Results tagged ‘ Brandon Moss ’

March 2, 2010- a good day

From embarrassment to back on track the Pirates defeated the State College of Florida 6-1 on Tuesday afternoon. The embarrassment came last year as the community college defeated the Pirates. Yes, that really happened. Although obviously not the entire major league roster an MLB or even minor league club should handily beat any college team.

It did happen today.

There were a handful positives for Bucco fans steaming from the win today.

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1). It is the start of baseball season. What is better than seeing our boys take the field for an official organized game against competition.

 

 

 

 

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2). Pedro Alvarez very well could be the read deal. The “prodigy” went 3-for-4 with three straight hits including a solid double. If it is any sign of things to come, which I’m sure it is, Alavarez will be on a fast track to the hot corner in Pittsburgh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3). Donnie Veal-remember the name. Veal was a rule 5 pickup last offseason and is said to have killer potential. He was injured for a majority of the year in 2009 but showed promise in a depleted bullpen. He was a part of th Arizona Fall League and tore up the mound last Autumn. Today he went just one inning, but did not allow a hit and struck out a batter. He will begin the year in the Pirate bullpen, but has the talent to make a run at a rotation spot later on in the season.

 

The players in the lineup for the Bucs today were all minor league prospects who will not sniff the big leagues for a while. Alvarez and Jose Tabata are two of the exceptions. However, Brandon Moss too was in the lineup. Moss had a sensational game hitting a home run, but to be playing with these youngsters would have to be pretty demeaning if I were in his shoes. 

moss.jpg Moss has failed to live up to lofty expectations the past two seasons. It is questionable whether or not he will make the big league roster. He surely needs the work in AAA, but there is a fighting chance he will be the last bench spot. He will be in tight competition with Delwyn Young and another rule 5 acquistion, John Rayner. I personally hope Young is part of the opening day 25-man roster

 

 

There are two more reasons why today has been a good day.

Over the weekend I set out with some friends to the Morgantown Mall, anticipating a big purchase. I had my sights set on buying a new hat. I had bought a gray Pirates earlier this year but Saturday I really wanted to be unique with a new team. After much consideration and second guessing I left with this:

SF.jpgYes my friends a San Francisco Giants hat. Odd? Maybe. Unique? Indeed. It is something different and I like being a trend setter here. I have seen these on campus before, but it is very rare. I recieved about three compliments on my new cap and I am proud of my purchase.

Reson number three, last but not least is some big news.

After interviewing for an internship with the West Virginia Power minor league baseball team,
wv power.jpg class A of the Pirates, a few weeks ago I recieved a call back today. I was selected to be an intern. I am overjoyed at this opportunity as it will help further my career and give me a leg up in a field I hope to work in. There are still specifics that need to be worked out, I need some extra cash and a place to stay as the Power makes their home in Charleston, about a three hour drive from Morgantown.

I still have time to think it over, but good news is always welcome.

Everybody who has MLB Network should tune into it tomorrow at 1pm as the Pirates take on the Yankees. I do not pickup the station but my buddy’s girlfriend does. Manager John Russel has said both Paul Maholm and Ross Ohlendorf will pitch in the opening game against NY. Get pumped! Because I am!

phot credits: sarasota.com, zimbio.com, bucsdugout.com, sportsillustrated.com, lids.com,    wowktv.com 

 

Take ‘em to Church

Thumbnail image for catholic-church.jpgWhich MLB player attends religious services every Sunday?

Well I’m sure many do, but one player stands out as one of the holiest players in the league.

RYAN CHURCH

Now I am not totally sure of Church’s religious background, it was just a lame attempt at a joke.

Anyway, getting back on track here, the Pirates have reportedly signed outfielder Ryan Church to a one year, 1.5million dollar deal.

The former 14th round pick of the Indians really made a name for himself when he was a National. During his four years with the organization, his numbers really never stood out.

His highest batting average was .287 in 2005. His
Church1.jpg highest home run total was 15 in 2007. His OPS numbers range from the upper .700s to mid .800s. Nothing to brag about there, but Church is widely regarded as a reliable, yet solid player.

