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 Post subject: Game Report: Bucs vs. Rockies 4/10/11
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:46 am 
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Finally, baseball is back and spring is in the air. This obviously means a lot of things, but, I felt like it is appropriate for me to write an early season game report. I'll condense a few games into this report at least briefly.

So far I have been to 3/4 home games. I renewed my season tickets again this year so I will once again be attending a slew of the games at PNC this spring/summer/fall. Last year my attendance was great at the beginning of the season but really tailed off because I had a job working near Scranton for the summer. By the time I actually got back to Pittsburgh and saw a game I just didn't have the energy to write game reports anymore. This summer my plans are to stay in Pittsburgh so hopefully I will have a bunch of wins to write about.

For the second straight year we had excellent weather for opening day. This year it was a little cooler than last (which I appreciated) but still what I would call unseasonably warm for early April in PA. Needless to say, our bats were pretty cold as well in the home opener against the Rockies and we fell by a score of 7-1. I don't remember much about this game besides that Maholm sucked. Too many beers will do this to you. I will have to warn all of you not to consume large quantities of beer unless I am there to supervise...I'm a professional.

My lone pic from opening day, shows the nice crowd on hand:
Image


My girlfriend took the tickets to Friday night's game because I couldn't go. She didn't stick around for the entire game and she took off early because of the cold weather. She was happy that she got her free t-shirt (the new promotion is to give away a t-shirt every Friday at the ballpark as opposed to every Thursday). She probably didn't pay too much attention to the game while she was there anyways. Sadly, this was the only game that we were able to pull off a win against the Rockies this series. I wish I could have been there.

Last night, Saturday 4/9/11, was a great game that the Pirates just couldn't pull out. After a 14 inning game the night before the Bucs just couldn't fend off the Rockies again (and really had no bullpen to speak of). We left when the score was 4-3 Pirates due to the Clemente bridge being closed during the 9th inning for the fireworks. I was able to catch the bottom of the 9th on TV at home when we squandered an opportunity to come back and tie the game up. So it goes in the life of a Pirates baseball fan, I suppose.

I didn't think the crowd was all that large with it being a fireworks night. I guess there were other things going on somewhere else.

Here's a random pic from the other side of the river:
Image


This brings me to today, which will be the actual focus of the game report. I was a little surprised that the attendance seemed low to me today. It was nearly 80 degrees outside at some points today and I figured with the Pirates still having a decent record that would bring more fans out than it did. It was also glove giveaway day for the kids in attendance and I always think that's a pretty cool promotion for families. The Pirates really do a good job, in my opinion, of keeping Sunday a family friendly day.

I started today off by eating one of the pulled pork pierogi stacker sandwiches that are being offered at PNC this summer. For those of you who don't know, they decided to have a contest between two new creations: a pulled pork pierogi stacker sandwich and a stuffed pepper sub. At the all-star break, the sandwich with the most orders will be on the menu full time while the other sandwich will fade away into the abyss. I'm a huge stuffed peppers fan but felt like going for the pierogi stacker today. It did not disappoint.

Here is a picture of what the sandwich actually looks like:
Image

As for the game, I had high hopes for James McDonald to put an end to our losing ways at home. When he came out and pitched a 4 run first inning, I thought the game was probably already over. McDonald didn't seem to have good control to me in the 1st inning. After looking at the Pitch-FX of Crotta's disaster of an outing, I wonder if McDonald was just trying to figure the home plate umpire out/getting unexpectedly squeezed. This wouldn't really explain why he was able to "find" his stuff from the 2nd inning on to the 7th, however, it's something I have been thinking about.

It seems to me that when McDonald is on, he gets a lot of ground balls. Obviously, he wasn't "on" early in this game.

Tabata continued his hit parade today. It seems like every time he comes up he finds a way to get himself on base. He's also displayed a little bit of power here early on in the season and hopefully that's a sign of things to come. A lot of people over at Bucs Dugout have stated their concern with whether or not his power will come around. At this point in his career he doesn't have the power of a prototypical corner outfielder but he's still a young player and I think the power will come around for him. Even without it, he's a nice player.

Right on cue as we had a thread about replacing Overbay he came through with a clutch double today that put us back in the game. I've got no problem with what Overbay has done so far for this team. Maybe this is because I don't expect too much out of him.

