Two games, two days, and two losses. After not showing up on Friday, the Pirates did come to play. However they would strand 14 baserunners and lose a tough one to the Braves 4-2.
It was a rainy day in Pittsburgh, no batting practice would be held. So me and my friends headed into town at 6 and grabbed some food at Jimmie Johns (probably the most underrated restaurant in America).
We got in at 6:30 and received our Garrett Jones Action Figures.
While there was potential with this giveaway, it looks nothing like him and you can’t pose it like a real action figure. I’ll take the photo wraps over it any day.
It began raining at 6:45 and the game would be delayed until 8:30. It wasn’t too bad at first, but when it started picking up around at 7 we were forced from our uncovered seats in the outfield to find shelter.
We would find refuge in an elevator lobby and would spendthe delay filling out All-Star ballots.
Needless to say, the chances of an all Pirates vs Royals starting lineup in the Midsummer Classic got a whole lot better.
We were also treated to such baseball classics like this Bugs Bunny cartoon on the TV.
The tarps came off at 8:15 and it was time to head back down.
Charlie Morton was the starter for the Pirates, bringing the leagues worst ERA into the game. After escaping unscathed from a bases-loaded jam in the first, and allowing three runs in the next two innings, it looked like we were in for a night of the same old Charlie.
He would settle down, and the Pirates broke their 20 inning scoreless streak and made the score 3-2 in the fourth. The Pirates would at least get one man in scoring position every inning for the rest of the game but they couldn’t score. Maybe John Russel will realize now that having Aki Iwamura batting leadoff and Bobby Crosby second is a major major MAJOR mistake. But even starts like Andrew McCutchen couldn’t get the big hit when needed. He struck out in the 8th with two men on and two outs.
In the 9th the Braves would add on one more run. With the bases loaded and two outs Joel Hanrahan pitched to Brian McCann. He swung and missed at strike three but the ball got away from Ryan Doumit (big surprise there). Rather than flip the ball to Hanrahan covering home for the force out, Doumit for some reason threw the ball to first. The throw was high and Jones couldn’t find the bag after comming down. 4-2 Braves. It was a close play and John Russell got thrown out arguing the call. It was just his third ejection in a little over 2 years at the helm. The Pirates got a man on second in the 9th, but again no one could pull through and the game was over.
Further angering me tonight other than the Pirates own offensive ineptitude were this group of drunk people sitting behind me. They showed up to the game loaded and spent the entire delay and 3 and 1/2 hour game yelling stupid lines from movies and incredibly inappropriate things regarding Nate McLouth’s mother. I was even more provoked when a toss-up from Andrew McCutchen between innings missed my glove by inches and one of the boozed up idiots caught it in his hat. I tried the new security texting number, being that there were families with young children having to put up with this nonsense, but it wouldn’t work.
Between those things, and the game ending after midnight, I don’t think I have ever left PNC Park so disgusted in my life. Luckily we made a trip to Eat n Park to redeem our Scratch and Win Saturday cards for free pie at 1 AM.
Now some pics
Watch out Facebook, here comes Bravesbook!
Jason Heward with
some kid Nate McLouth.
Nate and Jason were very good with the fans tossing balls up before every inning.
0 balls/ 11 total/ 1.83 average
Next game will be Memorial Day against the hated Cubs
It was another 13 days between games, and I was itching to get back to the ballpark. I was also looking forward to the return of former Bucco Nate McLouth. Nate was one of my favorite Pirates in recent years, and watching him go from Jim Tracy’s doghouse in the early part of his career to an All-Star in 2008 was quite a treat.
Anyway the cloudy skys over PNC Park held up, and for the first time in a while there would be batting practice today. Upon entering at 5 the Pirates were just about done hitting. The first ball I had a chance on was a Ronny Cedeno ground rule double. It hit the fence on the hop mere centimeters away from my glove. It was no big deal because moments later Lastings Milledge hit a home run that I caught on the fly amid a sea of other gloves. Definitely one of the better snags I have had. The Pirates would wrap things up shortly after but not before Delwyn Young tossed me my second ball of the day.
The Braves were comming out and it was time to unleash my secret weapon
My dad’s ratty old Braves jersey. All but two buttons were missing on it, but it covered the Pirates logo on my Dri-Fit undershirt so that would do. The Braves are very lefty-heavy so I made my way into the seats in right-center field when the gates to the rest of the park opened at 5:30. I was just in time to see Jayson Heyward come to the plate. He would put on a show launching nearly every other ball into the seats. I had a very close call to getting one. It struck a seat a couple rows behind me and started rolling down the row behind me. It was between me and two other people, and another fan beat me to it by a tenth of a second. I also slammed my often injured left knee off a seat going for it so I would be hobbling around the rest of the night.
