Since the Pirates are faltering at an alarming rate (they fell 10-1 to the Rockies yesterday only managing 3 hits) I really need another team to support. Not saying I’m dismissing the Bucs, no not at all. I just need a team to root for. I’m not going out and spending money on jerseys, shirts and memorabilia. I’m just saying I would like to find a team in the American League that I can kind of call my own.
I do like other teams. After being to 25 MLB teams home games there are al ot of teams I like. The Rays are one (because come on-who doesnt like the Rays since their Cinderella story of last year). I like the Giants because of the beautiful city of San Francisco and the ballpark is top notch. I own a Red Sox shirt, only because it is Jason Bay-my all-time favorite player. And I also like the Tigers and Twins. Mostly because they are AL Central rivals of my least favorite team, the Indians.
But I want a claer cut-this is my team American League club. After much thought and consideration I’ve decided on the….
I’ve never been to Seattle and Safeco Field is one of the only five teams that I have not seen at their home field. The mariners have always been in the hunt for the playoffs, save for last year, and that is why I kind of enjoy their style of play. They lost 100 games last year and have gretaly improved to an above .500 record and an outside shot at making the playoffs. When the Pirates lose 100 games one season they may improve and only lose 80 some the next year. Thats is their idea of improvement.
Earlier in the summer for the WVU school newspaper The Daily Athenaeum asked four of the sports writers to come up with the most surprising teams of the first half of the season. I chose the Mariners because of their complete 180 turn around from a year ago. You can read my article, and see what my other colleagues had to say here.MARINERS ARTICLE
Now I wrote this article before the tradeline just when the Mariners caught my eye. After the trade dealine some of my heart flew to Seattle.
Were shipped off to the Space Needle City, sorry I’m not sure of its nickname. It was so sad to see them go. We all know how much I enjoyed Ian Snell. His style of play, fiery attitude, and down to earth comments made him my favorite Pirate. I bought his jersey and have many autographed items from him. When he fell from the good graces of Pirates fan this year I supported him and knew he could come back and become an MLB ballplayer. He has been decent in Seattle, except for last night when he was rocked for 5 runs by the Yankees. I still will always support him, wear the jersey and follow his whole career.
I took Jack Wilson for granted. He was a Pirate for nearly 9 years and showcased some of the best defensive skills in the game of baseball. He was so underrated by not only major league fans but the Pirates as well. Whenever he was out of the lineup, the Pirates truggled mightily. He was always the face of the organization and represented the Pirates everywhere he went. I’m sure he will be a fan favorite in Seattle as well. With all his communtiy involvement and fan friendliness the Mariner faithful better treat him well.
I can’t just let 2 of my favorite Buccos go without cheering for them every step of the way. All the Pirates that have been traded over the year are still always going to be favorite of mine. It just so happened that two of my beloeved Buccos wound up on the same team.
Good Luck Mariners, make up some ground. It will be tough without Adrain Beltre in the lineup, the injury of Erik Bedard and the trade of Jarrod Washburn have hurt. There is still time this season and even next year if they can reload and retian Jack for next year.
But as always…
LETS GO BUCS!
Good call on my part getting this guys jersey last year, he has done nothing but been a dissapointment. The Mets harrased him for 5 runs today over six innings. He has a record of 1-6 on the year and an era of 5.68. If he doesn’t look out Tom Gorzelanny could very well be on his tail for a spot in the rotation. If he doesn’t get his head on striaght or something I’m going to be shopping around for a new jersey.
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
Meet Yovani Gallardo
The ace pitcher of the Milwaukee Brewers. Gallardo has been a key component of the Milwaukee pitching staff for the last two years. He has been even more of a cornerstone now that Ben Sheets and CC Sabathia are no longer with the club. In Wednesday’s game Gallardo was just nasty. Picking up his third win of the year he went 8 full innings only giving up two hits to the Bucs.
On the other hand Ian Snell to the mound for Pittsburgh. 7 full innings, 5 hits and one earned run was Snell’s stat line for the night. Any pitcher would take those numbers, especially Snell. The one thing that was dicouraging for Snell was how the one run was given up.