 

 Church spent brief and injury prone years in New York and Atlanta. He gained national attention in a bigger market playing for the Mets. His power numbers digressed after leaving Washington and so did his playing time. He was used in 4th outfielder capacity for both teams but still did his best to strive in the position he was in.

 

 

RyanChurch.jpgChurch, now 31 and a seasoned league vet has always been a favorite player of mine. I have literally had the privelege of following him from the very beginning of his professional career.

ryan-church.jpgChurch was drafted by Cleveland in 2000. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers, short season A ball, usually recieve the top draft picks of the organization literally days after they are signed. It has been great watching former Indians stars such as C.C. Sabathia and Victor Martinez has been a real treat back in my hometown.

Church arrived on the scene in that summer and was a hot player destined for greatness right away. He was named New York Penn player of the week muliple times, a legaue leader in home runs and RBIs and just an exciting player to watch.

It is not very often a player in short season A ball makes a name for himself right out of the gate. Not only is there high turnover rates this low, the fans really do not look that much into these very young players.

As a pre-teen boy I was in awe of Church. Every Scrappers game I went to I would bug Ryan for his autograph. I never did get it though. The crowds were hyped full of tee-ball league players getting autographs as well. I was always too late. Now that he is a Pirate, I plan on earning his signature and explaining to him how he snubbed me some ten years ago.

Church’s role on the Pirates will be unique. He will probably be th 4th outfielder for Pittsburgh, a role he is already used to. With Lastings Milledge and Andrew McCutchen inked into the left and center field positions the right field spot is definitely up for grabs. Brandon Moss and Church will be in the running for the starting spot, however, more than likely Garrett Jones will be the guy the Pirates are most comfortable with manning the outfield grass.

I would rather put Jones at first to give Church the starting position in right. But Jeff Clement looks to be the starting first baseman. Clement came to the Bucs via the Mariners and is considered quite the hot prospect. He does not have very good game experience in the big show, but he is a minor league prodigy. I am skeptical though because I honestly have to see it to believe it.

With the addition of Church the Pirates have just one more bench spot to fill. Brandon Moss and Delwyn Young will be competing for that final spot. This is a tough spot for me personally. I enjoy the potential of Moss, but he has never came through or lived up to any expectations. I hate to give up on him seamingly quickly considering he was part of the Jason Bay deal.

Delwyn Young on the other hand has exceeded expectations, my personal ones and that of Pirate fans. In what was really his first full big league season Young was a clutch hitter who had a knack for finding the holes to get the ball through. He ran out of gas at the end of the year and was really in a deep funk. Delwyn is one of my favorite players. He is likeable and brings a “fresh” feeling to the club.

It’ll be an interesting race and a great storyline heading into Spring Training.

photo credits: homeruncards.com, lompoclockerroom.blogspot.com, wfan.com, brotherpeacemaker.com

 

 

A Deeper Look Inside…Brandon Moss

 

bmossface.jpgA charasmatic fellow just trying to make his mark on a major league team, that right there is the epitome of Brandon Moss. Moss has been a Pirates since last year when he was part of the Manny Rameriz-Jason Bay-Andy Laroche 3-way. He wa sthe Red Sox contribution to the Pirates in the deal. He had tremendous upside at the time and is overflowing with potential.

His track record in the minors was second to none. Numerous times he wa snamed player of the week and an All Star in the Red Sox organization. Last year he was promoted to the big league squad in Boston. He was relatively unknown, but still people knew the rookie could be something solid. He showed in his first major league game that he had what it takes to make an impact. Over in Japan for the Red Sox-Athletics opening season game, Moss launched a dinger into the left field seats to the delight of thousands of Japanese fans. It was a moment that Red Sox fans will never forget.

bmosssox.jpg He didn’t even play 50 games in that red uniform. His time in the American League was cut short by the time of his trade to Pittsburgh. He flirted with a .300 batting average, hitting .295 at the time of his July package deal. He had the power to hit homeruns, in fact he hit too. But for a corner outfielder that kind of production needs to be upped. Here in Pittsburgh, fans can agree. At the beginning of the year with Nyjer Morgan solidified in left field. Moss and former Buc Craig Monroe were alternating in a platoon postion. Moss was forced to step up to earn playing time while in the competition with the veteran outfielder. Monroe had good power number belting over ten dingers in spring training. He shined in his at bats with the Bucs too. Moss kept the platoon postion even when Monroe was designated for assignemnt. With the promotion of Garrett Jones and Steve Pearce, Moss was still asked to step it up in lieu of the even more heightened competition.

