Before I express my feelings of relief, just got to ask one thing. Whats up with this celebration? I love seeing it. I love the look on the players faces when they are in mid air rejoicing after a win. I just don’t like that every team does it. I feel so proud as a Pirates fan knowing the Jolly Roger has just been raised and my boys are up like this, but every team in the MLB does it. It really rubs me the wrong way. I hope some team, I would love it be the Pirates, to come up with their own victory celebration. I would honestly like some touchdown celebrations of sorts. Nothing too drastic just an after the game dance or diddy out in the outfield. It would be a great marketing tool and players and fans alike can partake in their own jigs.
Now enough about that let me just say that a win is a win. They don’t come often but I surely enjoyed this 7-3 win over the respectable Rockies.
The Pirates owned this game from start to finish. Nearly every player contributed to the win in their own special way.
Starting pitcher Ross Ohlendorf was outstanding on the mound. He picked up his tenth win and now stands at 10-8. He went 6 innings giving up 6 runs and surrendering 3 earned runs. He was a little shaky as he gave up 2 home runs but still managed to work his way out of jams. He showed that he has the poise to avoid disastorous situations and get the key outs.
Ryan Doumit maneuvered his way out of a deeper funk. He notched a double as he went 2-4 with a walk and run scored. Doumit has been iffy all season. He started out hot, but went down with an injury that kept him out for a few months. On his rehab stints he stunk up the joint in the minor leagues. He failed to get hits and looked like a scrub. He has been equally scrubby since his return to the 25 man roster. He’s had his moments with 2 hit games, such as this one, but he has gone hitless in too many games. A good showing at the plate and a win may boost his confidence.
Lastings Milledge is not off the hook either. I love his potential and upside but he still has not proven he is the answer in left field. I still do miss Nyjer Morgan but I honestly believe Milledge will live up to the hype and be a star. You can see he puts in time in the weight room and stretches out those meaty legs. He flashed his hops during the game robbing a homerun and elevating above the outfield wall. It was a sensational grab and earned the number one spot on Baseball Tonight “Web Gems” The hosts ,emtyioned that the Pirates hold the lead for team appearances on the web gem segment. A cool honor and rightfully so as it seems night in and night out there is also a Buc on the spotlight.
Andrew McCutchen had another hat trick tonight. Remember 2 weeks ago when he hit 3 homeruns. Well as an encore a few days later he went hog wild again. Cutch stole 3 bases. An amazing feat and something only those special players can perform. He has some outstanding speed in those legs. To get him off and running is a great sign, and a warning sign for opposing teams. Getting him on base and on the move will definately score some run. (3 for him tonite)
One of my favorite faces of the Pirates organization is 3rd base coach Tony Beasley. Not only does his last name rhyme with mine he is a charasmatic fellow, like myself. I sometimes question his decsions about sending and holding runners, but 9 times out of ten he knows how to handle it. Last week his father and aunt dies, just a few days apart from each other. He was on leave to be with his family in these tough times. I love his courage and wish the best to his family. Its great to have him back guiding the Bucs. Here Beasley is with Delwyn Young. DY just laced a triple scoring two runs. He finsihed the game 2-5.
Maybe this game will right the ship and direct the Bucs to more wins. I know its late in the season but I hope they can finish respectably. Like I’ve preached before I want to see hope for the future. Tonight I surely did. My goal for the Bucs is to always finish above the Indians when the season is all said and done. We are a few games back now but if the push continues, watch out Tribe.
7:05– Bucco game starts. Excitement runs through my veins as another Philies-Pirates game begins. I enjoy this cross state rivalry and look forward to the games each year.
7:15- Pirate right fielder Garret Jones launches a home run to right field. I was skeptical of Jones at first. He never did intrigue me. He has since proven me wrong. Since his time in the big leagues he has connected with the ball well and been an asset in the outfield. He showed tonight that he has the power that the Pirates need.
7:18- Delwyn Young homers to left field. I love Young. He seems like a good guy with a nice personality and a good fit in the clubhouse. He brings a fire and passion to the team and always seems to get on base. A home run from him is always welcome.
7:48- Andrew McCutchen continues the trend and blasts an HR to left field. I had actually called this homerun. With Adam LaRoche on first I was ready for him to score. I figured no time like the present. I said Cutch is due for a dinger and he delievered right on cue. With a 5-0 lead I figured the Pirates had this game in the bag.
9:07- The Pirates got 2 more runs here in the 7th in thanks to a handful of miscues by the Philadelphia defense. Garret Jones drew a walk scoring Jack Wilson. Later in the inning Ryan Doumit knocked in McCutchen to earn his first RBI since returning to the big league club.
9:40- With the Pirates in the field and the Philies searching for any form of life at the plate Jack WIlson showcased his glove making a diving, over the shoulder catch in mid left field robbing Shane Victorino of a hit. Being the always aware, always attentive shortstop he is, Wilson flung the ball over to LaRoche at first doubling up Jimmy Rollins. It was an amazing play and sure to be a web gem and top 10 play on tomorrows ESPN broadcasts.
