Sunday, April 6, 2008

Buccos come home .500

(Note: If you're not a baseball fan, skip past Pirates report to read about my workouts and the track invitational Saturday)

After Friday night's walk-off HR by Mike Jacobs and his Saturday Grand Slam to put the game out of reach, I had feared that the 2-3 Pirates may not see .500 again this year. Consider they've failed to reach the .500 mark at year's end SINCE 1992, I have reason for my concern. But, they came through today with 6 strong innings from Ian Snell (10 K's, 0 BB's) and timely hitting from the entire order to win 9-2.

Now about that batting order, Jon Russel did the right thing by sitting Bay and LaRoche. After last night, I thought for sure Morgan would be in there for Bay with a righty on the mound (McLouth moving over to LF). But, when I heard that LaRoche has been battling a bad thumb, it made sense to sit him down, too. He sure looked ugly and frustrated flailing at some pitches on Saturday night.

So, despite not having Bay, LaRoche, Sanchez, and Wilson in the starting lineup, they managed to get some timely hits and ended up scoring 9 runs. The game wasn't on TV here, but the radio announcers hypothesized that had CF Amezaga not made an amazing catch, Sanchez could have possibly had an inside the park pinch hit GRAND SLAM (giving the Bucs 13 runs). Overall, they were pretty solid today and Florida again was striking out a lot (double digit K's in the last two games).

So, coming back to the 'Burgh for the home opener at 3-3 isn't all that bad, I guess. They'll be facing the Cubs and Reds, so we'll see where they stand relative to their division foes.

So, some of the highs and lows from week 1:
Lo: Bay & LaRoche combining for 0 RBI's
Hi: Nady & McLouth had great weeks and carried the offense

Lo: Matt Morris, Maholm, and the bullpen giving up crooked numbers
Hi: Snell, Duke (yipee!!!), and Maholm (other than the grand slam) looking solid and the bullpen (especially Yates and Capps) is coming around

Lo: Jack Wilson on the DL and Sanchez's shoulder is still bugging him.
Hi: We'll get to see what Brian Bixler (2nd round pick from 2004) can do and Rivas and Gomez have been solid with the bat (although not really with the glove).

So, we'll see what week 2 has in store. It's supposed to be in the 60's here all this week, so hopefully it will allow for some good baseball. Gorzo will be pitching the home opener against Ted Lilly and the Cubs.

As far as workouts, Beth took off Friday, so I did too. Saturday, I was bad and didn't get up early enough before leaving for the track invitational and only walked Roxy. Today, Beth, Roxy the dog, and I set out for an 85 minute run on a trail by our house, but Beth wasn't feeling good and we stopped at mile 3 to turn back. On the way back, we walked a mile, jogged the 2nd, and then walked the third. I felt bad that Beth wasn't feeling well, but was really hoping to get a good workout in since I had been lazy the last few days.

So, when we got back to the car, I told Beth that Roxy and I would run home so I could get in more mileage and because Roxy's paws/legs/underbelly were muddy & dirty. It's about a 4 mile trip, but with a HUGE and LONG upgrade to start out (I just clocked it on a map program and it was about 1.3 miles up). It took Roxy and I about 10 or 12 minutes to get to the top. But, once we got there, it's a steady gentle downgrade just about the entire way home. So, if you're keeping track of the exercise, it was:

3 mile run, 1 mile walk, 1 mile jog, 1 mile walk, 4 mile run with a CRAZY uphill to start out.

At the track meet Saturday, all the big dogs were out. A kid from my alma mater jumped 46' in the triple jump!!! My jumpers had a decent day. My TJ guy PR'ed by a foot. My two girl TJ's were right around 31' (good for them this time of year) and the one HJ got in the top 8. The fremshman LJ had an off day, but she's a freshman and I told her there would be ups and down and to just make the meet on Thursday an "up." We've got a dual meet against a team in our section. We should do pretty good and I'm looking forward to getting numbers on all of the jumpers in the various events.

So, that's about it. It's off to the pool tomorrow morning, so I had better get to bed.

Have a great start to the week!

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