Results tagged ‘ Daniel McCutchen ’

Yankees silenced as Bucs continue Spring fling

billvspaul.jpg

In 2008 actor Bill Crystal got his birthday wish as he signed a one day contract with the New York Yankees. 
In his lone Spring Training at bat he struck out at the hands of Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm. 
Three years later, six actual Yankees struck out against Pittsburgh pitchers. 
On Tuesday the Bucs blanked the Yanks 2-0 at McKechnie Field in Bradenton. 
Although the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixiera did not take the field, come one, they’re still the Yankees. 
James McDonald took the hill for the Pirates and lasted two solid innings, allowing just a pair of hits. Curtis Granderson tripled in the first inning and Eric Chavez notched a single in the second. 
Behind McDonald, Aaron Thompson gave up two hits. New York would only reach base those four times. 
Daniel McCutchen earned the win, his first of the Spring. He fanned two batters including Nick Swisher. Former first round pick Daniel Moskos was given the save and did not allow a hit in the 9th inning.
The Pirates now stand at 3-2 in the Grapefruit League. The other two wins came against the Tampa Bay Rays. The win against the Yankees was clearly the best performance from the pitching staff, thus far. 
But, there was bad news in the day.
biemel.jpg
Relief pitcher Joe Beimel was ordered to be shut down due to discomfort in his left arm. He has undergone and MRI with results coming later Tuesday, or Wednesday. The newly acquired lefty was to be a strong hold in the bullpen. Working with Evan Meek and closer Joel Hanrahan, the back end of the pen looks to be one of the strongest in the NL Central. 
Beimel was once a Pirate before this spring. From 2001-04 he was a reliever in Pittsburgh. He was anything but spectacular and has since spent time with the Dodgers, Nationals and Rockies reviving his career. 
Just look at him. 
He brings an edge, a fire of sorts, that will be utilized. His recovery needs to be brisk for his untapped potential to come about.
photo credits: bleacherreport.com, yahoo.com

Pittsburgh Broom Company

 

brooms.jpgThe. Pirates. Stink. I do not think there is a better way to put it.

Just like the smelly floors of a junior high locker room and the janitor that cleans it up the Pirates know a thing or two about being swept clean.

Pittsburgh will leave the Bay Area having fropped its past six games in which it was swept by the Rangers and most recently the A’s.

The Bucs have dropped 19 straight road games and have been swept 10 times this season, five alone in the month of June.

Sunday was the best opportunity for the Buccos to earn a win. Just like finding a winning season these past 17 years, it just was not meant to be.

kurt.jpgOakland defeated Pittsburgh after a Kurt Suzuki 8th run solo home run to eventually be the deciding blow in their 3-2 victory.

Suzuki is flying under the radar this year just as he has throughout his career. He connected for his tenth homerun of the year to accompany a .264 batting average. Along with a team leading .442 slugging percenatge compiled with 31 home runs Suzuki reaps great production as a catcher. He is among the best in the league and should recieve a call to travel down the Pacific Coast Highway to Anaheim for this year’s All-Star Game.

 

The whole weekend was completely dismal for the Pirates. On Friday they were destroyed   14-4 while losing second baseman Neil Walker to a concussion he suffered during a collision. He has had some time off but will not be placed on the disabled list.

I for one have never suffered a concussion. Rarely do I even get headaches, it is a wonder because it does run in my family. But I would defintely need as much rest as possible and would not feel like doing anything for days. I do think watching the Pirates play this weekend made Walker’s recovery time have to last a bit longer, probably made his head hurt a lot worse.

Saturday night was an absolute disgrace.

 

dancutch.jpgIt was a turn back the clock night as the Pirates paid tribute to their “We Are Family” days of the 1970′s. They did so by only tabbing five hits in a 5-0 shutout. The Pirates of 2010 disrespected the uniform worn by so many legends of the ’71 and ’79 World Champions. Willie Stargell had to be looking down on Oakland shaking his head.

The living legends who played in the black and gold during the glory days have to be embarrased to watch the team play today. Living legends like Phil Garner, Dave Parker and Omar Moreno have to be proud of their play for the Pirates and probably take pride in beautiful PNC Park, but to have a team that stands at 25-50 lose games so handily has to be detrimental to their spirits. If I was one of them I would demand change and demand it now.

The first step needs to be the firing of John Russell. 
russell.jpg

He’s been quite the head scratcher since he was called upon to replace Jim Tracy some three years ago. The expression you see on his face to the right really is permanently tatooed on his face. His indifferent attitude and questionable moves should be reason enough to get him out of the dugout.

