Well its been over a week since my last blog entry. Sorry for the delay, I’ve been rather busy these past days. I’m back in my hometown of Youngstown, OH. WVU is out for the summer and I have returned to my roots. This means backyard baseball with my brother and buddies. A favorite past time of mine as we gather neighborhood, high school and grade school friends over to my house for big wiffle ball games. It’s always competitive and as eveyone is growing older the competition level will surely be rising this summer.
I hope you all enjoyed Andrew Schuerholz and Chris Kiernan’s diary of their trip to Fenway Park. They had the time of their life and enjoyed the classic baseball setting. They also witnessed quite the great game as the Red Sox rallyed in the 8th inning thanks to Jason Bay setting the pace. Bay, being a former Pirate, is my favorite player and even though I don’t really like the Red Sox (come on their the Red Sox, who actually like them anyway), I find myslef cheering for Jason.
Me on the other hand I’ve been bust moving back up here and getting things situated at my minimum wage job. But, just last week I enjoyed a mini-vacation of my own. I went to Minnesota for a week to visit some family and friends. The big country landscape with pastures that stretch for miles was a great setting, the perfect for some much needed rest and relaxtion. While I hoped to take in a Twins game that fell through. I hoped to be able to drive through Minneapolis for the game and to catch a glimpse of the building process of their new stadium, Target Field. I hear it is supposed to be beautiful and give PNC Park a run for its money. It is built in the same mindset and structure of PNC but with a few added amenities it could definately be a sight to behold.
I have previously been to the Twin Cities for a game at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodump. Sorry to rag on it like that but it is a dump. From the outside it reminds me of a bounce a round that you would find in the backyard at an 8 year old’s birthday party. On the inside, the large concourses and gaping awkward spaces make it less than ideal for baseball. However, I am very impressed with the Twins fanbase. They show up to games no matter how crappy their stadium may be. They love their baseball, their Twins and their pretty boy Joe Mauer, there is no doubt about that.
I did manage to make a trip to the mall of America.
It is the ultimate mega-structure and entertainment destination. It is loaded with any type of specialty store you could ever ask for. Being a fan of memorobilla and paraphernalia regarding sports I wa sin heaven. Though I did not buy anything it was cool to see everything offered and presented in the 4 stories of shopping splendor.
The part I enjoyed most about the Mall was reliving scenes from my all-time favoite move.
Now baseball movies are my forte and I have talked about them in the past there is nothing like a good Christmas movie to put you in the spirit. I love this movie so much, starring Arnold Schwarzeneger and Sinbad it is a father’s quest to find the ultimate Christmas gift for his son. His quest takes him to the Mall of America and he runs wild through the mall trying to find that special “TurboMan Doll” for his son.
In one of my favorite scenes Arnold runs through this Lego area trying to capture a bouncy ball that may say if he won the TurboMan doll. While running through he knocks down lego creations being built by children playing in the area. Seeing kids do the same thing while I was walking by, I was very tempted to cause a rampage just like Arnold did, however, I held off.
It was a great trip and one I will rememebr forever.
One thing I do hope to forget about the trip was the state of teh Pittsburgh Pirates. Not following them may have been a good thing as they lost 8 straight ball games. Howver, since my return home the Bucs have been hot and are currently riding a 3-game winning streak. Jack WIlson has been on fire, last night against teh Nationals he went 4-4 with 2 doubles and a triple. I was surprised to see local media outlets covering Wilson so tightly as there has been speculation that he soon could be traded. I must put my foot down and hope these rumors are false.
Jack has been a tremedous sparkplug over the past two seasons and really he is the glue that holds the Bucs together. To trade him would hurt the chemistry, offense, defense and leadership that this team needs.
While Jack has been back, so has a familiar face in Tom Gorzelanny. Gorzo started the season in Triple A after a horrendous spring. Just like much of our other young pitchers he had a great potential but faltered and never lied up to expectations. Now that RP Tyler Yates is on the DL, Gorzo is back in the Burgh pitching from the bullpen. If he can prove to be back to where we all that he could his future may not totally be tarnished. To have some positive outings in the back end of the pen would be a great confidence booster for the young man.
Well now that I’m back in the groove I hope to update the blog everyday. Get your Pirates fix right here at the Peas.
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
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RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER…1-0
Breath it in folks…our Buccos are 1-0. A thrilling come from behind victory in the top of the ninth gave Pittsburgh a 6-4 ‘W’ over the Cards. Everyones favorite shortstop Jack Wilson comes through in rockstar fashion.
On the Pirates side of things, without Paul Maholm the Buccos would not have one this game. Maholm went 6.2 innings with one eraned run on seven hits. The staff ace pitched very well on the mound in chilly, windy conditions. Maholm also came through at the plate. The Mississippi native was 1-1 with a bloop single while drawing three walks. Just getting used to his success at the plate, Paul could use some tips on the base paths. In an attempt to score from third he was caught in a pickle and tagged out. Had he not have disobeyed 3rd base coach Tony Beasley’s stop sign the Pirates could have put the game away early in the 6th inning.
It was a nerve racking game when Tyler Yates was handed the reigns from the bullpen. I’ve been skeptical of our bullpen since spring tarining and Yates only heightened my negative feelings. The 2 year vet gave up two runs, one of which was a solo homerun by Ryan Ludwick. However, the ‘Mad Capper’ went out for the save and the ‘Big Bull Rider’ himself notched it.
The game today made me proud to be a favorite Pirate fan. It’s great to rub it in my buddies faces for always putting me down because I’m a ‘Burgher. A lot of good came from today. Also, a hint of bad. Stay tuned after Wednesday’s game when The Peas will analyze the first series. Until then, it is a great night to be a Pirate fan wherever you may be.
2. USA Today
2008: BA=.318 HR=15 RBI=69
2009: BA- .285 HR= 22 RBI=95
2008: BA=.270 HR=25 RBI=85
2009: BA=.280 HR=27 RBI= 90
2008: BA= .271 HR= 9 RBI= 52
2009: BA= .268 HR=13 RBI=60
2008: BA= .152 HR= 3 RBI= 12
2009: BA= .270 HR= 17 RBI= 70
2008: BA= .272 HR= 1 RBI= 22
2009: BA= .248 HR= 8 RBI= 45
2008: BA= .294 HR= 0 RBI= 7
2009: BA= .250 HR= 4 RBI= 38
2008: BA= .276 HR= 26 RBI= 94
2009: BA= .270 HR= 18 RBI= 80
2008: BA=.222 HR= 6 RBI= 23
2009: BA=.240 HR= 17 RBI= 45
The one thing missing in this lineup is definitely the power. It will also be interesting to see how many of these penciled in starters will still have their jobs in tact come September. Morgan, Moss and An. LaRoche are the biggest liabilities at their respective positions. With top notch prospects and a solid bench knocking down the door, competition will be prevalent throughout the season. “Only the strong survive” Who will be the strong for the Buccos this season?