Today, Moss is getting a start in the outfield every other day or so. He is used as the key pinch hitter and bench player when in need. He did exactly what he was asked to do in last nights game.

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He came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth. The Pirates down by one and the Philies looking like their game 2 victory was in the bag. Just a few seconds later this picture was snapped by AP photographer Gene Puskar. It is Moss heading to third base, jogging lightly as he rocked a Ryan Madsen pitch into the left field seats. Very similair to his original dinger over in Japan. Moss tied the game up at one at that point. But just an inning later the Philies’ Ryan Howard would belt a 3-run jack to give Philly a 4-1 win.

bmosswalk off.jpg Brandon is a great fit in the Pittsburgh clubhouse. he gets along with teammates and has a steep interest in his mates. Moss is an avid hunter from the peach state of Georgia. With a handful of other mid-20′s white guys on the team Moss has a full arsenal of buddies to hunt with. The chemistry of the team is most important to success. When Neil Huntington traded away the kitchen sink at the deadline some believed it would be hard for these new bucs to grasp each other and form a common bond. Just a few days before July 31st, Moss interrupted all the negative talk and hit a walkoff homerun to give the Bucs a win over the Brewers. The jubilation of a walkoff is always fun, especially when times are at their darkest.

It is hard to tell where Brandon will end up in a few years. The Bucs are growing collectively as a team. With Jones, Lastings Milledge and Andrew McCutchen etched as the outfield for at least next year, who knows what Moss’s place will be on the team. He will get some spot starts when Jones plays first base. But with the talent that looks to be coming up within the next few year, Moss may be playing second fiddle once again. Gorkys Hernandez, Jose Tabata and Jeff Clement are all future MLB’ers waiting in the wings. Moss has teh potential, but then again so does everyone else.

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spankeyes.com pics

The annual baseball excursion-The Rocky Mts. and the Desert

On Sunday the Pirates couldn’t nail down the sweep as they fell to the Giants 4-3. Brandon Moss homered for the Bucs and Garrett Jones seems to have fallen back down to earth. He went 0-4 in the game.

The game was lost due to masterful pitching from this guy.

Matt Cain.jpg If you can’t tell by the oversized head and miniature body— that is pitcher Matt Cain and that is his bobblehead. Cain was outstanding against Pittsburgh only allowing one run on five hits. He also struck out eight batters.

The Cain bobblehead rests on my night stand next to my bed. Now I’m not the biggest Matt Cain fan, in fact I’m not the biggest Giants fan, but I am a huge fan of the Bay Area of Northern Califonria.

You see each summer my family goes on a vacation. Just like a lot American families we save money, pack our luggage and venture out to a hot tourist spot. We’ve been to the beach and Disney World when we were younger but over the years we’ve tried something new. We now pack our bags and head to a big city, a major league city at that. Our goal is to hit all 30 ballparks as a family sometime in the near future. Prior to this week we have gone to 23 of the 30. After this week we will be at 25. On Tuesday I’m off to Colorado and Arizona. Home of the Rockies and Diamondbacks respectively.

Last summer Northern California was hit with the stops being in San Francisco and Oakland. It was a great trip and one I will remember forever. It was my first time to that part of the state of Cali and I absolutely fell in love with it. The attractions, natural beauty, scenery, climate, ocean life, everything thrown together to make a perfect city.

