Results tagged ‘ Tom Gorzelanny ’

Pitt Peas tours the beltway

I couldn’t take it any more. 

Watching the first two Pirates games on Pittsburgh’s recently updated Root Sports Channel, had me very pumped up. Both games were competitive with great starting pitching. It’s safe to say myself, along with many others, are pumped up about the now 2-1 Buccos. They head to St. Louis for three games with the Cardinals and arrive back in PNC Park Thursday for the home opener.
That is too long. 
My friend Andrew and I packed up and ventured to Washington, D.C. for the rubber match between the Braves and Nationals and our first taste of big league ball this season. 
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Our nation’s capital is really hopping this time of the year. For good reason because it may be the prettiest spot in America in the springtime. The cherry blossoms were out from every stretch of the city. In full bloom, they were beautiful. It was a great way to welcome us back to a place where all citizens should visit at some point in their lives. The trees were also a perfect gateway to a great day of the national pastime. 
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Adorning my Expos shirt to honor the fallen franchise, we arrived at Nationals Park right as they gates opened.
It was a beautiful day for a game. 
Temperatures flitted with 60 degrees but remained fairly enjoyable. There was a slight chill and a majority of shade in the stadium but it was the perfect setting for a game in early April.
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Our first view of baseball batting practice from the stands in left field. Nats Park is very underrated when spoken of comparing it to other ballparks. In my opinion, it is the fourth best place for baseball behind St. Louis’ Busch Stadium, San Francisco’s AT&T Park and, obviously, Pittsburgh’s PNC Park. We stayed for a lot of batting practice, and while I’m not into the ballhawking scene it is entertaining to see others lay out for balls. The best part is seeing the happy faces of small kids receiving a big league ball. 
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Every Sunday in D.C. is “Signature Sundays.” There was a sparse crowd that early for the 1:35 game so we thought, what the heck, let’s chat it up with some ballplayers. Relievers Tyler Clippard, Brad Broderick, Tom Gorzelanny and Sean Burnett were waiting for fans on the dugout. This is me with former Pirate Sean Burnett. He was very outspoken, trashing the organization from his time with Pittsburgh. I confirmed it. He did say he enjoyed his time, but its not a baseball town. Come on Pirates, change his mind this year.
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Like I said, Nationals Park is a great place to watch a game and an even better museum for the great game of baseball. Honoring their former comrades of Montreal, Joe Carter and Andre Dawson are forever engraved in the walls of the stadium. And in a very cordial move, it honors a slew of Hall of Famers on the polls around the main concourse. As you can see, I had to grab a pic of “The Great One,” Roberto Clemente.
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Milwaukee has the Sausages. Cleveland has hot dogs. San Diego has Friars. Colorado has dots. Of course Pittsburgh has pierogies, but no racing item in Major League baseball is more politically correct than the presidents of Washington. Now, I am a loyal homer, but the race here is very anticlimactic. The jumbotron pre-race video is very funny but the race itself does not correlate with the goofy antics of the presidents, themselves. Come on, look at Teddy Roosevelt. 
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Andrew and I noticed the crowd in Washington is very intelligent. And we’re not necessarily referring to baseball smarts. A majority of the crowd looked like college professors and there were many people wearing local university attire to attest to that. Some fans even brought books to read during the game. We had great conversations with some people at the game. D.C. is a melting pot for many people across the country so being a Nationals fan looks to mean that they play second fiddle in many hearts.
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The game itself was a laugher in the home team’s expense. For the Nationals, the most rewarding part of the game may have been the Virginia Harmonizers who sang the National Anthem and God Bless America in the 7th inning. They were a great male vocal group who performs for the president. The game was an 11-2 shellacking. The Braves we
re paced by a six run 8th inning where they batted around. There was great production from top to bottom. Tim Hudson also pitched a gem. He surrendered just three hits in seven innings.
The baseball fun didn’t stop there.
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We jumped on the beltway and made the 45 minute trip to Camden Yards. There was not a game there as the Orioles were finishing up a series in Tampa, but there was still much activity in the stadium’s vicinity. I felt like we were in the opening scene of “Rookie of the Year” as workers were hustling preparing the ballpark for the team’s home opener against the Tigers.
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Andrew is a Yankee fan. His family is embedded in the pinstripes and their loyalty never wanes. Being in an AL East foe’s stomping grounds didn’t stop him from enjoying himself, though. As Babe Ruth’s birthplace, Baltimore is a historically rich baseball town. The statue honoring the Babe proves just that. 
After a lap around Camden Yards we called it a day and left the area making the three hour trip back to Morgantown, West Virginia. It was a little somber leaving a day that was filled with baseball, but it served as a prelude to the glory that this Thursday will hold. It’s opening day in Pittsburgh. The faith is still growing for fans across the nation. If your team is undefeated, congrats. If your team has yet to win a game, that’s why they play 162 games. The season is still young but many eyes have opened with sparks of hope seen inside. 
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This really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Now that’s more like it

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RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER…21-24

Freddy Sanchez went bonkers at the plate going 6-6 with 3 RBI and a homerun. Nate McLouth added a homerun as well and the Pirates beat the Cubs 10-8 at Wrigley. Andy LaRoche also enjoyed contributing to the offensive explosion. He now has a ten game hitting streak with his 3-hit performance on Memorial day.

