I had seriously considered going to Cleveland today rather than dealing with the sellout crowd at PNC Park. However, I decided I just didn’t feel like driving four hours round trip for the fourth day in a week.
So, I gave PNC Park another try. One small thing going in my favor would be that the gates would open at 4:30 today, as is the PNC Park policy for Saturday games.
Upon entering, batting practice hadn’t yet begun and the pitchers were throwing in left field.
Evan Meek noticed Nick and I hustling around looking for easter eggs and shouted, there’s one up there, gesturing towards the upper general admission bleachers.
After a lengthy search, no ball would be found.
After batting practice finally began, I would get ball #1 tossed to me by Pirates starting pitcher Brad Lincoln.
During the second group of Pirates hitters, I would snag a Garrett Jones home run in left field. It was an opposite field shot that was a row in front of me, and I ended up trapping the ball against the bleacher on a short hop here:
I do believe that I will attend over 85 games, but so will Nick Pelescak, so the question may end up being who attends more?
As for the Total Balls in one season – its too early to tell if I’ll be able to continue to average over 6 balls per game.
I won’t be in action on July 4th, but have several trips lined up for next week.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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:
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.