Alvarez really looks bad to start the season. His numbers kind of tell the story here: a bunch of strikeouts and not much for average or power. There's a lot of talk about how he's just a slow starter. Quite honestly, I just don't understand that. I know baseball is a streaky game and that guys go through hot and cold streaks alike, however, I don't understand how every year at the beginning of the season you can count on a certain player to be "cold." Whatever it is with him, I hope he gets over it quickly.

Finally, my man Oliver is yet to win a pierogi race. Chester won Thursday and Sunday, Hanna won on Friday, and Sal won yesterday. Can't my man get some love? I think that perhaps his glasses are slowing him down this year.


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 Post subject: Re: Game Report: Bucs vs. Rockies 4/10/11
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:44 am 
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Great report. I moved it to the Rotunda so more people will see it. We will move it back later this week.
BB

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 Post subject: Re: Game Report: Bucs vs. Rockies 4/10/11
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:05 am 
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Thanks for the great game report and pictures NDL. I'd like to get down to Pittsburgh and see more Pirate games this season since I'm retired now. I live in Greensburg.

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 Post subject: Re: Game Report: Bucs vs. Rockies 4/10/11
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:24 pm 
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Great, great report. In fact, pictures are what I appreciate most of the game reports. The food, the conversation with the fans next to you, etc. Are the other people around you season ticket holders as well? I love sitting by the same people at events that I have season tickets. I have had Iowa State football season tickets since 2000 and have sat with the same people for six or seven games every year since then. It's great camaraderie.

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 Post subject: Re: Game Report: Bucs vs. Rockies 4/10/11
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:38 pm 
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Thanks, NDL. Really too bad we couldn't win at least one more of these 4. A great start has become a not-so-great start.


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 Post subject: Re: Game Report: Bucs vs. Rockies 4/10/11
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:04 pm 
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IA Pirate wrote:
Great, great report. In fact, pictures are what I appreciate most of the game reports. The food, the conversation with the fans next to you, etc. Are the other people around you season ticket holders as well? I love sitting by the same people at events that I have season tickets. I have had Iowa State football season tickets since 2000 and have sat with the same people for six or seven games every year since then. It's great camaraderie.


Thanks for all the feedback, guys. I will try to write up some reports this year when I get the chance.

I get the sense that some of the people who sit around me are also season ticket holders. The people who sit next to me directly change all the time so I am under the assumption that either nobody bought those tickets for the season or that whoever actually owns them just bought them and comes sparingly. There are definitely people in my section who I recognize from game to game and so I think they have season tickets.

One of the things with baseball tickets is that there are a lot of different options when purchasing season tickets. You can get as little as a 10 game pack and be considered a "season ticket holder." I have all 81 games. Last year I made it to about 20. With that said, it's hard to really know if the people around me are season ticket holders too because it's very possible that we'll go to completely different games. Since there are 81 I could go to 20 and the person next to me 20 and still have 40 other games the person on my right could have gone to and I would never see them.

I know what you mean about other people enhancing the game for you. I have Pitt football season tickets as well and the guys who I used to sit next to were awesome. The guy actually bought me beer at a sporting event which I thought was unbelievable. The next season they got new tickets and we were left with a revolving door that hasn't stopped since. Sad.

One of the sad things from this series was the death of one of PNC's ushers. Police suspect that he was killed in a robbery type situation. When I watched the news clips they mentioned that his section was in the 300 level and sure enough I saw people standing right by 325 when they were talking about the guy. I recognized one of the fans from the news broadcast who was at the game on Sunday in my row. This made me pretty bummed out. I didn't remember the usher myself but I kind of got the impression he had worked my section. I'd always been satisfied with how courteous they were in the 300 levels, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Game Report: Bucs vs. Rockies 4/10/11
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:33 pm 
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awesome pictures.

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 Post subject: Re: Game Report: Bucs vs. Rockies 4/10/11
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:36 pm 
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Awesome.

I envy you.

Season tickets, Summer time @ PNC Park, good food...

*sigh*

I need to move.

Keep up the glorious work.

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 Post subject: Re: Game Report: Bucs vs. Rockies 4/10/11
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:29 pm 
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Great reports, NDL. Too bad the Pirates kind of fumbled away games on Saturday and Sunday.

7-3 is a hell of a lot better than 5-5.


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