10:00- Matt Capps comes in with a 7-3 lead. I am always weary of these situations. I’m talking baout when a closer is brought in during a non-save situation. Capps had a little breathing room so I was sure he could seal the deal and give the bucs a win.
10:02- Just a few minutes after coming into the game Capps gave up a solo shot to Matt Stairs. I wasn’t worried yet. I like Matt Stairs, he too is a good guy and a fan favorite no matter where he plays. With the Pirates in 2003 he hit 20 homeruns. He leads all current MLBers with 18 pinch hit homeruns.
10:11- Ryan Howard steps to the plate with 2 men on and one out. This was the first meeting between Howard and Capps. Howard took advantage of the Big Bull Rider and absolutely blasted a shot over the centerfield fence. With one swing of the bat the game was tied and another chapter was written in Howard’s legacy book.
10:22- Ten minutes later the ball game was over. The bases were loaded and Paul Bako singled to left field scoring Raul Ibanez, who would be the dreadful winning run.
With the loss the Pirates slip to 11 games under .500. There is little hope for the rest of the season. There is also little hope for the future of Matt Capps. It is inexcuseable for a closer of his nature to blow a game like this. The Bucs recently brought in Joel Hanrahan from the Nationals. I do believe they have plans for him in the pen as a closer here in the near future.
Ryan Doumit performed well in just his second game back from the DL. He was 0-4 in his first game but turned it around tonight with 2 doubles.
Andy LaRoche turned on the jets when he laced a triple in the 8th inning. I did not realize it but it was his 4th triple of the year.
Andrew McCutchen had a heck of a game. He had 2 hits, one being the HR, a stolen base and scored. This is the kind of production we need from him in the leadoff spot.
Virgil Vazquez will square off against J.A. Happ tomorrow for game 3 of the series when Pittsburgh hopes to avoid the sweep.
This is not what I hope to see this week. The road trip to Chicago has not been as friendly as hoped for the Bucs. Sunday was an exciting come from behind thriller as the Pirates won 4-3 thanks to a tying homerun by Jack Wilson, his 1st of the season. And the ultimate winning run scored by Nyjer Morgan and hit by Delwyn Young. All the damage was done with the game on the brink in the top of the ninth.
The Pirates only managed 2 hits against Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd in Fridays 2-0 loss. A different story in the pivital game three. Sunday’s win gave the Pirates 16 hits en route to their 20th win of the season.
Pittsburgh now sits at 20-24 on the year and face the Cubs. I have to applaud whoever does the scheduling of teh season games. To hav ethe Pirates stay in Chicago for a six game stretch was very convienent. I’m sure the players appreciate not having to travel across the country but rather across town. I wonder if they just stayed in the hotel this past week? Doubtful because Chicago is a huge city, but nontheless it is a good move.
The Pirates now face the Cubs in an interesting crossroads. The Cubbies have lost 7 in a row. This could be both an advantage and disadvantage facing Pittsburgh. Can the Pirates kick Chicago while their down? Or will Chicago be hungry and feeding on the Pirates?
With all these questions upon us lets take a look at some of the images from Sunday’s dramatic victory at U.S. Cellular Field.
Eric Hinkse filled in at first base for Adam LaRoche. Hinske did things in a big way hitting a ground rule double in the first and a solo homerun in the 8th. The HR was his first of the year. Hinske’s performance should dictate more playing time at first base or anywhere on the diamond.
Starting pitcher Jeff Kaaaaaaarstens had one of his best outings of the year. (I add the aaaaaaar for the dynamic Pirate-sounding effect. Works dont it?) 5.1 innings pitched, 5 hits and 3 earned runs was his stat line. A no-decision but he definately allowed the Bucs to stay in the game.
Jack Wilson connects for his homerun in the top of the ninth. It was his first of the year and it could not have come at a more opportune time. The dinger tied the game at 3 and ultimately boosted the Pirates to score the winning run a few batters latter.
Nyjer Morgan crossed the plate for that winning run thanks to the RBI at the hands of Delwyn Young. The look in Morgan’s eyes and expression on his face sum up the feeling of winning that every player feels after a crucial moment. Morgan, a sprakplug in his own right will help instill the positive and most importantly winning mentality in the minds of the players to continue to win vicoriously.
Outfielder Nate McClouth, Morgan and Brandon Moss gather to celebrate the 4-3 vicotry after Matt Capps shut down the WHite Sox 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth. Capps struck out the side en route to his 9th save of the year.
After singing the Blues while witnessing 2 straight losses, I was signing the praises of the Bucs while watching this game on my couch, all part of my ideal lazy Sunday type of afternoon. As this week continues in Chicago I hope to see more jubilation in part to Buc victories, theres nothing like a good win to make your day alot better.
PHOTO CREDITS: allposters.com, espn.com
5…5 WINS…5 WINS IN A ROW!
It was a pitcher’s duel throughout the course of nine innings but the Bucs pull off another win, 2-1 over the Nats.
The Bucs played small ball to move rnners over with Delwyn Young, Freddy Sanchez and Nate McClouth all collected singles in the last frame. The offense was not there for the Pirates or the Nationals all game. Pittsburgh left 13 men on base, 9 times out of ten you lose a game when you leave that many on base. Thank goodness for John Russel’s crew, they were playing Washington.
