Yesterday’s Pirates-White Sox matchup marked 1 year 8 months and 26 days since I walked into PNC Park to watch a baseball game; and understandably I didn’t know exactly how my mind was going to react to being back to a place, as well as a situation, I have experienced hundreds of times over the past 20 years. Initially I found myself getting a little bit emotional; however after the first pop of the baseball hitting the catcher’s mitt and the crack off the bat, I felt right at home again. Of course, it took some getting used to in order to be able to judge the trajectory of each hit, the position of each pitch and the jump/reaction of the fielders again after such a long time off. Although, by the top of the second inning I was back in my element; which was just in time to know that the ball was gone as soon as it left Leury Garcia’s bat for a 1-0 White Sox lead, that quickly turned into 2-0 on a Tim Anderson double.
The Pirates would quickly tie it back up an inning later, only to be doubled up again in the fifth. Ke’Bryan Hayes would eventually bring Pittsburgh back within one with a single straight back up the middle, but in the end it wouldn’t be enough as the Buccos fell to the Pale Hose by a score of 4 to 3. Still, I can’t say I was too upset about this one because it just felt so good to be back at the ballpark.
News and Notes
- Speaking of being able to hear the crack of the bat, as well as seeing things that aren’t always apparent on TV, let’s talk about Ke’Bryan Hayes’ approach at the plate. During each at bat, and definitely every time he made contact, it seemed as if he has slowly reverted back to-at least in these instances-pounding the ball into the ground more than he had been. Now, I am not saying that it isn’t encouraging to see two hits on the day; I simply need to dive into the numbers a bit more for this season; and specifically since he has returned from the IL. (Possible Blog Post Upcoming).
- Duane Underwood, Jr. and Chris Stratton were downright nasty yesterday; striking out five, walking one and allowing one hit in three combined innings of work.
- I am still on the play Ben Gamel almost everyday train. In his last 15 games he is slashing .303/.378/.485 with a homer and nine strikeouts to four walks.
- Hayes, Adam Frazier and Bryan Reynolds all hit; combining for a 6 for 13 day at the plate.
- Colin Moran just hasn’t looked the same since returning from the IL; particularly over the last seven games, where he is batting .167 with no homers and five ugly strikeouts in 18 at bats.
Tonight the Pirates travel to St. Louis for a NL Central Division Clash with the Cardinals at 8:15 PM EST.
For Pittsburgh, Chad Kuhl (1-4, 5.66 ERA) takes the mound-looking for his second strong start in a row-against Carlos Martinez (3-8, 6.62 ERA) for the surprising fourth place St. Louis Cardinals.