Results tagged ‘ opening day ’
The Pirates will face the Chicago Cubs at 1:05 PM/ET for the second game of a three game opening weekend series. Left-hander Paul Maholm will start for the Bucs against Right-hander Carlos Zambrano.
- Maholm, who is the longest tenured pitcher on the staff, is considered to be a veteran in the clubhouse despite being just 28-years-old.
Maholm told Evan Drellich of MLB.com, “I’ve been around. I’ve been through everything. Most of the time, I’m just going to lead by example. You just try to show them how things should be done. … We have a bunch of young guys, and I feel like I fit in pretty good with them. It’s not like I’m ancient. It’s weird to know that me and [Ryan] Doumit have been around the longest. But I don’t think either one of us are old by any standard in baseball.”
Maholm went 3-1 with a 5.04 ERA against the Cubs last season and two of those wins came at Wrigley Field.
The Pirates were 10-5 against them last season and 5-4 in Chicago.
- Third Baseman Pedro Alvarez described the scene in the dugout after Neil Walker’s grand slam in Friday’s 6-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on opening day as “hectic.”
Alvarez told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “We’re a resilient bunch. We’re always going to play hard for nine. I think that’s the one message that we’re going to send across. That’s our type of baseball. Play hard for nine.”
- Neil Walker is batting .472 with 11 RBI and 10 extra base hits in 10 career games against the Cubs.
- Rookie Relief pitcher Mike Crotta made the team out of spring training and is soaking in his first major league opening day.
Crotta told Colin Dunlap of the Post Gazette his thoughts on opening day: “I just said to myself, ‘I made it, this is my dream.’ That isn’t something many people get to say or experience.”
Crotta is just one of eight players who experienced their first opening day in the big leagues. The others: Josh Rodriguez, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata, Steve Pearce, James McDonald and Garret Olson.
Pearce told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I have been fighting for this spot since ’08. Three years later, it’s going to mean the world to me. It’s everything I wanted.”
Jose Tabata (LF), Neil Walker (2B), Andrew McCutchen (CF), Lyle Overbay (1B), Pedro Alvarez (3B), Ryan Doumit (C), Garrett Jones (RF), Ronny Cedeno (SS), Paul Maholm (LHP)
Darwin Baker (2B), Starlin Castro (SS), Marlon Byrd (CF), Aramis Ramirez (3B), Geovany Soto (C ), Carlos Pena (1B) Alfonso Soriano (LF) Tyler Colvin (RF) Carlos Zambrano (RHP)
Neil Walker’s grand slam was the highlight of the Pirates 6-3 win over the Cubs on Opening Day, but overall it was a good win for the team.
Some post game notes:
- Kevin Correia told Lacee Collins of Root Sports after the game, “It was a good game. It was sloppy conditions out there and I kind of had to just get in front of balls and make one out at a time. We did a good job at that. We cashed in big when [Neil] Walker hit the grand slam and after that we really didn’t have any inning where we gave them a chance to get back in the game.”
On his perfect bunt in the 5th inning that kept the rally going: “I got the bunt down when I needed to. You’d be surprised if you look back at all the big innings the team has during the year when the pitcher did something that inning to keep it going, get a hit, or move guys over. It is important. It is something we are focusing on.”
- Manager Clint Hurdle told Root Sports during his post game press conference, “Many times you’ll see younger players get outside the strike zone or expand because they want to be ‘the guy’. We’ve taught long and hard about it. If the pitcher gives you a chance to be the guy, then you be the guy. But if he doesn’t, put the bat down, get on down the line and let the next guy be ‘the guy’. That’s pretty much what happened.”
On Kevin Correia’s opening day performance: “We didn’t defend as well as we should have behind him. He pitched very, very efficiently. Good mix, kept the ball out of the middle of the plate…He pitched. Controlled bat speed and pitched. A very, very good first outing for Kevin [Correia]. For our ball club, put us in a good place in the game.”
