Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pirates nip Reds and a chilly night in Hagerstown

The Pirates got enough from Ian Snell and some solid work from the pen to win their second game in a row over visiting Cincinnati 4-3.
The game winning hit came in the sixth on a Nate McLouth single,which scored Brian Bixler from second after Bixler had finally gotten his elusive first MLB hit.
McLouth is currently leading the league in hits.
Now,I do not expect this to continue at this pace,but McLouth is showing why I had supported him over Chris Duffy for the last few years and seems to have a strong hold on his position.
The Bucs took a two run lead in the second inning on a two run single by Ronny Paulino and surrendered the lead in the Cinci 5th as Snell allowed two runs.
Xavier Nady returned the lead back to Pittsburgh with an RBI single in the bottom of the stanza.
The Reds came right in their next at bat to tie the game before the McLouth hit.
Snell picked up the win to improve to 2-0 and Matt Capps grabbed his third save of the season.
The series concludes today at 1:35 and our first look at Reds fireballer Johnny Cueto.

Pitching Matchup
Cincinnati:Johnny Cueto (1-0) at Pittsburgh:Tom Gorzelanny (0-1) 1:35

Finally the Hagerstown Suns started their season against the visiting Lake County Captains in a twin bill.I watched game one and left after two innings of game two,as I was kinda under-dressed since the weather was great earlier in the day and Rachel was really freezing as well,so we went home and watched the last few innings of the Pirates win.
But it appears that I missed quite the fun (sarcasm) as in the fourth inning,the vicious wind that had been there for a while knocked windows from the Muni press box and sent large jagged chunks tumbling onto the field.
Check our friends over at the Bag of Health and Politics for a witness account and a video of the event.
Before I comment on the game and signings,allow me this ramble.
This is a poor joke and a sad comment on the poor condition that the city keeps Municipal Stadium in.
I cannot and will not blame Will Smith or the Suns for this ridiculous occurrence,this all belongs on the backs of the City and those on the City Council that force this team to play in such a aging facility.
I have had people ask me why I have such concerns about the franchise leaving town.
Think about it,if you are the Washington Nationals or the teams sending the opposition,would you feel safe with large financial investments made in prospects and have them playing in conditions such as this?
It takes many drops of water to fill a glass,but eventually it fills and some things that I am hearing are beginning to make a lot of sense to me.

Onto the game.
2006 first round pick Colton Willems looked very good in picking up the win in shutting the Captains out in his six inning outing.
Willems looks to throw in the low 90's and has good mechanics,looks like a good one.
The Suns have quite a few prospects,most notably outfielder Michael Burgess.
Burgess looks to have power to spare,but needs to learn some plate discipline,but that will come over time for the high schooler.
On the Lake County side this looks like a dreary bunch for the crew from Eastlake and could be a long season.

I did talk to Suns manager and former Pirate Darnell Coles before the game.
Coles is much more personable than former skipper Tommy Herr and signed both cards that I had for him.
I asked Coles if he would answer a few questions for us later in the year and he said sure.
I did say that one thing that I wanted to ask him about was the famous race that was talked about in "Moneyball" that he was involved as a prospect with Oakland GM Billy Beane and he responded with a smile and this quote "Remember this about that race-every guy that was in that race with him was drafted BEFORE him!".
I came away really impressed with Coles and his coach Tony Tarasco as well.
It is good to see a staff that wants to enjoy the town before moving on and with the bright spot of the 2007 Suns coaching staff returning in Paul Menhart,I would bet the Suns have one of the nicest coaching staffs in the SAL.

I will do an On the Signing Front tomorrow,but one more story from Lake County boss
Aaron Holbert.
Holbert had a brief big career,but looks like he could still play and when I asked "Coach,would you sign,please?" he said "Sure,but I'm the manager" with a smile.
I usually call the staff "Coach" when I ask,but Holbert's point out is making me reconsider!

Game 3 of the Devils-Rangers series in tonight at 7.
This is a must win for the Devils or it would look to be all over for their season.

And finally,another great post from "BOHP" on the authors life and experience with his battle with health issues.
If that does not show you some of the problems with our system,I do not know what I can say to change your mind.
Until later

Photo Credits
Snell-Keith Srakocic-AP Photo


The Bag of Health and Politics said...

Where do you sit? There were too many Pirates jerseys at the game to figure out who you were! I thought maybe you were sitting in the top of the home plate grandstands, but I wasn't sure. I sat down closer to the field (I was trying to take pictures with my camera). I had a teal sweatshirt and a "Obama '08" button on. I was wearing shorts. It was *COLD* for the last game!

I think the next game I'll attend will be the day game on the 23rd.

Mike said...

Damn Shawn,we leave a freakin game early 1 time,and see what happens.. Already sent a letter to the Mayor today.. sure would have sucked if England would have been hit with a shard of that

The Bag of Health and Politics said...

The piece that is in my video was the smaller of the two pieces. The city is lucky Englund was where he was. And the city is damn lucky there wasn't a ball kid there. It could've been very, very ugly. Thanks for sending a letter to the Mayor.

Shawn said...

Lately I have been sitting up top in the middle of the grandstand.
We were likely the group that you thought.
The top row is much better on the back!