Hey, the Pirates did a bunch of stuff right today, thrilling a crowd of 39,024 fans who basked and whooped the home team on to an 11-5 victory over the LA Dodgers.
Garrett Jones pounded a pair of homers, one a blast into the drink and another a wrong-way liner that cleared the left field wall. Ryan Doumit cranked a three-run shot, and Ryan Church came of the bench to spank a base-clearing double.
It wasn't perfect. The pitching was in need of some help - three of the five LA runners that scored were either walked or beaned - and the Dodgers banged out 12 hits. But Zach Duke, although far from his best, kept everything in hand, and the Pirate bats took the attention off some ugly bullpen work.
So hey, another opening day, another win. 161 more games to go...
-- Jen Langosch of MLB.com has the whole Bucco pitching thing figured out. She writes "John Russell said that Joel Hanrahan's pitching schedule has him lined up to come off the DL on April 12. You can expect Daniel McCutchen (who is pitching on April 11) to be sent down when Hanrahan comes off.
"By sending McCutchen down, the Pirates can keep him starting regularly; his next two turns in the rotation were going to be skipped anyways. The Pirates can then use an eight-member bullpen for two weeks until another starter (could very well be Kevin Hart) is needed. This would also give the Pirates a total of three weeks to evaluate Hayden Penn."
So it looks like McCutchen is going to have to keep on proving himself while guys like Hart and Penn keep getting the benefit of the doubt.
-- Poor Brandon Moss; he couldn't even get claimed on waivers. The Pirates sent him to Indy after he cleared the wires today. Hopefully the change of scenery and the pressure off his shoulders will bring his bat back to life.
-- The USA Today came out with its annual list of Opening Day payrolls and computed the Pirates salaries at $34.9M, the lowest payroll in the league.