Thumbnail image for atandt.jpg Below is Zach and I at my second favorite ballpark, ATandT Park in San Fran. It is absolutely breath taking. From the views of the cove, the the splash landing zone, the boats and kayaks from the marina all converge onto the site. It is a dramatic scene for baseball and one of my favorites. That is whats nice about the area. The stadium is in exact coheasion with the city. The society of San Francisco is famous for its arts and laid back style. The ballpark provides that same essence. It was a great place to watch a game. This is where I got the Matt Cain bobblehead. We went to the Giants-Diamondbacks game here on a Sunday in July and lucky enough it was a free giveaway day. I’m a sucker for the free promotional giveaways. I have a room full of Pirates swag that has accumulated over the years. I have bobbleheads from players such as Brian Giles, Jason Kendall, Pokey Reese, Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, Rennie Stennett, Jason Bay and Matt Capps. Along with statues of Honus Wagner, plates of Bill Mazeroski, a Pirate Parrot piggy bank and a Roberto Clemente locker, and plenty more. The Matt Cain bobblehead earned a spot on the coveted night stand of myself.

From San Fran we traveled across the Bay to Oakland. Quite the dropff if I do say so myself.

oakland.jpg Network Associates Coliseum is a dump. You’ve seen the wide open spaces and large seating bowl is just an eye sore. It lacks the intimate setting that baseball was meant to be played in. Plus it doubling as a football stadium doesn’t help the matter. Oakland too is a big dropoff from the lovely city of San Francisco. It was quite scarry and ominous right outside the stadium. We took the subway back to our lovely, plush hotel in SF, keeping to ourselves on a train full of hooligans, hooligans to say the least.

Whats great about our vacations is that their not just about baseball. As much as we love the sport and enjoy going to the games it is nice to take in what that city has to offer. We make a week out of the trips and have fun at stops along the way.

Another tactic is trying to get more than one stadium out each trip. We did a Texas trip one year, from there we hit the two Missouri stadiums and up to Minnesota and Milwaukee. We are flying into Denver tomorrow, spending a few day in the Colorado area. On Tuesday we will be at the Rockies-Diamondbacks game. A trend is occuring with them D-Backs doesn’t it seem. Then we will be renting a car and driving to the state of Arizona. We are stopping at the 4 Corners out there and taking in the Grand Canyon. Over the weekend we will be at the Diamondbacks games against the……PITTSBURGH PIRATES. I am very pumped for this. As I’ve said before I love being an opposing fan in a ballpark, especially with the Pirates. I am looking forward to being one of the only Bucco Boys in attendance. I’m hoping to head down to the dugouts to talk with some players and get balls and autographs. It will be great to have an alterior motive at this game. Everything changes when the Buccos are playing.

It will be my first time in the state of Colorado but I have been to Arizona before.

zona.jpg That is me in second grade. I was eight years old then in 1997. My mom and dad took me out there for a convention my father attended. It was great because I got to miss a week of school. Nothing better than that, every little kid knows that. We spent a week in Tuscon and at the grand Canyon. I am exciting to be back at the marvelous attraction once again. Because I do not remember a thing about it except for the helicopter ride we took over the canyon, in which I got sick, right there on teh ride. Can’t ya see why I really didn’t wish to remember it. If you notice atop my head is the original Diamondbacks logo. I got this hat on that trip and loved it so much. You see, there were only 28 teams back then and the Diamondbacks were just gearing up for their innagural season. It would have been cool to see them in their first season in existence, but 12 years later, I know I will appreciate the ballgame so much more.

 

 

I’m all packed and ready to go and this may be my last entry for this week. If there is a business center at any of our hotels I will try to get on with some updates from my trip. I would take my laptop but it is a hassle and all, especially going through secuirty. Plus what I love about a vacation is that seperation from the real world. I want nothing to worry about. I don’t want distractions from work, friends, facebook and those problems. I left them in the terminal at the Pittsburgh International Airport. On vacation I’m free, in a new place, making memories and sharing experiences.  

A first glimpse of Tony Sanchez

For you non-Pittsburgh Pirate fans out there this entry may be somewhat irrelevant. I recently went to Eastwood Field in Niles, Ohio-about a 15 minute drive from Youngstown to take in a minor league baseball game.