Meet Yovani Gallardo
Yes this is the same Yovani. The same Yovani Brewers fans all know and love, Pirates fans, not so much. Not only did he embarass Bucco batters with his slew of pitches, he also embarasses Ian Snell. Gallardo jacked a 7th inning dinger over the left field fence. Not only did the pitcher belt the homerun, he also had the only RBI of the game. Thats right folks the Pirates lost this one 1-0. Hard to swallow indeed.
Don’t worry Ian, it happens to the best of us.
It just stinks that this could have been a great confidence booster to not only Ian, but the rest of the club. We were swept by the Brew Crew, the first occurance that we’ve had to suffer through all year. The losing streak alos continued. The Pirates have now lost 18th straight against the Brewers. No doubt about it they are a good team. Their offense is stellar and their pitching is overachieveing. Right now both the Bucs and Brew Crew stand at 11-10 on the year, 2nd place in the NL Central.
Pittsburgh finished their road trip 2-4. Not too bad considering it faced decent competition and historically the team lays an egg on roadstands early in the year. Returning to PNC Park this weekend, the Pirates hope to right their ship. With another NL Central opponent, the Reds, Pittsburgh will have the opportunity to catch up with the Cardinals for the Central lead.
Photo Credit: espn.com. AP photos
Well it’s nearly 2am on a Friday night and just like everybody else on the WVU campus, I’m wide awake. With music blaring out my window and everybody awake and drunk, they’re having a good time. Me on the other hand, am quite depressed. I hate when the Pirates lose, I hate when the Pirates lose in extra innings and I really hate when a former Pirate beats the Pirates in extra innings. All three occured tonight. In the bottom of the 12th of the 1th with Chris Burke on second Brian Giles came through with a sharp line drive into right field. It hurt inside. I had passed up a night of debouchery (yes debouchery) to stay on my couch and watch my team. It also hurt because seeing Giles come through in the clutch brought back fond memories.
The good old days of the 100 loss first season at PNC Park. Giles hit a walkoff homerun against the Astros towards the end of summer. I’ll never forget fathers day 2001 when Giles slid across home plate to down the Indians and give the Pirates their first series sweep of the year. Giles was a good player and i’ll never forget his batting stance, short stature, power swing and of course the McLouth-esque slicked back blonde hair.
I really do feel we should have won this game. We were right in it but squandered key opportunities. Here are my 3-up, 3-down for tonight’s contest.
- Jason Jaramillo- Great plate discipline and game control. He can definately handle the weight for these next 8-10 Doumit-less weeks
- Ian Snell- solid game in a quality start. Looking to finally come around and become the starter we all knew he could be.
- Brandon Moss- 1st RBI of the year….bout time bud
- Jack Wilson- 0-5. Pooped, yes pooped out on a bunt, that could have broken the game open.
- Nyjer Morgan- while he is leading the NL in stolen bases with 6 he wa spicked off on a key base running incident in the 9th inning.
- Matt Capps- gave up the winning run, looked shaky and not his overpowering self.
Well, there’s two more game to be played. With DUUUUUUUUKE on the mound tomorrow it’ll be interesting to see if his hot streak continues. Gotta get the whole team back on the hot streak more than anything.
PHOTO CREDIT: espn.com
It’s no question Chris Carpenter is back. Earning his first win since late 2006 Carpenter came out and dismissed the Pirates like they were a little league team.
Carpenter went 7 innings only allowing one hit which also came in the seventh inning. The former CY Young winner struck out seven Bucco batters.
Freddy Sanchez, who has been the hottest Pirates at the plate and leads the team with a .444 BA said plain and simply that Carpenter was “filthy”
Crapenter’s superb outing overshadowed Pirate starter Ross Ohlendorf’s solid outing. Ohlendorf went six innings allowing two earne druns on six hits. He was surely effective, but just fell apart in the 6th inning due to shaky defense from Sanchez at 2nd.