On the Pirates overall performance: “Two big swings at the bat played at six. We pitched very well off the mound. We brought some big fastballs late. Evan [Meek] and Joel [Hanrahan] obviously showed they’re healthy. [Jose] Veras got 3 and 4 hitters in the 7th so it was a good day for the Pirates.”
- Right-hander James McDonald did arrive to the Windy City last night and was at the game today. Manager Clint Hurdle has said that he will start on April 5th In St. Louis.
- The Pirates are scheduled to face six right-handed starters during the six-game road trip, but Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Matt Diaz won’t be sitting on the bench. Manager Clint Hurdle said Diaz will still get some playing time to stay fresh. Diaz is the starting right-fielder against left-handers.
- Pirates No. 1 prospect Jameson Taillon let fans know on twitter where he will be starting the season. “For anyone wondering.. Few starts in extended ST to keep improving delivery and let weather in WV get better .”
- The Pirates will face the Chicago cubs on Saturday for the second of a three game series on opening weekend.
Left-hander Paul Maholm will face Right-hander Carlos Zambrano at 1:05 PM/ET.
The Pittsburgh Kid Neil Walker hit a bases loaded two out grand slam off of Ryan Dempster in the 5th inning as the Pirates went on to beat the Cubs 6-3 on opening day 2011.
Walker was just the second Pirate in team history to hit a grand slam on opening day. The other? The great one, Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente on April 10th, 1962. Walker, who grew up in Pittsburgh, will forever be a part of Pirates history –the team he grew up rooting for.
Trailing 2-0 to the Cubs, Ryan Doumit lead off the 5th with a single to center field. Ronny Cedeno worked a walk and pitcher Kevin Correia came to the plate. It looked like Manager Clint Hurdle’s extra work in spring training paid off as Correia dropped down a perfect sac bunt to move the runners. Ryan Dempster walked a second batter in the inning, Jose Tabata, to load the bases. Walker worked a seven pitch at-bat before driving a 3-2 fastball over the right field wall. Wrigley field was quiet as four Pirates touched home plate and took a 4-2 lead.
Walker told Stan Savran of Root Sports after the game, “I got ahead in the count. I had to make sure I wasn’t trying to do too much but use the big part of the field. He just walked two guys so I really wasn’t trying to do too much but get myself in a good position to hit and swing the bat. Fortunately I got into 3-2 [count] and he kind of made a mistake over the plate and was able to do something with it.”
“Definitely a special feeling, there’s no doubt about it. More along the lines of helping the team win today is more special. We had a great game today.”
Walker doubled in the 7th inning before Center Fielder Andrew McCutchen homered off of Dempster in the 7th to stretch the lead, 6-2.
Right-hand Pitcher Kevin Correia made his Bucco debut and his first career opening day nod. He was greeted on the mound by Manager Clint Hurdle n the 7th inning with two words: “Great game.” Correia allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts over six plus innings.
The Cubs scored in the bottom of the 7th after a wild pitch thrown by lefty Scott Olson advanced Darwin Barney to second base. Kosuke Fukudome drove him in with a single to cut the lead to 6-3.
Set up man Evan Meek came into the pitch the 8th. He allowed a lead off hit but retired the next three in a row, including a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.
Joel Hanrahan, who Hurdle selected as the teams closer in spring training, allowed one hit and a walk in the 9th before striking out both Blake Dewitt and Marlon Byrd with 98 mph fastballs.
With the Pirates 6-3 victory, they have now won five straight opening day games which is tied for the lead in the majors with the New York Mets.
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
It’s finally here: Major league baseball 2011 opening day. Although the Pirates opening day doesn’t kick off until tomorrow, there are several games being played today.
The Pirates had workouts at Wrigley field this afternoon.
News and notes:
- The Pirates made several roster moves today: Right-hand pitcher Jose Veras was added to the 40-man roster. To make room for Veras, the Pirates designated Ramon Aguero for assignment.
Catcher Chris Snyder, Right-hand pitchers Jose Ascanio and Brad Lincoln and left-hander Scott Olsen were placed on the 15-day disabled list.