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Eastwood Field is home to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, low class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Although I have a deep hatred of the Indians I do support the hometown team-the Scrappers. It is always a fun time at the field with wacky promotions and close to the action seats. Over the years a slew of Major League players have played for the Scrappers, most notably:

-Ben Francisco, Ryan Garko, Chris Gimenez, Trevor Crowe, Tony Sipp,and Victor Martinez-all current Inidans

-Ryan Church- outfielder for the Mets

-Kevin Kouzmanoff-infielder for the Padres

-C.C. Sabathia-hurler for the Yankees

It is a good place to go to take in a baseball game and see just drafted young play their hardest to reach the next level.

My trip to the field this week was to see young talent at its finest. The Scrappers were playing the State College Spikes, the farm team of the Pirates. I was there to mostly see Tony Sanchez, the first round pick of the Pirates in this month’s draft. There has been much talk and speculation about Tony. He was named the collegiate catcher of the year and has the batting numbers to prove it. However, he was ranked at about number 30 in terms of talent in the draft. With the 4th overall pick the Pirates nabbed Sanchez. Many pundits felt it was a security issue for the Bucs. They were able to quickly sign him with a contract rather than picking the best available player who may not have signed with the organization. Personally I like what Sanchez has to offer. I’d rather take a position player than a pithcer in any draft. In the Pirates case a position player is usually the right move regardless, we have a long history of pitching busts.

Decked out in my Pirates gear me my dad and my friend Andrew were able to get front row seats right behind the Spikes dugout. The tix were courtesy of my buddy Jared, The Indians fan. He is working as an intern in the Scrappers ticket office for the summer. It is a good gig for him as he is pursuing a career in sports management. The hours are long but he enjoys every second of being around baseball.

We headed down to our seats while the Spikes were warming up. Tony was playing catch with the starting pitcher. He looks like he has a strong arm for a catcher. He has a quick relaease and can really zoom the ball to his target. As he walked towards the dugout I started yelling his name holding up a ball and picture for him to sign. He was very cordial as he signed my items. We were able to have a brief conversation. He seems like a very genuine guy who is legitimately happy to be playing in the organization. He has a nice smile and a nice voice. Female fans around us were intrigued by his good looks. He said he hopes to do his best for a quick rise through the system and cracking the major league roster in the near future.

Here are pictures of my signed items.

san1.jpg I printed this picture off postgazette.com. It is Tony at PNC Park for the first time after signing his contract. He was there for a brief press conference and intorduction to his future stomping grounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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He signed this ball right on the sweet spot without being asked to do so. Big props in my book as most players just carelessly sign any spot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony began the game batting in the 3rd spot in the lineup. A perfect notch for him as he needs to develop into that same spot in the future. He is known to have slight pop in his bat, but not overwhelming power. Hopefully the minor league staff can hone his skills so he can drive the ball deep.

tony sanchez 002.jpgFIRST AB- Tony deleivered a frozen rope shot to right over the shortstops head. It flew off his bat and he was safely aboard with a single. He could have had an RBI on the play but the third base coach held the runner at third. Very discouraging as we booed him for not sending him home. 

SECOND AB- He got bad wood on the ball and slowly dribbled it to the shortstop. The shortstop then stepped on second for a force out. On the throw to first the shortstop threw it in the dirt. Sanchez reached on the error and turned on the jets. He took advanatge of the situation and jetted to second base. The next batter ripped a drive to right field and Tony would come around to score what would be the lone Spikes run of the game.

THIRD AB- A pitch got in on his hands and he wasn’t able to turn on it. It was a roller right at the first baseman who easily stepped on first for the unassisted out

FOURTH AB- In hi slast time up he drilled another shot into left field and recahed with a single.

He finished the game 2-4 with a run scored. Not a bad day at the plate. In the other two game of the series he was help hitless in one but reached base once in the other game. It was a single too and he drove it to where else but left field. He also scored a run in that game after the hit.