Paul Maholm started the game for Pittsburgh but Tom Gorzelanny picked up the win. Sean Burnett earned his first career Major League save. Long overdue for a guy who was supposed to be a cornerstone to the Bucs future pitching staff way back in 2003. He only was given the reins last night after Matt Capps was struck with a Geovanny Soto line drive. Capps was pulled from the game and taken to teh hospital for X-rays, they came back negative. (GOOD SIGN).

Just like the rest of the Major League Baseball team the Pirates took part in Memorial Day festivities.

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By adorning the red caps the Bucs did not match at all. The ***** Eye for the Straight Guy folks would have a field day making over this uniform combination. But what matters is that those who fought to serve our country were honored. I for one really like the hate. I’m a sucker for flashy hats and that one that Jack Wilson is wearing in the picture to teh right is just that-flashy. I may have to take a trip to the mall and hit up Lids. It would go well for my summer wardrobe, plus it would come in handy come 4th of July.

The Pirates weren’t the only ones in the patriotic spirit yesterday.

 

mr. t.jpg Although he was the “Southside Slugger” in rocky 3, Clubber Lang appaered on the other side of town. The beloved Mr. T was on hand decked out in perfect Red White and Blue attire to throw out the first pitch in the ballgame. Still looking buff-minus the earings he delievered a perfect strike across the plate.   

La-La-La LaRoche

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RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER…18-21

 

 

A fun game in the nation’s capital. 

This game had it all. Happiness, sadness, despair, but in the end, glory.

It took ten innings but the Pirates prevailed 8-5. The Bucs jumped out to an early 5-0 lead thanks in part to an Andy LaRoche homerun.

andy.jpg LaRoche connected on a pitch and belted it deep into the left field seats. He went just 1-3 but the homer gave the Bucs are nice lead cushion and the best chance to win the game. He now has a 5 game hitting streak and an average of .254. The sky is the  limit for this kid if he can come through liek he did today.

Today’s game was also headlined by the other LaRoche. Adam followed in his bro’s footsteps, not with a homerun but with a pair of RBI.

Adam was hitless on the today and was on the brink of going 0-4. He had other plans and drilled a sharp line drive into right field. 2 runs scored and the jubilation would begin as another run would be added thanks to an RBI by Ramon Vazquez. To put this game away liek the Pirates did was fantastic. Everything came together on the offensive side and that translated to the W.

The Pittsburgh ballclub had their scare. In the sixth inning the Nats threatened and scored 4 runs over the course of the next few innings. The biggest irk came in the ninth with a Nick Johnson triple. Johnson would come in to score after a Sean Burnett wild pitch. Burnett would be replaced by Tom Gorzelanny. Gorzo closed the game out and picked up the win.

Seeing Gorzo warm up was both encouraging and threatening. Watching teh game with my father, we discussed how Tom would fit back into the mix for the Bucs. I believe he will work best in the pen. Thanks to short term work he will be well rested and can easily come in and get the job done, much like he did tonight. My father, his passion is the main reason I am a Pirate fan belives different. He feels Gorzo had his chance and blew it. He was scarry on the mound as a starter and just seeing him up with the club gives my pops the shivers.

Well, Tom did get the job done, but this night belonged to the Brothers LaRoche. There are two more games to be played in Washington against the Nats. A good sign for the Bucs to creep closer and closer to that .500 mark.

 

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PHOTO CREDITS:http://www.mitsyavilaovalles.com/uploaded_images/526234219_17e17f947a-724802.jpg

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Just Like Gorzo and a Pirates winning streak-I’M BACK

Well its been over a week since my last blog entry. Sorry for the delay, I’ve been rather busy these past days. I’m back in my hometown of Youngstown, OH. WVU is out for the summer and I have returned to my roots. This means backyard baseball with my brother and buddies. A favorite past time of mine as we gather neighborhood, high school and grade school friends over to my house for big wiffle ball games. It’s always competitive and as eveyone is growing older the competition level will surely be rising this summer.

I hope you all enjoyed Andrew Schuerholz and Chris Kiernan’s diary of their trip to Fenway Park. They had the time of their life and enjoyed the classic baseball setting. They also witnessed quite the great game as the Red Sox rallyed in the 8th inning thanks to Jason Bay setting the pace. Bay, being a former Pirate, is my favorite player and even though I don’t really like the Red Sox (come on their the Red Sox, who actually like them anyway), I find myslef cheering for Jason.