- Right-hand pitcher James McDonald threw 69 pitches today vs. NYY Triple-A team. He allowed just one run on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts over five innings. McDonald (left side soreness) remains on track to pitch on April 5th in St. Louis.
Manager Clint Hurdle said J-Mac will be on about a 85-90 pitch count on Tuesday’s start.
General Manager Neal Huntington told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “The ball was coming out of his hand real well. He threw healthy. He had some sharp pitches at times. He had some other pitches that weren’t quite as crisp. But yeah, we believe he’s ready to go.”
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the Pirates have not yet determined where right-hand pitcher will begin the season in extended spring training or with Triple-A Indianapolis. Lincoln has been sidelined with a right forearm contusion.
- Manager Clint Hurdle also announced the Pirates opening day lineup for Friday. Ryan Doumit will be the starting catcher for the fourth straight season.
He 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.”
- Right-hander Kevin Correia, who will be the Pirates opening day starter, 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.”
- The Pirates also released seven minor leaguers: Adenson Choruio, Christian Colonel, Casey Erickson, Pat Irvine, Gerlis Rodriguez, Jose Solano and Mike Williams.
- In honor of Hall of Fame Manager Chuck Tanner, who passed away in February, the Pirates will wear a commemorative patch this season. The patch will be black No. 7 enclosed in a gold “Stargell Star”
- Former Buccos Andy LaRoche and Lastings Milledge have made the major league club this season. LaRoche batted .333 in 29 games with the Oakland Athletics. He hit three doubles, four home runs and 13 RBI. Laroche will be an utility infielder.
Milledge batted .305 in 19 games this spring with the Chicago White Sox. He hit one double, four home runs and 12 RBI. Milledge will be a back up outfielder.
- John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus and the Beaver County Times believes right-hander Kevin Correia could be the Pirates’ treasure.
- Outfielder Jose Tabata was replaced by pinch runner John Bowker in the 5th inning of Wednesday’s game against the Phillies. Tabata, who stole second base, hit his right ankle on the bag. It was reported that “he had only discomfort.”
- The Pirates have signed pitcher Tim Wood according to MLB Trade Rumors. Wood was released by the Washington Nationals.
The 28-year-old allowed three runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts over 4.1 innings this spring.PNC Park has some new food items at the ballpark this year. Stuffed Pepper Hoagie, Meatball subs, Pulled Pork Perogie snacker; to name a few.
For Vegetarian and Gluten Free people like me, new this year is a Gluten-free beer and a veggie cup with hummus at the Levy Restaurants and a veggie toaster sandwich at Aramark. I love that PNC Park is continuing to cater to Vegetarian and Gluten Free fans.
You can read about all the delicious new foods here.
*Photo credit: @Colin_Dunlap
With the help of Charlie Morton’s solid start and Pedro Alvarez’s two-run homer, the Pirates defeated the Phillies 4-1 at Citizen Bank Park for the final game of the spring.
Morton allowed just one run (none earned) on one hit with two walks and two strikeouts over five innings on Wednesday. Morton’s spring ERA was just 2.62. Although, his great spring stats will be washed away by Friday for opening day, Morton’s confidence will follow him into the regular season.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “He’s pitched well all spring. He’s done a good job all spring. Today he was just efficient. The sinker’s there, the breaking ball was there, the change-up was there at times. But he’s kept the ball down as well as anybody. Pitched to contact as well as anybody. The thing I’m probably most impressed with Charlie is the fact that even though it’s spring, you add the walks and you add the hits and it’s still less than the innings that he’s pitched this spring, which gets your attention.”
Over 24 innings this spring, Morton allowed just 15 hits with six walks.
The Phillies threatened in the 1st inning, with two on and just one out but Morton successfully got out of trouble with a strikeout to Ryan Howard and a fly out to Raul Ibanez.
First baseman Lyle Overbay hit his fourth double of the spring in the 2nd inning. Pedro Alvarez crushed a 89 mph fastball from Cole Hamels to take a 2-0 lead.
Ben Francisco reached second on a two base throwing error by third baseman Alvarez. He then scored on a ground out by Wilson Valdez to cut the lead to 2-1.