Right afterwards, another former Pirate reliever Jessie Chavez threw me my third ball. He’s the one on the right talking with coach Eddie Perez
The fourth ball I would get came from reliever Takashi Saito. He scanned all the people against the fence and saw I was the only one in Braves gear. When he flipped the ball to me and thanked him, he responded “No, thank you.” Sweet.
When BP was nearly over a ball hit by Melky Cabrera got lodged in the fencing in front of me. I reached down and pulled it out and gave it to a kid who was repededly getting shut out by his annoying sisters.
It was now time to go up to my perch and watch the game.
It was yet another uninspired performance for the Pirates. Ross “The Boss” Ohlendorf got shelled and the Pirates were only able to get 3 singles off of Tim Hudson. Final Braves 7, Pirates 0. The Buccos have now gone 17 straight innings without scoring a run. Jayson Heyward had a great game going 3 for 4 with a rocket home run that probably could have killed somebody.
Despite the bad game I would like to applaud the team for two things.
1. Free scorecards in game programs. I got sick of paying $2 every game for one so I bought a scorebook from Dick’s Sporting Goods to keep my games straight. Well last night a free scorecard in the First Pitch magazine made it’s debut. Good call.
Here is my one from last night.
Probably hard to read but all you need to know is that the Braves had a lot of colored in diamonds, and the Pirates did not.
2. Andrew McCutchen Photo Wraps
This giveaway surprised me. It was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. It will look good in my dorm at Ohio University next year.
I will also be attending tonights contest against Atlanta, as struggling starter Charlie Morton takes on Derek Lowe. I’ll have a recap of that as well. As always I leave you with my pull.
5 baseballs/ 11 total/ 2.2 per game
Record at games attended 3-2 (Bullington jersey record drops to 1-1)
Hot Dogs eaten 2/ 6 total
I hadn’t been to the ballpark in a while, 18 days to be exact, and I was just looking forward so much to be back at home at PNC Park. There were just a couple of problems facing us before we headed down.
First, the 40 MPH winds and threat of rain cancelled batting practice. Luckily I had a heads up from a friend that works with the team, so I wasn’t standing around in the cold for two hours with nothing to do.
Secondly, the Pirates were facing the top of the Cardinals rotation, and early season surprise Jamie Garcia was taking the mound against proverbial AAAA starter Jeff Karstens. The Pirates had played one of their worst games fundamentally of the season the night before and blew many chances to steal a game from the Cards and Cy Young candidate Chris Carpenter. Tonight they would have to right the ship.
The Buccos would certainly do so, getting good performances from unlikely players in addition to a little help from the umps.
The view from section 316 as Karstens deals to Puljos in the 1st.
Jeff Karstens threw one of his best games of his career going 6 innings while holding the stacked Cards lineup to just 3 hits. The Pirates would get their first run of the game in the 2nd when Ronny Cedeno singled home Steve Pearce. Jamie Garcia would also settle in, as neither starter wanted to give in.
In the top of the sixth, with two on, and two out the Cardinals were looking like they were about to get on the board. Colby Rasmus singled to left and Ryan Ludwick was rounding third and heading for home. Lastings Milledge had unleashed a throw that appeared to be off-line. However, back-up catcher Jason Jaramillo was able to get the ball and make a swipe-tag on Ludwick. The replay showed that he was clearly safe, but a good sell-job by JJ bought the Pirates a very important out and preserved the 1-0 lead.
Another tense moment for the Bucs came in the top of the 8th. With men on first and second Albert Puljos came up to the plate. Joel Hanrahan, who has put his awful ’09 behind him, was able to strike him out and keep the 1-0 lead still intact.
Jason Jaramillo added insurance as he had an RBI single to make it 2-0 and ended up 3-4 on the day. Octavio Dotel pitched a clean 9th, and the Pirates celebrated a nice 2-0 victory.
It is worth noting that there were some idiots who thought it was appropriate to chant “Lets Go Pens” after they clinched a 2-1 win over the Canadians tonight during the top of the 9th. I like hockey a lot, its prob my second favorite sport behind baseball, but it was very inapropriate to do this when there is one out in the top of the 9th and the closer is holding on to a slim lead. Save it for a blowout.
There were also fireworks after the game which capped off a great night.
The only thing missing were a couple of baseballs.
6 baseballs/4 games= 1.5 avg.
Hot dogs eaten 2 = 4 total on the season
Record at games attended: 3-1
Prize Wheel Results:
Adam- Aluminum Water Bottle
Johnny- Aluminum Water Bottle
Me- $6 off infield grandstand (streak of consecutive games winning free tickets snapped at 2)