineers were shalacked. Up and down, it was ugly. We were killed on the boards and Duke was simply shooting lights out.
It was a great road trip for my WVU buddies and I. Although West Virginia was destroyed 78-57 it was an amazing time with unforgettable memories. It is definitely the best sporting event I have ever been to. Surpassing Game 3 of the Stanley Cup from last summer and the 2006 MLB All Star Game in PNC Park.
As tears flowed down my face Saturday night, I felt a shock of jubilation come Sunday night.
Opening Day was abreast!
I rose at 7 am Monday morning and was on the road to Pittsburgh by 8.
My group of six gathered at Primanti Brothers for a tasty breakfast of meat, coleslaw, fries and tomatoes.
The gates to PNC Park opened at 11:30 and we found ourselves in the left field bleachers. In a “right place at the right time” moment I caught a ground rule double off the bat of an unidentified Dodgers batter. My first Opening Day ball!
From there I ventured over to the Pirates dugout. There I met a fellow blogger, Ms. Kristy of “Hands off My Pirates Booty”
mShe was enjoying batting practice from her beautiful seats right along the dugout, just seven rows back. It not only offers a great view of the game, but the city as well. I am sporting my freshly bought Lastings Milledge T-shirt. I was surprised at the variety of T-shirts offered this year.
The game itself was everything I could have asked for. A win!
I was nervous at first as Zach Duke let up two runs in the first inning, however our ace settled down and pitched a solid five innings.
The man of the hour was Garrett Jones, let me re-phrase that, Garrett FREAKING Jones.
Jones went off with a two home run performance and showed he will be our go to guy for power. Both HRs were impressive. The first was a 450 foot blast into the Alegheny River. The other an opposite field homerun to left over the head of Manny Ramirez.
Speaking of the crowd, it was great. A sellout crowd of over 39,000 saw the first game of the 2010 season. And boy did they see a beauty. I’m glad the city of Pittsburgh was welcomed with a heralded perforance. I know it will not be packed with 39,000 every game but hopefully today showed what this team can be capable of and bring some new faces to the ballpark.
That being said, this team is solid. Talented in fact, they will surprise some people this year and may, just maybe break that .500 mark and compete after the All Star break. Until then I plan on enjoying each and every game and cannot wait till I am back in the park. Like every year, it was a great Man Day Monday.
Words simply cannot describe the time Andrew and I had Wednesday at the Baseball Hall of Fame. From the time we woke up in our hotel in Utica, New York at 7 a.m. to the time we left the baseball mecca at 5 p.m. we were entranced with the National Pastime for hours upon end.
We first arrived in the village of Cooperstown and stopped at the Visitor Center of the town. The nice old lady in the center helped us plan our day. She was a real gem and made us feel welcomed.
Our day began at Doubleday Field.
The classic field allowed us to take a step into yesteryear. The stadium is built like a vintage ballpark, because it is just that. “The Birthplace of Baseball” as it is dubbed welcomed us with open arms. We went into the grandstand, snapped some nice pictures and imagined it was us out on that field. The field that has housed many ballgames including the annual Hall of Fame game and scenes from the movie “A League of Their Own.”
We strolled the streets of Cooperstown as we walked towards the Hall. It is a great main street with only one stop light. Either side of the road is filled with excellent baseball themed shops, diners and stores. Each store is filled with wall-to-wall memorobilla that cannot be found anywhere else. Each store is loaded with all kinds of trinkets and goodies. Many are stocked with Yankees, Mets and Red Sox gear however I was surprised that the Pirates were well represented. Here are some pictures of the “town with baseball on the brain.”
The Hall of Fame allowed us to see the game we love like we haven’t seen before. As 21 year olds we felt we were in a great position to truly appreciate the game we love. At the end of the day we found that we truly did.
While we did come all the way from Ohio, eight hours to be exact, to enjoy the pride and passion of baseball, we had a hidden agenda. To let Pete Rose in the Hall! We had a picture printed out of the “Hit King” and wanted to send a message that most baseball fans truly want him in the hall. Pay attention to this entry to see if our mission was accomplished.
But like I said before, the day was simply too good to be true, words cannot describe the awesome time we had. So let these pictures tell you that it was a great day.
When we first set foot on the steps of the hall, we were blown away. It was also a perfect opportunity to let out Pete and give him a glimpse to where he belongs! Thats Andrew holding up the picture of Pete Rose.
The Yankees famed Holy Cow!
The Babe Ruth room was too much for Andrew to handle. He is the biggest Yankee fan I know. The Yanks come before everything when you know Drew. It really is phenomenal the feeling he has for his team. He has something to cheer for year in and year out and I envy him. The Ruth room contained many artifacts from his illustrious career including his contracts, 60 HR bat, glove and a few trophies.
Finally, some Pirates swag! I did not even notice this special cabinet, Andrew had to point it ou as I was pre-occupied at the Orioles cabinet. It was great to see this dedication as only a few teams had one. Mostly elite and historic teams such as the Red Sox, Dodgers, Giants, Cardinals, Orioles etc. had a display all to their own.
While I’m on a roll heres some more Pirates goodies. That is an actual on-deck circle from Three Rivers Stadium.
Hey hey whatyaknow! Looks like Pete really did find his way into the hall. Looks like our efforts paid off!
Now the real reason the hall is established is to honor those whose accomplishments have excelled beyond the normalcy of most players. The select few who have plaques adorning the sacred walls are the best of the best. Here are some of those players.
Roberto Clemente and Mickey Mantle, probably our two favorite classic players from our personal favorite teams.
After we browsed the plaques, we departed the hall. It was a sad moment as we never wanted to leave. On our way out, however, I was greeted by a man after my own heart.
After talking to Mets, Yankees, Philies and general fans of baseball in the hall it was so refreshing to meet a fellow Pirates fan. This man with his grandsons flew in from San Diego, California to visit Cooperstown. Originally from the Pittsburgh area this guy has since resided in SD but continues to cheer for the Pirates. As he told me stories from the 1960 World Series I told him how beautiful PNC Park was as he has never been there. It was awesome and definitely a moment that was worth a picture.
Andrew and I said it was like a dream. It didn’t seem real, yet it totally was. It will be a day we will never forget and we have planned to go back up every five years or at least when one of our favorite players is inducted.
Be sure to check out my facebook for more great pictures from our great day!