If Pirate starters can continue to remain effective like Ohlendorf was today, there should be no problem wiining ball games. Holding a team, especially the Cardinals, to two runs is no easy feat and the Pirates should not feel too bad about this loss. I’m not one to hang my head for moral victories and the Pirates should feel the same. As a major league ball club runs should be put on the board and one hit is something that should never happen again. The offense is surely not what it was last year with Bay and Nady, but with the seasoned vets we have in the lineup, everybody should be a threat.
Well now that one series is in the books let’s look back at the GOOD the BAD and the UGLY from the first 4 games.
THE GOOD: NYJER MORGAN
There’s nothing better than silencing your critics. Morgan has had his share of haters throughout his entire career and rightfully so, he had big shoes to fill. It’s never easy to step into the starting role of a major league left fielder. More so, it’s hard to replace a perenial All-Star. After the departure of Jason Bay the Pirates needed someone to step in and act as a Bay. While Morgna lacks the pop of Bay he provides a spark at the top of the lineup and speed in the field. After a Sportscenter top 10 play from Thursday’s game and a .316 batting avergae for the first four games Morgan is proving his worth and shushing the critics. HE BELONGS HERE.
THE BAD: IAN SNELL
Out to prove last season’s dismal performances were a fluke, Snell got off to a horrendous start. After Maholm’s 6 inning one earned run outing on opening day Snell came out the next day and fell flat. Snell only made it through 4 innings after being thrown to the showers. Number 45 gave up six earned runs and Cardinal batters abused him for 9 hits. Not only did Snell’s era skyrocketed to 13 after just one start he also had trouble finsing the strike zone. He only walked 3 batters but gave the hitters favorable counts to work with. Now the Cardinals have a history of toying with Snell . Pujols took him deep as well Chris Duncan. He was rocked to all parts of the field and had no command at all. Snell pitched in the World baseball classic and did somehwhat fine. He didn’t pick up any wins and only allowed a few runs in the big games he pitched. A shortened spring training could be a valuable excuse for Snell. However, with the rest of the rotation doing well Snell will have to step up for his own sake.
THE UGLY: DEFENSE
Ugly is a very generous term for the play of the Pirate denefense. Apalling, Grotesque, Hideous and Putrid also come to mind. Missed pop flys, bases over thrown, bassed balls. O MY. 3 erros in 2 game for Andy LaRoche, overthrows by Sanchez and John Grabow and inexcusable passed balls and a freaking catcher’s interference call by catch Ryan Doumit. Even Nyjer Morgan, who has been very crisp in teh field has over run some balls and misjusdged teh flight path of fly balls. It’s very dementing for a fan to see the sloppy play by these guys. I can only imagine how manager John Russell and even the pitcher’s feel when routine plays are bothced. It’s very shameful.
Heading down the Ohio River, Pittsburgh will take on the Cincinatti Reds for a three game series over the weekend.
4. espn.com (ap photo)
Ian Snell has always been a favorite player of mine. Since his time in the minors, throwing a no-hitter in Indy, I’ve followed the young guns progress. After his breakout season in ’07 Snell-Mania has swept me off of my feet. Last season I went as far as to purchase a Snell jersey. Wearing it proudly to each game I love when 45 takes the mound.
This college kid is not the only one representing Snell. The 27 year old himself has been overjoyed at the opportunity presented to him through the World Baseball Classic.
In this article by FOX sport’s Ken Rosenthal, Snell is described as a warm hearted man who strives off family pride. I admire Snell for his strong desire to win and criticisms of the Pittsburgh front office. He is also very admirable in his background story. He’s been very intriguing to me in the past. I’ve viewed him as a unique individual partly because I coul not for the life of me figure out his ethnicity. I commend Snell for his desire to pitch in the WBC and dedicate his accomplishments to his family.
As Puerto Rico moves on in the tournament I’m looking for Snell to provide more quality starts for the team. Hopefully, upon his return to Pittsburgh we will see the same desire, heart and integrity.