The long standing cry has been to fire Russell because he fails to light a fire unde rhis team. Yes, that is surely true. Amongst reports that he can go weeks without talking to some players, it is the baseball mind of Russell that truly is his Achille’s Heel. With the oppotunity to have a Designated Hitter this past week Russell threw Milledge into right field, he would committ a handful of errors. Now Milledge should be an everyday player but when there is that opportunity to have a DH it is best to give him a break from the field and put a stronger fielder, Ryan Church or Delwyn Young into the nine-position. His use of the bullpen, particularly his choice of relief pitchers in certain situations brings out his lack of knowledge. Being a former big league catcher the game management skills of Russell should not be this poor.

Whatever the front office sees in their whipping boy that is Russell is beyond me. The Pirates will not even come close to the promised land of a .500 season this year but why not make a splash. Show the league and the 25 men on the team that you do care and get Russell out of here. Something needs to be done and it looks like the only thing would be to fire Russell.

photo credits: itsonthelist.com, espn.com, postgazette.com/AP, nbc.com

You had to be there to believe it

 


Thumbnail image for 20-0 015.jpgTake that in for a moment folks.

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.

20-0 016.jpgPre game I was joking around with the Pirate Parrot, obviously not knowing the horrors of the game to come, which was a joke as well.

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.

 

20-0 001.jpgThere 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.

 

20-0 011.jpg“Cryan” Braun as he is referred to in Pittsburgh had 5 RBI. Ten players had at least one RBI including pitchers Claudio Vargas and Manny Parra. All but two Brewers who stepped to the plate had a hit.

The Pirates were swept by the Brewers and Pittsburgh natives let other Pittsburgh natives know it.

20-0 012.jpgI mean, really, what the heck? Dude in a Marc Andre Fleury t-shirt shows up with a broom to signify the Brewers accomplishment.

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. 

13 runs will do that to ya

It was a beautiful day in Morgantown, West Virginia on Sunday. Low 70 temps mixed with party cloudy skies make for one thing, softball.

softball.jpgTen 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.

 

Thumbnail image for duuuuuke.jpgDuke 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.

akigfj.jpg

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.

CO-AZ 2009 209.JPG

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

 

Wells Watch in Cinci

Remember at the beginning of the season when I documented the resurgence of former Pirate Kip Wells? Wells was one of my least favorite Buccos of the past decade and it seemed that he always wanted out of Pittsburgh so he could have a shot at success. He believed he was bigger than he was and took his cocky act around the league. He has been a journey man reliever and began the year in Washington. He has since been signed by the Reds and actually started today’s game against the visiting Bucs.

kipwellsreds.jpg

Prior to the game I wanted nothing more than to have the Buccos make an example out of this guy. While no current Pirate players were around when Kip was on the Pittsburgh club, it still would have made an impact for fans, loyal fans, like myself.

However, as John Steinbeck once said in his most famous book…”the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

Kip didn’t just go out and pitch wel, he was fairly dominant. He went 6 innings only allowing 2 hits and 2 earned runs. It was pretty depressing. The Pirates only mustered up 5 hits. 4 of which were by Ronny Cedeno and Jason Jaramillo. The other hit came by way of McCutchen. No not Andrew, the potential rookie of the year, in fact the other hit came off the bat of Daniel, Daniel McCutchen.

daniel cutch.jpg He had his teeth gritted and fire in his eyes. It was his major league debut. He did manage one hit-off his own bat. On the other hand, he gave up 5 hits, and 3 earned runs. In just his second major league pitch he surrendered a homerun to leadoff Cincinatti batter Drew Stubbs. After that things were looking better. He settled down and found his groove. He also put the Pirates in a position to win the game, something they haven’t been used to.

Its been a while since I last wrote an entry and when I last left off the Bucs were looking good. They were strong at the plate and recieving excellent starting pitching. 

Then they headed to Milwaukee.

The Pirates were swept over the weekend by the Brewers. The games were not totally ugly losses but the Brewers always have the Pirates number at Miller Park.

 

Like always Ryan Braun killed the Bucs with his bat. He reached base every game against the Bucs and hit a homerun, something he always seems to do when playing against Pitt.

RyanBraun.jpg I post this picture amidst my hurls of hatred but I figured my female readers may appreciate it. I’ve always voiced my dislike of the man. No doubt hes a great player, I just don’t appreciate his style of play on and off the field.

The Pirates have lost 21 straight games at Miller Park. Its downright disheartening, but then again so is the Pirates record away from home. They are 18-47 outside of PNC Park. You might as well make it 18-48 as the Reds are downing them here in game 2 of the doubleheader. Brandon Phillips smashed a home run and Cincinatti holds a 4-0 lead. No matter what is to come…LETS GO BUCS

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.