Thursday, April 20, 2006

Game Report: Pirates vs. Cardinals - Two-hit punk

I'm really busy this week, so despite how I really like to transcribe my game notes, I'm just going to try to write this one relatively quickly. This is about the game on Wednesday afternoon, which the Pirates lost 4-0 as Chris Carpenter shut them out on two hits.

I went down to the game with yet another friend I needed to catch up with, and this time we got bagels from Bruegger's in Market Square, rather than getting food at the park. I came up with the brilliant idea that the Pirates should market the Jason Bay-gel much like the Mariners have Ichirolls.

Before the game, they had Jim Rooker, Rick Reuschel, and Manny Sanguillen signing stuff out in the walkway behind the outfield. That was pretty cool, even if a lot of the people there didn't actually know who the guys were. Jim Rooker was letting kids try on his 1979 World Series ring and was pretty nice, Rick Reuschel looked vaguely bored sitting in the middle, and Manny Sanguillen was laughing and chatting with everyone who came by. I got one each of the signed picture cards they had, and got Manny to sign my ticket as well. It's neat that they have the old-timer guys around to just hang out and chat with fans like this, and despite how a guy was like "this is the cutoff for getting stuff signed," the three guys stayed out there signing stuff pretty much until the line was completely gone and the game started.

I took a ton of pictures, which I'll post when I get home from Seattle. In addition to the guys signing, I also took a ton of warmup shots of Chris Carpenter in the bullpen which I hope came out, and a few of Victor Santos as well.

Anyway, the game itself was pretty quick -- it started at 12:35 and was seriously over at about 2:45pm. Carpenter had a no-hitter going into the 6th, when Paulino looped a ball into left field for a single. An inning later, Freddy Sanchez hit a single to right, and that was it for the Pirates' offense, a few walks and just two hits.

To be fair, Santos pitched six innings and only gave up two hits himself -- unfortunately, they were both home runs. Jim Edmonds hit this GIGANTIC shot during his first at-bat -- it sailed so far I actually thought it would leave the park, but it ricocheted off the top of the upper railing behind the centerfield seats and actually fell back into the park. I wrote it down as a 450-foot shot, but I honestly have no clue. It was HUGE. David Eckstein got up in the third inning and hit a home run, but this one barely cleared the left field wall, going about 2-3 rows into the stands, about 330 feet. The wall is so low and Jason Bay is so awesome that he may have even had a shot at it if it was only a foot or two shorter.

(There was a funny moment in the first inning where Pujols was up to bat and he hit what looked like a perfect loop single to left field, and I was like "I hate Pujols." A second later, Jason Bay caught it. "But I love Jason Bay.")

Oh, I got to see Spieeeeeezio playing again. In the first inning he fouled a ball into someone's lunch and food went flying everywhere. It was pretty funny. The funniest part is, the ball bounced away from that person to someone else, and the ushers came in to help clean up the mess -- and people were like "hey, give them back the ball, dammit!"

Pretty awesome 4-6-3 play in the 4th inning, too, where it looked like a single up the middle, but Castillo ran in to snag the ball, and then flipped it to Freddy Sanchez covering second -- he jumped up in the air to get the flip, but landed on the bag to tag it for the force-out on Pujols, and then whipped the ball to first base and Craig Wilson stretched to get it, but it was in time to nag Jim Edmonds.

My friend finally managed to get the Yuengling guy to stop and sell him a beer in the 5th inning. This was exciting enough to write it down in my notes, being as the Pirates weren't doing much that was worth writing down.

Chris Carpenter, while at bat in the 8th inning, struck out but the ball got away from the catcher. He just stood there looking confused for a minute, then realized, "Oh crap! I can run!", and started running, but the ball was recovered in time to get him. Pretty much anyone else would have made it to the base, I think.

The Cardinals added two runs to make it 4-0 in the top of the 9th off Roberto Hernandez, who is getting sort of old and fat looking. An Eckstein single, a Pujols intentional walk, and a huge double by Edmonds contributed to the scoring. Edmonds himself got tagged off second in a weird 6-4 fielder's choice from Encarnacion a bit later, though Encarnacion himself almost ended up advancing from first to score with bad fielding, as he stole second, then Paulino threw the ball way over Castillo's head at second. Duffy eventually recovered the ball in center field, and threw towards third, but it also missed Mike Edwards, who was playing third instead of Joe Randa. So eventually the ball was recovered by Hernandez out by the dugout, and fortunately Encarnacion stayed at third as Taguchi grounded out to end the inning. It was vaguely irrelevant as Isringhausen mowed down the Pirates in the 9th yet again.

It's been such a beautiful week in Pittsburgh so far -- I've gone to three baseball games with gloriously good weather, and had the luck to walk around and visit a ton of people around here, and today Spring Carnival started at CMU, so I'm really having a blast. Unfortunately, it's supposed to thunderstorm the rest of the weekend. Yippee. I'll be back in Seattle on Sunday night, but I don't foresee any huge updates here until then, unless I end up with significant downtime or a big need to whine about Eddie Guardado blowing games, either of which could happen.

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