Behind the plate Sanchez did a solid job keeping balls in front of him. He had one passed ball but othe rthan that it looks like he will be a big body who can mow down runners and be a solid overall defensive backstop.

tony sanchez 001.jpg As a whole I wa simpressed. Tony is a nice guy and a good face for the Pirates organization. There is a lot of work to be done. He can’t just be a singles hitter. He must add some depth to his batting arsenal. We need power at the big league level and if he works at it Tony can be the bopper we need. (no I am not suggesting steroids)

I wish I could have scouted the Spike better as whole instead of focusing on Tony the whole game. This guy sitting a row behind us was a big Pirate fan from Sharon, PA. He had notes about every player in the lineup and telling me who to look out for. There are some guys who may be able to sneak through the system liek second baseman Brock Holt and firstbaseman Kyle Morgan. There are also some pitchers on the team that have the right stuff-so he says.

In the corwd of 4,000 people a good thousand of them were Pirate fans. Alot of cheers went out for the Spikes.It was nice to hear and nice to give a “Lets Go Bucs” to passers by.

The loudest cheer of the night when the Indians score was announced. The Indians were beating the Pirates 5-0 in the 7th inning. Many people were pumped about that. The Youngstown area is loaded with Tribe fans. Pirates play second fiddle once again. I wa stracking the Pirates game on my cell phone and was very dissapointe din Ian Snell. He was shelled again giving up 5 runs. Things took a turn for the better for the Pirates in the car on the drive home. We tuned in to the radio after the Scrappers game, btw Mahoning Valley downed the Spikes 2-1. It was the ninth inning and the Pirates were scratching back with a 5-2 thanks to an Adam LaRoche homer that landed in the Allegheny River. The Pirates rally continued as Kerry Wood came into the game and started blowing up. The Pirates scored 2 off of Wood. Nyjer Morgan, Andrew McCutchen, Brandon Moss, Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez all collected hits in the 2 runs scored. The lineup batted around as Adam stepped up to the plate again. He did not deliever the same heroics as he popped out to right field to end the game. Very dissapointing but I hold my head high after a strong come back. The Bucs did win last night 10-6. Hopefully the offense will be alive again tonight. I will be in attendance at PNC Park for this rubber match between the interleague rivals. 

Sweet Home Chicago Part Two

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This is not what I hope to see this week. The road trip to Chicago has not been as friendly as hoped for the Bucs. Sunday was an exciting come from behind thriller as the Pirates won 4-3 thanks to a tying homerun by Jack Wilson, his 1st of the season. And the ultimate winning run scored by Nyjer Morgan and hit by Delwyn Young. All the damage was done with the game on the brink in the top of the ninth. 

The Pirates only managed 2 hits against Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd in Fridays 2-0 loss. A different story in the pivital game three. Sunday’s win gave the Pirates 16 hits en route to their 20th win of the season.

Pittsburgh now sits at 20-24 on the year and face the Cubs. I have to applaud whoever does the scheduling of teh season games. To hav ethe Pirates stay in Chicago for a six game stretch was very convienent. I’m sure the players appreciate not having to travel across the country but rather across town. I wonder if they just stayed in the hotel this past week? Doubtful because Chicago is a huge city, but nontheless it is a good move.  

The Pirates now face the Cubs in an interesting crossroads. The Cubbies have lost 7 in a row. This could be both an advantage and disadvantage facing Pittsburgh. Can the Pirates kick Chicago while their down? Or will Chicago be hungry and feeding on the Pirates?

With all these questions upon us lets take a look at some of the images from Sunday’s dramatic victory at U.S. Cellular Field.

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Eric Hinkse filled in at first base for Adam LaRoche. Hinske did things in a big way hitting a ground rule double in the first and a solo homerun in the 8th. The HR was his first of the year. Hinske’s performance should dictate more playing time at first base or anywhere on the diamond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Starting pitcher Jeff Kaaaaaaarstens had one of his best outings of the year. (I add the aaaaaaar for the dynamic Pirate-sounding effect. Works dont it?) 5.1 innings pitched, 5 hits and 3 earned runs was his stat line. A no-decision but he definately allowed the Bucs to stay in the game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jack Wilson connects for his homerun in the top of the ninth. It was his first of the year and it could not have come at a more opportune time. The dinger tied the game at 3 and ultimately boosted the Pirates to score the winning run a few batters latter.