Steve Pearce doubled and scored the third run for the Pirates as he was knocked in by minor leaguer Jordy Mercer in the 6th.
The Pirates tacked the fourth and final run in the 9th after outfielder John Bowker hit a sac fly to score Josh Rodriguez.
- The Pirates out hit the Phillies 12-2.
- Steve Pearce hit his sixth double of the spring in the 6th inning.
- The Pirates will kick off the 2011 season by facing the Chicago Cubs for a three game series at Wrigley field, starting on Friday, April 1st at 2:20 ET.
Kevin Correia will start for the Bucs against Ryan Dempster.
The Pirates will face the Philadelphia Phillies at 4:05 today. You can listen to the game on the Pirates baseball network (104.7).
Charlie Morton will start for the Bucs against Cole Hamels in the final game of the spring before Opening Day kicks off for the Pirates on April 1st.
- The Pirates optioned right-hander Chris Leroux to Triple-A Indianapolis earlier today (read more here).
- Minor league infielder Jim Negyrch, who publicly asked to be traded if he was not going to start the season with AAA, was traded to the Florida Marlins on Wednesday for catcher Carlos Paulino.
Lineup: Tabata LF, Walker 2B, McCutchen CF, Overbay 1B, Diaz RF, Alvarez 3B, Jaramillo C Cedeno SS, Morton RHP
Pitchers: Morton, Crotta, Resop, Hanrahan, Hughes
Lineup: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Rollins SS, Howard 1B, Ibanez LF, Francisco RF, Ruiz C, Valdez 2B, Hamels P
Pitchers: Hamels, Contreras, Blanton, Kendrick, Perez, Bastardo
The Pirates optioned Right-hand pitcher Chris Leroux to Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday.
Leroux allowed five runs on 13 hits over 10.2 innings with three walks and five strikeouts this spring.
Pitching coach Ray Searage told Mike Radano of MLB.com, “He has a nasty fastball that hits 95. [Leroux] is young and has great stuff. All he needs to work on is his consistency, and then he can really help us.”
The Pirates still have to make a few DL assignments official, and Veteran Jose Veras needs to be added to the 40-man roster, but the roster appears complete.
Here is what the roster will look like for opening day 2011:
Starters: RHP Kevin Correia, LHP Paul Maholm, RHP Ross Ohlendorf, RHP Charlie Morton, RHP James McDonald
Relievers: RHP Joel Hanrahan, RHP Evan Meek, RHP Chris Resop, RHP Jeff Karstens, RHP Jose Veras, LHP Garrett Olson, RHP Mike Crotta
Catchers: Ryan Doumit, Jason Jaramillo
Infielders: Lyle Overbay, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Ronny Cedeno, Josh Rodriguez, Steve Pearce
Outfielders: Jose Tabata, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Diaz, Garrett Jones, John Bowker
Manager Clint Hurdle announced on Thursday that Kevin Correia will be the Pirates opening day starter in Chicago on April 1st. Paul Maholm is slated to pitch the PNC Park home opener on April 7th.
The rotation is as follows: Kevin Correia, Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton, James McDonald.
Manager Clint Hurdle told Colin Dunlap of the Post Gazette, “There are two significant dates for every team, Opening Day and the home opener. Kevin and Paul have piggybacked each other throughout spring. We actually had pretty much of a spilt house internally. … For every [stat] that would make you think this, there was another one that would make you think that. At the end of the day, I wanted these two guys leading the pack and thought this way.”
Correia, who signed a two-year contract with the Pirates this offseason, went 10-10 with a 5.40 ERA with the San Diego Padres last year.
This spring Correia has allowed 14 runs (13 earned) over 18.1 innings with six walks and 15 strikeouts.
Correia allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts his last start against the Boston Red Sox. He even went 2-for-2 with a RBI at the plate.
This will be his first career opening day start in his nine year career.
