Wednesday, July 12, 2017

7/12 TRS-PNC Park Era: Co-No-No; Cobra Debut; Big Bo Bop; Card Thrillas; HBD Brad, Phil & Gorzo, Game Stories

  • 1973 - Dave Parker made his Bucco debut in right field, replacing Manny Sanguillen, in a 4-0 Pirates win against the Padres at San Diego Stadium. He went 0-for-4, but Willie Stargell homered and had three RBI while Bob Robertson added a solo shot. Luke Walker went the distance for the win, spinning a five hitter.
  • 1980 - OF/1B Brad Eldred was born in Fort Lauderdale. The big banger (he hit 30+ dingers four times in the minors) was drafted by the Pirates in the sixth round of the 2002 draft. He made his MLB bow in 2005, batting just .221 but with 12 homers in 190 at-bats. That was offset by 77 whiffs, and he made it back to Pirates for just a brief 2007 showing, hitting .140 in 47 PAs after missing most of 2006 due to injury. The K rate haunted him and he got two cups-of-coffee with Colorado in 2010 and Detroit in 2012 before continuing his career in Japan where he still rakes and whiffs prodigiously.
Brad Eldred 2005 Topps
  • 1981 - LHP Phil Dumatrait was born in Bakersfield, California. The Pirates claimed him from the Reds, and he worked from 2008-09, getting 11 appearances and six starts with the Bucs, putting up a line of 3-6, 5.50. He became a starter when Matt Morris was released, but had bursitis surgery (his second procedure after TJ surgery in 2004) and never reached his potential. Phil retired in 2012 after a couple of come-back tries. 
  • 1982 - Tom Gorzelanny was born in Evergreen Park, Illinois. The lefty was a second round draft pick of the Pirates in 2003, and spent the first 4-1/2 years (2005-09) of his career in Pittsburgh with a 25-26/4.79 line before being traded to the Cubs. Gorzo has tossed for six teams in his career, last with the Indians in 2016. He’s with the Mets now, but has been out with a shoulder injury since camp. 
  • 1987 - The Bucs defeated the San Diego Padres 4-2 at TRS with a combination of muscle and finesse. The muscle was provided by Bobby Bonilla’s blast into the upper deck of TRS, the first launched that far since 1979. The ball landed in yellow-seat territory previously reached only by Willie Stargell (four times), Bob Robertson and Greg Luzinski. The moon shot off Eric Show just tucked itself inside the RF foul pole and if the seats hadn’t gotten in the way would have traveled an estimated 475-500’. The finesse was provided by four DPs turned by the Pirates (offsetting three errors) and two caught stealings by Spanky LaValliere. Bobby Bo was the offensive sparkplug with two hits, two runs scored and two RBI while Felix Fermin & Johnny Ray each took part in three DPs to help Mike Dunne claim the victory. 
Barry Bonds 1990 Fleer
  • 1990 - Barry Bonds hit his 100th career home run off Andy Benes in the first inning in a 4-3, 15-inning win over the San Diego Padres. Jeff King drilled a two-out single to right to score Dan Bilardello for the win at TRS after the Friars bullpen had tossed 9-⅔ innings without giving up a run. Bob Patterson got the victory after tossing three scoreless frames; the Bucco relief corps put up 7-⅓ frames of shutout ball. 
  • 1997 - Mark Smith's pinch-hit, three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th off John Hudek capped a no-hitter by Francisco Cordova (nine innings) and Ricardo Rincon (one inning) against the Houston Astros. (Lanny Frattare’s call: "Home run! No hitter! You've got it all!") It was the first combined, extra-inning no-hitter in MLB history, and the first time that TRS was sold out for a game other than a home opener since 1977, drawing 44,119 fans for fireworks night. The win kept the Pirates in a first-place tie with Houston in the NL Central. 
  • 2002 - The Pirates rode two-run homers by Brian Giles, Kevin Young and Jack Wilson to a 9-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Sean Lowe got the win in relief of Jimmy Anderson, who was yanked in the third after giving up his seven hits. 
Sean Lowe (photo Icon Sportswire/Getty)
  • 2008 - The Pirates scored four times in the ninth and twice in the 10th to outlast the St. Louis Cardinals 12-11 at PNC Park in a game. They were losing 9-3 going into the seventh inning, but scored in that frame, the eighth, ninth and tenth to rally for the victory. Nate McLouth hit a three run homer and Jay Bay later drove in the tying run in the final frame on a first-and-third force out that the Cards couldn’t convert into a DP. Jason Michaels ripped a two-run shot in the 10th to walk off a winner. Bay had two long balls and five RBI to lead the offense. Adam LaRoche also had a dinger, as the Bucs launched five balls over the fence during the game. 
  • 2013 - Pittsburgh scored twice in the first on Pedro Alvarez’s homer (he had been selected to play in the All-Star Home Run Derby as an injury replacement just days before by NY’s David Wright, who was booed mercilessly by the PNC Park crowd for ignoring El Toro the first time around) and then went nine more frames before posting another run, but it all worked out as the Bucs took a 3-2, 11 inning win from the Mets. Jordy Mercer singled home Andrew McCutchen after two outs with the winning run to give the Pirates’ sixth pitcher, Vin Mazzaro, the victory. 
  • 2014 - The Bucs blew a 4-0 lead to the Reds at GABP after Charlie Morton was touched up for a five-spot in the sixth inning, but managed to tie the game in the ninth on Andrew McCutchen’s solo homer off Jonathan Broxton and won it in the 11th when clutch Cutch homered again off JJ Hoover to deliver a 6-5 victory. McCutchen had three hits, as did Jordy Mercer and Travis Snider. Six Pirates relievers shut the door on Cincinnati, with Justin Wilson picking up the W and Jeanmar Gomez earning his first MLB save. 
Frankie 2015 Topps Museum Collection
  • 2015 - In a see-saw game that was tied 3-3 after nine, the Bucs prevailed in dramatic fashion to drop the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 in 10 innings at PNC Park on ESPN. Frankie Liriano, a .057 hitter, drove home a pair of runs and Gregory Polanco one more, countered by a Jhonny Peralta homer and pair of manufactured scores. In the 10th, things turned gloomy when Randal Grichuk banged a bases loaded double off Arquimedes Caminero, scoring two Redbirds although a third was nailed at the plate. That would prove huge. Trevor Rosenthal, who had thrown 27 pitches the day before, came on. He got two outs after Jordy Mercer’s leadoff blooper, and then the Pirates starting coming. A Starling Marte single brought in Jordy, Jung-Ho Kang’s knock moved him up, and Marte sprinted home on Fran Cervelli’s two strike roller inside the first base line to even it up. A walk brought up Polanco, and he dropped the first pitch into right for the game winner and the Pirates second walk-off win in consecutive nights over St. Louis. Caminero, though battered, earned his first MLB win.


WilliamJPellas said...

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Brad Eldred, the greatest Pirates slugger who never was. You mention the injury he had following his first taste of the big leagues. IIRC it was a serious hand or wrist fracture of some kind, and he did well to make it back from that at all. I saw him play in person when he was in the minors after his audition in Pittsburgh, and he was pretty agile around the first base bag for a big guy. Definitely in good shape, as well.

But hey. He seems to have landed sunny-side up in Japan, and that's not such a bad gig. Good for him.

Ron Ieraci said...

Yeh, I always hoped he'd come around, Will; big boppers are rare to find in Pittsburgh. 15 homers in 299 MLB PAs ain't bad, but 109 K did him in.