 

 

 

 

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Nyjer Morgan crossed the plate for that winning run thanks to the RBI at the hands of Delwyn Young. The look in Morgan’s eyes and expression on his face sum up the feeling of winning that every player feels after a crucial moment. Morgan, a sprakplug in his own right will help instill the positive and most importantly winning mentality in the minds of the players to continue to win vicoriously.

 

 

 

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Outfielder Nate McClouth, Morgan and Brandon Moss gather to celebrate the 4-3 vicotry after Matt Capps shut down the WHite Sox 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth. Capps struck out the side en route to his 9th save of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

After singing the Blues while witnessing 2 straight losses, I was signing the praises of the Bucs while watching this game on my couch, all part of my ideal lazy Sunday type of afternoon. As this week continues in Chicago I hope to see more jubilation in part to Buc victories, theres nothing like a good win to make your day alot better.

 

PHOTO CREDITS: allposters.com, espn.com

The skid continues

5….5 losses…5 losses in a row!

 

The Bucs can’t seem to do anything right. In yesterday’s ball game the team only mustered up 4 hits. 2 of which came from the bat of backup catcher Robinzon Diaz and one of which came from pitch Ross Ohlendorf. The incompetence at the plate has to stop. We’re a major league club for crying out loud. It’s tough to see the team get so overmatched by Todd Wellemeyer.

Coming into the game Wellemeyer has the Major League’s most hittable pitcher. Opposing teams possessed a .345 batting avergae against the veteran. Leave it to the makes to make him look liek Sandy Koufax on the mound.

craig.jpgI’ve been an advocate for Craig Monroe all season. I like what he brings to the table in terms of speed, power and leadership. He has a track record of major league experience and he tore it up in Spring Training. While he has been used sparingly in rare spot starts and pinch hitting opportunities he needs consistent time in the lineup to flourish. He got that time yesterday and completely laid an egg. Monroe went 0-4 and bobble a routine fly ball in right field. (pictured to the left). Monore has also faltered recently in his position as a pinch hitter. In his past two experiences he has gone without a hit.

It’s all part of the trials and tribulations of being a reserve player. You’re expected to perform at your best when called upon. The only problem with that is you never know when you will be called upon. No matter if you’ve been swinging the bat well or if you are rusty its hard to tell when the right situation will come up.

For Monroe the road has been long. A starter in Detroit and a reserve in Minnesota he has made the transition to the NL. While Brandon Moss has been anything but spectacular, he gets the nod over Monroe in almost every game.

If this team hopes to salvage the season something needs to be changed now. The offense is attrocious. The pitching staff has been falling apart. The team lacks experience and the talent in order to succeed and win.

Brian Giles=Bucco Killer

Well it’s nearly 2am on a Friday night and just like everybody else on the WVU campus, I’m wide awake. With music blaring out my window and everybody awake and drunk, they’re having a good time. Me on the other hand, am quite depressed. I hate when the Pirates lose, I hate when the Pirates lose in extra innings and I really hate when a former Pirate beats the Pirates in extra innings. All three occured tonight. In the bottom of the 12th of the 1th with Chris Burke on second Brian Giles came through with a sharp line drive into right field. It hurt inside. I had passed up a night of debouchery (yes debouchery) to stay on my couch and watch my team. It also hurt because seeing Giles come through in the clutch brought back fond memories.

giles.jpgThe good old days of the 100 loss first season at PNC Park. Giles hit a walkoff homerun against the Astros towards the end of summer. I’ll never forget fathers day 2001 when Giles slid across home plate to down the Indians and give the Pirates their first series sweep of the year. Giles was a good player and i’ll never forget his batting stance, short stature, power swing and of course the McLouth-esque slicked back blonde hair.

 

 

I really do feel we should have won this game. We were right in it but squandered key opportunities. Here are my 3-up, 3-down for tonight’s contest.