The Nats are losing by the pound these days. Alot of the blame needs to be placed on their atrocouis bullpen. The Nats pen is 1-15 when givin the opportunity to win a game. John Hanarahan picked up the L for the Nats yesterday. An era of 6.97 and an 0-2 record just won’t cut it if you’re trying to win ballgames.
The losing tendency is wearing off an outfielder Adam Dunn. The offseason acquisition must really be rethinking signing with the club.
“I’m tired of talking about losses, period,” he said.
“You can only say the same thing over and over and over before you get fed up with it, and that’s kind of what’s going on right now.”
The opposite feeling is abounding over at the Pirates camp.
“It’s unbelievable. You can just feel the electricity in the clubhouse,” John Grabow said after he picked up his second win of the season to remain undefeated. “It’s so awesome knowing that when you win, how much it changes the mood. Everybody’s a lot more confident. When you come to the field and you’re expecting a win, it makes all the difference.”
With the Buc’s on a brink of a 4-game sweep. Fans are ready but quite hesitant to jump on the bandwagon. The brroms will surely be out in the capital tonight. From watching the series on FSN Pittsburgh there seems to be a large contingency of “Burghers cheering on the Bucs at National’s Park. The drive to D.C. is not very far and fans must be taking advantage of the short trip to take in a game as well as a history lesson about America.
Posters on the Pirates message board on piratec.com claim that a large population from the Steel City migrated to the east for work in the latter part of teh ’70s. After being in Baltimore myself last year for an Orioles-Pirates game I can definately agree. There were many many Buccos fans joining me to cheer on the Pirates. It’s laways nice seein us Pittsburgh fans invading another teams stdium. We surely get enough of them at PNC Park in the summer when Cardinals, Cubs and Philies fans invade the Park.
OH and by the way…
RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER…19-21
QUOTE CREDIT: espn.com/AP report
The city of Pittsburgh is usually a peaceful place. With an array of architectural landmarks and a breathtaking skyline, the Steel City beems with pomp and pride.
However when the baseball team takes the field, the city is filled with doom and gloom and nerves that hinder the inner momento that is the Pittsburgh Pirates.
What looked to be a turning of the tides the Pirates got out on the Brewers in the bottom of the first scoring a run thanks to a Freddy Sanchez bomb. The Brewers would get that run back in the top of the 2nd. The 4th, 6th and 8th innings were blown wide open by the Crew as starter Ian Snell got rocked and the bullpen couldn’t help in the least.
The pitching staff was able to hold Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun hitless, but the lower part of their lineup stepped up and got the job done. Former Pirate Jason Kendall scored a run, hit a single and was hit by a pitch. Corey Hart scored three runs with a pair of doubles.
The Pirates were able to muster up 5 runs over the span of the nine inning game but couldn’t come through in clutch situations.
First baseman Adam LaRoche was 0-5 and made the final out in each of his at-bats. Nyjer Morgan has been slipping as of late. His average his falling sharply and he failed to do what a leadoff man does, get on base. He did get a single but also grounded out twice, popped out and struck out swinging on a nasty pitch.
The one bright spot that stood out was bench player Delwyn Young. DY has not been given a legitimate shot with the Bucs but he proved his case for more playing time when he nailed a pinch hit double to right center field. The rocket that rolled to the wall scored two runs and set up a failed Pittsburgh comeback.
The Pirates have now fallen to 12-14 and have lost 7 of their last 8. The losing streak is also in tact as the Brewers have downed the Pirates in the last 17 games. The Bucs won’t even have a chance to redeem themselves until teh middle of summer when the Brewers come to town at the end of July.
At least one Bucco knew how to send a message to those cheese-headed, sausages loving, beer drinking, Milwaukee Brewers
In quite the head scraching move the Pirates have traded for Dodger’s outfielder Delwyn Young. The Pirates will either ship two players to be named later or cash to LA.
Now I have no problem with this. I’ve heard of the guy and hear he has a load of upside. He is 26 years old and will just be reaching the prime of his career.
“DY” as he was affectionately called in Las Angeles tore up the minor league circuit. In 2004 he hit 22 homers and batted .281. He made his major league debut in 2006 and has since struggled. His career BA is just .261 and his power numbers have slipped with just three home runs.
The Pittsburgh outfield is already crowded as it is. With Morgan going bonkers at the plate, McClouth solidifed in solid and the front office banking on Moss to contribute there really isn’t room for Young.
On the bench we have Hinske and Monroe who are good players and not getting the playing time they deserve as it is. In the minors we have Cutch and Tabata. The only logical explanation for this is that we will use one of them as more tade bait. He need pitching, all wee can get. More than likely Monroe or Hinske will be outta here first, maybe even Morgan. Morgan is the most attractive of the three because of his hot start. I can even see Adam LaRoche being traded. Moss or Hinkse can fill in at first and even Steve Pearce once he gets the call up.
It’ll be interesting to see how it unfolds and impacts the club….
PHOTO CREDIT: mlb.com