I’ve been to three Pirate games thus far, this season. The young season has not treated me well, personally, as I am 0-3 when seeing live games.
There may not be a more refreshing sight that will grace the PNC Park jumbo tron, this year.
es against the Brewers coming up this week, I plan on returning to my summer home to catch some more baseball. We all have a special place where we need to go to take time off, relax and be entertained. For ten years, PNC Park has been my spot. With 78 more home games to go I plan on enjoying every single one I get to go to, win or lose.
Within 25 seconds of dropping our bags off in our St. Pete Beach hotel room my buddy Marc was out the door headed to the beach. It jump started an unforgettable week in Florida. We created lifelong memories and stories we can share for years down the road. It’s senior year spring break, we did it the best way we knew how. Enjoy some photos from our week in the Sunshine State.
This past week I turned 22 years old.
The Cubbies have not won the World Series since 1908.
They also haven’t won a a game against the Pirates since September 29, 2009.
The Offense of the Pirates has been ignited all season when they are matched up with Chicago.
The Pirates put up 10 runs on Friday and have collected 26 runs thus far against the Northsiders.
Why the surge?
Look no further than the faces of the organization.
Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones made history Friday afternoon becoming the first teammates since 1999 to record five hits each while hitting a homerun.
Cutch went 5-for-5 with homer, Jones 5-for-6 with a three run blast.
It really has been a tale of two seasons for these two young men. Just establishing themselves last season in their rookie years the tandem had big, pressure filled roles placed upon their shoulders entering this season.
Andrew has lived up to the expectations. Garrett has not. At least until Friday.
McCutchen has been the unquestioned leader of his team. Batting a team leading .336 with a .522 slugging percentage.
Jones has been slow, but is finally turning his underperforming season around. The power he showed last year (21 homeruns in just a half a season of play) and at the start of this season (two home runs in his first two at bats of the season). Jones and McCutchen are tied for the team lead with five dingers. He has brought his Mendoza line BA up to a respectable .264.
He may never live up to the legend he built himself up to be last season, but Jones can prove he is a legitimate threat in this otherwise depleted lineup.
Currently Jones has struck out with the bases loaded in an attempt to add to the Pirates 3-2 lead over the Cubs. They scattered their only three runs in the first inning but have continued to get on base. This is a big series for not only the Bucs as they try to keep their win streak alive over a division opponent. It is also big for myself and other Pittsburgh fans.
For every run the Pirates score one dollar comes off the price of a Left field or Right field ticket for next week’s series against the Braves. Currently those tickets will be just $11 dollars. They are great seats regularly priced at $24 dollars. 11 more runs and yep, they are free! I’m hoping for a few more insurance runs and bigger discount. I’d love to be at the ballpark for cheap next weekend!
phot credits: postgazette.com
He led off Saturday’s game against the Dodgers putting the first run on the board, a solo shot in the first inning.
The blast was his 4th of the year and the homerun that brought him the most attention since last year’s 3-homer night at PNC Park.
As McCutchen was rounding second base he looked to give a little fist pump. There was no doubt he was excited as he is a fiery player who tends to show his emotions, a good thing in my opinion.
The Didgers did not think so. And neither did Pirates color analist Bob Walk. Walk, a former pitcher, said he was and would have been upset with McCutchen’s actions when he was a MLB starting pitcher and as a player today.
In the fifth inning Dodger’s relief pitcher, veteran Ramon Ortiz sent messages to Cutch. Not a message. Messages.
Two pitches brushed the back of McCutchen. Back to back pitches, no way they could have “gotten away” from Ortiz. The two pitches come after a pair of Bucco batters were plunked earlier in the game as well. After the at-bat McCutchen was visibly upset as he walked to the dugout jawing at the field and what looked like other teammates.
Pirates starting pitcher Zach Duke had an oppotunity to settle the score against Ortiz and the
Dodgers. He went back on the hill and went back to work as usual. Even when Ortiz stepped to the plate, such a rare occurance for a relief pitcher, Duke did not come inside.
Now I am torn. Part of me thinks Duke and manager John Russell took the high road. They looked at this objectively and knew that throwing at Ortiz or any Dodger would be disrespectful and even childish.
However, if I was McCutchen I would feel betrayed. I would expect my teammates and my manager to stand up for me. He goes up there night in and night out and busts his butt for the team to apparently not be as appreciated or valued.
After the game when asked about the scenrio Duke said he “dropped the ball” in regards to not protecting McCutchen. Post-Gazette reporter Dejan Kovacevic reported that the mood was very somber and angry after this 5-1 loss to LA.
Outfielder Ryan Church seemed offended regarding the issue saying “It stinks. You don’t throw at somebody’s head.” Referring to McCutchen’s noggin.
Now when Duke was pulled from the game in favor of reliever Jack Taschner, he came in with a bang. The first batter he faced was Andre Eithier. The first pitch he threw sailed behind Eitheir. The dust settled there for the night.
The Pirates are now 10-15. They return home to face the Cubs. And I must go back to my finals studying.
photo credits: mizuno.com, AP-dodgers.scout.com