3 UP

  1. Jason Jaramillo- Great plate discipline and game control. He can definately handle the weight for these next 8-10 Doumit-less weeks
  2. Ian Snell- solid game in a quality start. Looking to finally come around and become the starter we all knew he could be.
  3. Brandon Moss- 1st RBI of the year….bout time bud

3 DOWN

  1. Jack Wilson- 0-5. Pooped, yes pooped out on a bunt, that could have broken the game open.
  2. Nyjer Morgan- while he is leading the NL in stolen bases with 6 he wa spicked off on a key base running incident in the 9th inning.
  3. Matt Capps- gave up the winning run, looked shaky and not his overpowering self.

Well, there’s two more game to be played. With DUUUUUUUUKE on the mound tomorrow it’ll be interesting to see if his hot streak continues. Gotta get the whole team back on the hot streak more than anything.

PHOTO CREDIT: espn.com

Projected stats for Pirates starters

Catcher

Ryan Doumit

2008: BA=.318 HR=15 RBI=69

2009: BA- .285 HR= 22 RBI=95

1st Base

Adam LaRoche

2008: BA=.270 HR=25 RBI=85

2009: BA=.280 HR=27 RBI= 90

2nd Base

Freddy Sanchez

2008: BA= .271 HR= 9 RBI= 52

2009: BA= .268 HR=13 RBI=60

3rd Base

Andy LaRoche

2008: BA= .152 HR= 3 RBI= 12

2009: BA= .270 HR= 17 RBI= 70

Shortstop

Jack Wilson

2008: BA= .272 HR= 1 RBI= 22

2009: BA= .248 HR= 8 RBI= 45

Left Field

Nyjer Morgan

2008: BA= .294 HR= 0 RBI= 7

2009: BA= .250 HR= 4 RBI= 38

Centerfield

Nate McClouth

2008: BA= .276 HR= 26 RBI= 94

2009: BA= .270 HR= 18 RBI= 80

Rightfield

Brandon Moss

2008: BA=.222 HR= 6 RBI= 23

2009: BA=.240 HR= 17 RBI= 45

The one thing missing in this lineup is definitely the power. It will also be interesting to see how many of these penciled in starters will still have their jobs in tact come September. Morgan, Moss and An. LaRoche are the biggest liabilities at their respective positions. With top notch prospects and a solid bench knocking down the door, competition will be prevalent throughout the season. “Only the strong survive” Who will be the strong for the Buccos this season?

Moss out….Monroe in?

Brandon Moss has been quite the interesting story since his arrival in Pittsburgh last July. He was relatively unheard of but handed the starting job in rightfield. He had done a decent job (.246 8HRs 34 RBIS) for stepping in right away. He has had time to develop into what the Pirates hope will be a long lasting future at the helm in right.

A roadblock has arisen in the the middle of Mazeroski Way. Moss has been experiencing soreness in his right thumb. After seeing a specalist in Pittsburgh it has been announced that a mild sprain has occured.

While the injury is not too catastrophic, Moss will be setback. He has yet to clearly prove himself at this level and spring would have been a great time for him to show he truly belongs. While he was surely to make a spot on the team, the extra effort could not have hurt at all.

With the falling of Moss, the competition will step up. The outfield depth is strong with many players competing for the finals spots on the roster.

The one player I would love to come into his own is Craig Monroe. As I’ve stated in my previous entry, Monroe is a solid player and a favorite of mine. He provides great leadership and the most veteran prescence available on the team. He has used the spring to show last season in Minnesota was a fluke. (.202 8 HRs 29 RBIs). In Detroit a few years back
Monroe was a clutch player and looked upon to come through in big at bats. He thrived in that role, however when the Tigers looked to reload by signing Maglio Ordonez, Monroe was sent packing in a tear-jerker of a move. Monroe has not had the opportunity to be in the go-to situation as he was a few years back.

My dream situation would be a platoon between Monroe and Eric Hinske. Right field would be a great place to put these B-level MLB stars. The 1-2 punch of Monroe and Hinske would be a great test for the two seasoned vets and give Monroe the key at bats he needs in order to produce at his best.

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