Me on the other hand I’ve been bust moving back up here and getting things situated at my minimum wage job. But, just last week I enjoyed a mini-vacation of my own. I went to Minnesota for a week to visit some family and friends. The big country landscape with pastures that stretch for miles was a great setting, the perfect for some much needed rest and relaxtion. While I hoped to take in a Twins game that fell through. I hoped to be able to drive through Minneapolis for the game and to catch a glimpse of the building process of their new stadium, Target Field. I hear it is supposed to be beautiful and give PNC Park a run for its money. It is built in the same mindset and structure of PNC but with a few added amenities it could definately be a sight to behold.

I have previously been to the Twin Cities for a game at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodump. Sorry to rag on it like that but it is a dump. From the outside it reminds me of a bounce a round that you would find in the backyard at an 8 year old’s birthday party. On the inside, the large concourses and gaping awkward spaces make it less than ideal for baseball. However, I am very impressed with the Twins fanbase. They show up to games no matter how crappy their stadium may be. They love their baseball, their Twins and their pretty boy Joe Mauer, there is no doubt about that.

I did manage to make a trip to the mall of America.

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It is the ultimate mega-structure and entertainment destination. It is loaded with any type of specialty store you could ever ask for. Being a fan of memorobilla and paraphernalia regarding sports I wa sin heaven. Though I did not buy anything it was cool to see everything offered and presented in the 4 stories of shopping splendor.

The part I enjoyed most about the Mall was reliving scenes from my all-time favoite move.

 

jingle.jpgNow baseball movies are my forte and I have talked about them in the past there is nothing like a good Christmas movie to put you in the spirit. I love this movie so much, starring Arnold Schwarzeneger and Sinbad it is a father’s quest to find the ultimate Christmas gift for his son. His quest takes him to the Mall of America and he runs wild through the mall trying to find that special “TurboMan Doll” for his son.

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In one of my favorite scenes Arnold runs through this Lego area trying to capture a bouncy ball that may say if he won the TurboMan doll. While running through he knocks down lego creations being built by children playing in the area. Seeing kids do the same thing while I was walking by, I was very tempted to cause a rampage just like Arnold did, however, I held off.

It was a great trip and one I will rememebr forever.

One thing I do hope to forget about the trip was the state of teh Pittsburgh Pirates. Not following them may have been a good thing as they lost 8 straight ball games. Howver, since my return home the Bucs have been hot and are currently riding a 3-game winning streak. Jack WIlson has been on fire, last night against teh Nationals he went 4-4 with 2 doubles and a triple. I was surprised to see local media outlets covering Wilson so tightly as there has been speculation that he soon could be traded. I must put my foot down and hope these rumors are false.

Jack has been a tremedous sparkplug over the past two seasons and really he is the glue that holds the Bucs together. To trade him would hurt the chemistry, offense, defense and leadership that this team needs.

While Jack has been back, so has a familiar face in Tom Gorzelanny. Gorzo started the season in Triple A after a horrendous spring. Just like much of our other young pitchers he had a great potential but faltered and never lied up to expectations. Now that RP Tyler Yates is on the DL, Gorzo is back in the Burgh pitching from the bullpen. If he can prove to be back to where we all that he could his future may not totally be tarnished. To have some positive outings in the back end of the pen would be a great confidence booster for the young man.

Well now that I’m back in the groove I hope to update the blog everyday. Get your Pirates fix right here at the Peas.

Gorzo=Donezo

In a surprising move by at least my account, Tom Gorzelanny has been optioned to AAA Indianapolis.

Gorzo obviously had his struggles last year and is no stranger to Indy. Last year Gorzelanny went 6-9 in Pittsburgh and in the least compelling stat line I’ve ever seen , Tom had a 6.66 era.

6.66? The satanic number was definitely a sign of his dreadful performances. While Gorzelanny had plenty of upside two years ago he just never lived up to his potential.

In 2007 he went 14-10 with a solid era of 3.00. Respectable numbers and plenty of upside looked to be the future for this young gun. However, it just didn’t work out. I commend the Pirates for this move, accountability grows in the sod of PNC Park.

This spring for Gorzo didn’t help his case for  a spot on the big league club. In only 9 innings pitched, Tom gave up  eight hits and five runs.

The reason this was surprising, for me at least was the fact the Pirates usually do not give up on a player quickly like this. The team never wants to dismiss a young gun pitcher of theirs giving them every shot to make it. Matt Morris, Nelson Figueroa, and Josh Fogg come to mind.

I hope a message is sent to the whole organization that the Pirates expect nothing less than the best. I hope Gorzo can develop in the minors for the better part of this season. Maybe he can turn things around and get back to the success of ’07. Until then, he can enjoy bobbin his middle finger flippin’ bobble head on the road trip to Indiana.

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