Tagged: Andrew McCutchen

8-16-10 PNC Park

Today kicked off a 10 game homestand at PNC Park.

When Nick Pelescak and I ran in at 5 PM, some ushers were coming out of the bleachers and said “There’s a bunch of balls in there.” 

I found balls #1 and 2 in the left field bleachers.  The first one was in the front row of Section 136 and the other one was about four rows back closer towards the foul pole.

Ball # was hit by Neil Walker.  It was a home run that landed in the crosswalk area, bounced off the white facade of the upper bleachers,
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and right into my glove in the third row in the lower bleachers.  I heard Jeff Karstens murmur, “Got the rebound.”
 
Ball #4 and 5 were caught in this area, both off the bat of Lastings Milledge.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  10 balls ( 3 hit, 1 thrown, 2 device, 4 found )
Season:  441 balls (224 hit, 96 thrown, 61 device, 60 found)
Balls in the month of August:  90
Games: 67 games
Average:  6.58 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  1,019 balls
Streak:  163 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 13,396

8-7-10 PNC Park

It was a Saturday game at PNC Park – but it was also a Skyblast (Fireworks + George Thorogood concert), so there would be a sellout crowd on hand today.

My goal was to snag seven balls to give me 400 on the season.

I was second in line at the gate and was the first one into the bleachers.  There wasn’t anything going on in the cage, but a few Pirates must’ve taken some early swings because I found two balls laying in the front row here:
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I then made my way over to foul territory as a few of the Pirates position players were warming up.  New Pirates catcher Chris Synder threw me his ball as he walked off the field for ball #3.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  10 balls (6 hit, 1 thrown, 1 device, 2 found)
Season:  403 balls (211 hit, 88 thrown, 51 device, 53 found)
Games: 61 games
Average:  6.61 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  981 balls
Streak:  157 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 38,147

8-3-10 PNC Park

There was a threat of rain throughout batting practice today.

In fact, it rained lightly for at least 15 minutes, usually a death sentence for batting practice at PNC Park.  The groundscrew was certainly ready to pull the plug.
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But we made it through and got a full BP today.

Upon entering, I found ball #1 laying in the front row near the foul pole.
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Throughout the rest of the game, I split time between left and right field, but Lastings Milledge was being inconsistent with his mid inning
toss ups.  Sometimes he would throw the ball to the crowd, other times he was content to let the bullpen pitcher take it. 

I decided to try Tabata one more time in the 8th inning.  I took my hat off to alter my appearance, hoping he wouldn’t remember me from four innings early.

It worked.  Tabata fired another ball right to me for ball #10 in the 8th.  Thanks Jose.
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The Pirates would go on to win the game as Joel Hanrahan earned his first save as a Pirate.

Here are today’s baseballs:
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Sweet spots:
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STATISTICS:
Game:  10 balls (5 hit, 4 thrown, 1 found)
Season:  374 balls (192 hit, 84 thrown, 43 device, 46 found)
Games: 57 games
Average:  6.56 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  952 balls
Streak:  153 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 13,623

7-24-10 PNC Park

Its Sunday night and I’m preparing for my trip to Cleveland to catch Alex Rodriguez’s 600th home run.  I’m pressed for time, so let’s get to it.

It was another ridiculously hot day, as the east coast sweated out another day of this heat wave.
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Upon entering the stadium, I found ball #1 in the seats near the left field foul pole in foul territory.
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STATISTICS:
Game:  9 balls (5 hit, 1 thrown, 2 device, 1 found)
Season:  331 balls (172 hit, 73 thrown, 33 device, 44 found)
Games: 51 games
Average:  6.49 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 5
Career:  909 balls
Streak:  147 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 36,967

6-15-10 PNC Park

Let’s get right to it.

Ball #1 was a ground rule double hit by Lastings Milledge that I snagged on the bounce near the foul pole.  It was ball #200 on the season.

Ball #2 was a home run hit by Lastings Milledge.  The ball actually would’ve been ruled a ground rule double because I ran down to the front row and leaned out over the wall to make this catch.

At 5:30, I chose to run over to right field to look for baseballs.
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I found ball #3 there and ran back to left.

Ball #4 was a ground rule double that an unknown White Sox batter hit.  I got up on the bleacher in the fourth row and fully extended to make this play.

Ball #5 was somewhat of a ‘scrum ball.’  A White Sox player hit a home run that hit off of the rotunda and ended up rolling to this wheelchair section.  One ballhawk dove over the railing and landed flat on the concrete on his stomach, his outstretched hand six inches from the ball.  I hopped over the railing and landed next to the ball, landing and grabbing the ball in one motion.

Alex Rios put on an absolute show during batting practice.

Ball #6 and #7 were caught on the fly off of his bat.

I ended with seven balls.  I should’ve had at least three more.  I was robbed three times, was lazy and didn’t move on one ball that trickled down right to where I would’ve been standings, and had another ballhawk glove trick two balls that I would’ve tricked myself had I been closer to the bullpen.

After batting practice I won a seat upgrade to right behind home plate.  I’d only stay in that area for a few innings before heading back to the outfield.

Here’s a few pictures from that location…
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The Pirates would go on to lose the game, their ninth in a row.  That means they now trail the Orioles by 6 games in the mild card, or race for the worst record in baseball.

After the game, they would bring up their top prospect Pedro Alvarez, which begs the question, why wasn’t this done on their off day yesterday?  So he could go 0-3 in the minors today?  Stupid. 

From ESPN.com:

Although Alvarez, 23, has significantly upgraded what previously was
a weakness — hitting left-handers — Huntington said a few hours
before the team’s latest loss that there are areas that need improving
before Alvarez is major league-ready.

Apparently, the Pirates changed their minds in only a few hours’ time.

“He’s
not going to be an accomplished player in all areas when he comes up,
but no player is,” Huntington said. “We’re looking forward to his
arrival here in Pittsburgh, whether it’s this week, next week or next
month. It’s going to happen here at some point, pending health and the
continuation of his progress and development.”

Who is going to get released?  We’ll find out tomorrow.  I sincerely HOPE it’s Ryan Church. 

In other news, John Russell is on the hot seat.  LINK

And, Ike Davis hit a home run ball in Cleveland tonight that I would’ve been all over.  LINK

Here are today’s baseballs:
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Sweet spots:
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STATISTICS:
Game:  7 balls (6 hit, 1 found)
Season:  206 balls (110 hit, 53 thrown, 19 device, 24 found)
Games: 33 games
Average:  6.24 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  784 balls
Streak:  129 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 12,693

6-5-10 PNC Park

Today was once again ruined by rain.
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A storm hit around 4PM, totally washing away any hopes of batting practice.

Here’s a brief video of the storm, for you fans of bad weather.

I would get shut out for the first hour or so, until I discovered that there were three balls laying on the visitor’s bullpen bench.

The balls had become soaked by the storm, so when things cleared up, a few groundskeepers came out to check things out around the warning track.  I asked one of them for a ball, and he handed me balls #1 and #2. 
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STATISTICS:
Game:  4 balls (4 thrown)
Season:  170 balls (90 hit, 47 thrown, 11 device, 22 found)
Games: 28 games
Average:  6.07 balls per game
2010 Game Balls: 3
Career:  748 balls
Streak:  124 consecutive games attended with at least 1 ball snagged.
Attendance: 36,687