Correia told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “It’s a good honor for me, but I know there is a lot of work that is going to be involved with every five days. It’s not just one start. Every one is important. It is nice to go out there on a day that kicks off the season, but like I said in the past, in our rotation we need every one of these guys to pitch like they’re the best pitcher on the staff at some point in the year for us to do what we need to do. I am excited about it, but I do know that there is a lot of work.”
Maholm is the longest tenured Pirate on the team. This will be his seventh season with the Bucs. Maholm went 9-15 with a 5.10 ERA last year. Maholm allowed two runs on nine hits with two walks and five strikeouts over six innings his last start against the Minnesota Twins. Maholm has allowed just four walks over 20 innings of work this spring, while striking out 13.
After the news was annouced, Maholm (@Maholm28) tweeted: Found out that I get to start the home opener and get the year started right at pnc. Very honored #letsgobucs
Maholm told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “You’re not going to see me bitter. I’ve started Opening Day and it’s definitely an honor and fun, but to get to start the opener at home — hopefully it’s a sellout and a packed house — to get the season started off right there is going to be big. I think it’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to it.”
Ohlendorf is coming off an injury plagued season in which he only threw 108.1 innings. The right-hander went 1-11 with a 4.07 ERA.
This spring, he has allowed 12 runs (11 earned) over 9.2 innings (4 starts) with five walks and nine strikeouts.
Ohlendorf allowed six runs on eight hits with two strikeouts over three innings his last start against the Orioles. He was scheduled to throw six innings but was pulled early due to a high pitch count.
Morton’s struggled during the 2010 season going 2-12 with a 7.57 ERA. Morton gained his confidence back after working with pitching coach Ray Searage and has had himself a great spring training. Over 14 innings, Morton has allowed just two runs on nine hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. Morton is also back to throwing his sinker (who former pitching coach Joe Kerrigan told him to stop using) which has been referred to as a “Roy Halladay type sinker” by ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian.
Morton threw six shutout innings allowing just four hits, no walks, with five strikeouts his last start. His ERA this spring is just 1.29.
Hurdle told Langosch of MLB.com, “Charlie has pitched better than anybody in camp, and good for him. That’s why the next step will be the more interesting step. The season will come and we’ll see what that brings. But confidence has been built.”
McDonald was acquired from the Dodgers at the trade deadline last July. He went 4-5 with a 3.52 ERA over 11 starts with the Bucs.
This spring McDonald has allowed six runs (three earned ) on 10 hits with three walks and two strike outs over 6.2 innings.
McDonald has been sidelined since March 11th with left side soreness. He is scheduled to throw in a minor league game on Saturday.
*Photo credit: (Corriea, Maholm, Ohlendorf, Morton, McDonald) Yahoo! Sports
- Manager Clint Hurdle is in no rush to name the Pirates opening day starter. The four starters who are secured in the rotation are: James McDonald, Paul Maholm, Kevin Correia and Ross Ohlendorf (in no particular order).
“We’ve got some candidates,” Hurdle said. “I don’t think anyone is out of it. Experience will come in as a factor. We have a few guys who could be worthy of it. You want a guy who doesn’t get caught up in throwing against the other team’s No. 1. There are a few elements we’re looking for.”
- Jose Ascanio is still having issues with his visa. He may report to Pirate city at the earliest as Thursday.
- Andrew McCutchen worked with coach Luis Silverio for a good amount of time on Wednesday working on base stealing. Manager Clint Hurdle has said he wants the Pirates to be aggressive on the bases this year.
- The following pitchers threw their second side session on Wednesday, about 40-45 pitches each: Paul Maholm, Kevin Correia, Joel Hanrahan, Jose Veras, Joe Beimel, Aaron Thompson, Justin Wilson, Ross Ohlendorf, James McDonald, Evan Meek, Scott Olsen, Kyle McPherson, Rudy Owens, Michael Crotta and Jeff Locke.
- The Pirates will wear patches on their jersey’s this year in remembrance of Chuck Tanner. The design is still undecided.
Athletic Trainer Brad Henderson and Ray Searage watch Ross Ohlendorf and James McDonald in the pen (photo via @BucsInsider).