It’s been a while huh.
Sorry folks a full senior year of college schedule on top of two jobs really weighs ya down. I’m sure I’m dissapointed than most of your readers by my lack of entries but theres just not any time.Plus the obvious fact that the Pirates haven’t given me much besides a 55-100 season, there just isn’t much to talk about.
That is, until Sunday.
It was my first Fan Appreciation Day in quite sometime. The PNC Park schedule ran dry on Sunday as the Astros and Bucs did battle for the final time in PNC Park for 2010. It was my first season finale ballgame since 2000 when Three Rivers Stadium closed its doors.
Sunday morning began with a bang.
They don’t call it the Jewel on the North Shore for nothing. Nestled beyond the trees across the Allegheny River it really is a spectacle to behold. For the next 3-4 hours I would be sitting in my summer home for the final time this year. It chokes me up now and I did lose it when I entered the gates for the final time.
I met my good friend Erin for the game. She’s an awesome girl who shares my intense love for the team that has sustained 18 straight losing seasons. We have shared many memories together this season, many stemming from past experiences we have been through throughout the years. Thats what makes the Pirates and baseball in general so beautiful, the memories you gain with every pitch. But so much in the experience deals with the people you are with and the atmosphere in the ballpark. She gets that feeling too, rare for college kids in our area.
Entering the stadium was really one of the most memorable and defining moments of the day. Remember what song I heard as I entered the gates on opening day in April?
Probably not, it was John Fogerty’s Centerfield. The baseball gods must have been looking down (they have a lot this season for me) because I heard it again Sunday. Crazy how these things work.
We took are seats four rows behind the Pirates dugout. How much did we pay? 15 each, on stubhub.com. Some seats were going as low as 45 cents on the website.
Just let that soak in. People who saw games at Forbes Field payed more than that for the worst seats.
I got tears in my eyes as the team ran out. And let the waterworks flow after the top of the first when there was a highlight video put to many highlights from the year. Believe it or not, there were a lot. Including the best sports moment I’ve ever experienced on August 8th when Pedro Alvarez went deep in walk off fashion.
Being so close was beautiful. Perfect way to end the season.
Great win but with 179 more days to go before I will be back in this place leaves a lump in my stomach. Its hard to fathom that there will be no more road trips to Pittsburgh for a baseball game for quite sometime.
However, the festivities of the day did not end there.
Throughout the game lucky fans were picked to come on the field and recieve the game worn jersey of each player. Quite the honor especially if you were drawn for Pedro Alvarez’s, Neil Walker’s, Garret Jones’ or Andrew McCutchen. Chris Resop, Pedro Ciricao or Joe Martinez? Not so much, still quite the honor. They also drew names for Tv’s, Blu Ray players, gift cards to many places and air fare for too. Unfortunately neither me nor Erin were so lucky. She did however grab a piece of Pirate memorobilla right from the sky, literally.
She nabbed a hat thrown by pitcher Ross Ohlendorf. It was a nice snag!
After watching many little kids and their families run the bases after the game we finally decided it was time to leave. We were one of the last to leave the park, it felt good to close up shop. We just needed to get our moneys worth until next April. We then had a great dinner in Oakland, home of the University of Pittsburgh. Much to my dismay, it really isn’t that bad of an area. I always listen to John Denver’s Country Roads though to salvage my West Virginia roots. It was a great Autumn day in the ‘burgh.
But, speaking of April, it really isn’t that far off, is it?
Guys, it is getting ugly. A 10-3 loss to the Astros on Sunday gave the Bucs a six game losing streak. After starting the year at 7-5, I was pumped. Optimism was abound amongst my 21 year old self. The city of Pittsburgh took notice and there was a bandwagon. Even Regis Philbin jumped on board.
The good wishes of Regis must have been the kiss of death.
Since then the Pirates have not won a game.
I thought that 20-0 debacle would have knocked some sense into the Pirates. Maybe a heralded speech by manager John Russell, a stern talking to by owner Bob Nutting or even some inspirational tactic used by Bill Mazeroski, would set this team ablaze and maybe pick up a few wins in Houston.
It was the complete opposite.
Friday-4-3 loss, Saturday- 5-2 loss, Sunday-10-3 tanking.
This team is depleted. There simply is no talent. Garrett Jones, pictured left, has fallen off the face of the earth.
He is now batting a miniscule .214. He struck out three times this weekend, but did score a meaningless run on Sunday.
There is no power souce on this lineup. Lastings Milledge is just a single machine. A major league rightfielder needs to drive the ball deep and over the fence, occasionally. Milledge doesn’t seem to have the wearwithall to do what is needed to be a big hitter in this lineup.
With the lack of power comes the lack of pitching.
Charlie Morton took the hill Sunday. There was speculation that he was going to come out firing. Hes said to have the best “stuff” on the staff. But “stuff” does not go far. It didn’t on Sunday either.
Looking to depress his 16.55 ERA Morton gave up five earned runs over just three innings. He struck out two batter and actually did bring down his ERA to 16.20.
Little triumphs need to be celebrated.
One forthcoming celebration was the recovery of Chris Jakubauskas.
In the first inning a Lance Berkman line drive blasted off his head. He was down for nearly ten minutes, legs wiggling. I ccould only imagine his pain. It hurt to see the highlights. He was able to stand up and left the field on a stretcher. After spending the night in the hospital he was placed on the DL. Sad thing is, he was just called up from the minors to get the start.
So what team is up next for the Pirates?
phot credits- AP/postgazette.com, milwaukeescoop.com