Pirates vs. Cubs: 4/1 Opening Day
Happy Opening Day Pirate Fans! The season is finally here (although, the weather sure doesn’t seem like it). Opening day brings hope to every fan, no matter what team. Fans everywhere believe this could be the year and that anything’s possible. It’s incredible to see so many fans packed outside Wrigley Field with hope in their eyes despite an 18 consecutive losing season (Pirates) or a 100 + year drought of a World Series title (Cubs).
- The forecast in Chicago today is 40′s with rain but the game should be played with no delays. Back in Pittsburgh it’s snowing, so bundle up and get ready for a new season of baseball.
- Right-hander Kevin Correia will get his first career opening day start in nine big league seasons. He will face Right-hander Ryan Dempster.
Correia told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com the importance of the team starting off strong, “It is nice to get off to a good start. It just kind of gets your confidence rolling going into the year. If you start off losing games, it’s just not conducive to getting on a good streak. When you’re in a position like we are, any time we can win a series, it’s going to be important – especially against division rivals.”
- Ryan Doumit will be the starting catcher for the fourth straight season. Chris Snyder, who is the Bucs primary catcher started the season on the disabled list (back soreness).
Manager Clint Hurdle explained his decision of picking Doumit over Jason Jaramillo, who had a great spring, was because of experience. Hurdle told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I think we’ve got enough young guys breaking in [on Friday] that we’ll rely upon Ryan with some experience behind the plate, We’ll use both. I know both of them have worked very hard, and both of them are trying to take ownership of trying to be the best catcher they can be to handle the staff.”
- Clint Hurdle will Manage the Bucs for the first time today. This special day also marks Hurdle’s 20th opening day as either a Manager, Coach or a player.
Hurdle told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “I have always experienced some anxious anticipation on Opening Day, regardless of the role I had at the time.”
“It’s always special, and it always will be.”
- Mike and Mike of ESPN are live from Wrigley Field from 6-10 am today. Fans were packed very early to watch the show and to wait for the gates to be open.
Here are the opening day lineups:
PiratesJose Tabata (LF), Neil Walker (2B), Andrew McCutchen (CF), Lyle Overbay (1B), Pedro Alvarez (3B), Ryan Doumit (C), Garrett Jones (RF), Ronny Cedeno (SS), Kevin Correia (RHP)
Kosuke Fukudome (RF), Starlin Castro (SS), Marlon Byrd (CF), Aramis Ramirez (3B), Carlos Pena (1B), Geovany Soto (C), Alfonso Soriano (LF), Darwin Barney (2B), Ryan Dempster (RHP)
*Photo credit: @Maholm28