Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Pre-Game Notes & News

A little pre-playoff news and notes...

  • Pedro and Paul Goldschmidt ended up the 2013 co-leaders in the NL with 36 homers. Alvarez: is the first Pirate player lead the league in HR since Willie Stargell in 1973, while Goldschmidt is the first D-Backs player to lead the NL in HR ever.
  • Matt Snyder of CBS Sports "Eye on Baseball" looks for the edge, position by position, for the Pirate-Reds game.
  • The Pirates don't have to submit their wild card roster until 10AM tomorrow, and won't make it public until then. AJ and Charlie Morton will be off it, and Clint said, per that he'd carry nine pitchers - The Cisco Kid, Gerrit Cole and seven relievers. Clint said the guys that have been with the club all year, and per @BrinkPG that means Jason Grilli, Mark Melancin, Tony Watson, Justin Wilson, Vin Mazzaro, Bryan Morros and Jeanmar Gomez. That leaves eight players to start and eight more for the bench. 
  • Cincy hasn't dropped any clues about their lineup yet, except that Mat Latos and Tony Cingrani are probably not going to be on it; nor do we expect Homer Bailey and Bronson Arroyo. No decision has been released yet on Billy Hamilton's status yet, nor word of how Brandon Phillips' shin is looking after yesterday's foul ball.
  • All fans entering the park will receive a Pirates postseason rally towel. The gates open at six, the pregame ceremonies will start at 7:30, and Doug Drabek will throw out the first pitch. The National Anthem will be performed by Petrina McCutchen, mom of Andrew McCutchen.
  • Joe West will be behind the plate tomorrow night.
  • The wild card winner will face the St. Louis Cardinals, who finished with the best record in the NL.
  • Only two teams in the NL finished with more wins than the Buccos 94 - St. Louis with 97 and Atlanta with 96. The other 90 game winners were LA with 92 and Cincinnati with 90, and all five are in the playoffs. In the AL, only Boston with 97 wins and Oakland with 96 have more victories than the Bucs.
  • The price of that success? The Pirates will draft 27th next year.
  • The players are pushing a twitter campaign for a "PNC Blackout" while the fans are clamoring for a big-screen TV on the North Shore for those w/o tickets. The Pens would have both set up; we'll see how the Pirate marketing guys measure up.
  • Bob Nightengale of USA Today has a piece on the Rust Belt teams in the playoffs.
  • Ben Badler of Baseball America thinks the Pirates are one of five teams that should be in on Cuban 1b Jose Abreu.
  • One-time Bucco Dale Sveum, manager of the Cubs, was fired today.

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