Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Opportunity Knocks, Bucs Not Home In 4-3 Loss

Chris Archer tossed a quiet first with a couple of K after a four-pitch, leadoff walk. The Bucs opened with a Fraze knock and Bryan Reynolds walk as Dakota Hudson is having some location issues early. Starling caught a high slider, and boom, it landed in the bullpen to make it 3-0 Buccos in a hurry. Two outs later, Corey D doubled before the fun ended. The Cards answered in the second with back-to-back, one-out doubles to light the board. It was three up, three grounders for the Bucs. A single and Goldy homer tied it up in the third. J-Bell banged a double with two gone and was left on the pond. The Birds got a two-out single and free pass in the fourth, but Arch escaped. The Bucs wasted a K-Man rap. Jose Martinez opened the fifth with a long fly to give St. Louis its first lead. A Fraze single and walks to Reynolds and Starling loaded the bases with nobody out; a J-Bell whiff on three pitches and Redbeard 6-3 DP two tosses later kept the tally board clean *sigh*.

Strats had a good night - photo Charles LeClaire USA Today Sports

Archie stranded a leadoff knock in the sixth, and at 97 pitches, his day should be done. The Pirates went down without a peep. Chris Stratton came on in the seventh and spun a clean frame. Hudson got the first out, then handed the ball to Giovanny Gallegos, who retired the next pair with no sweat. Chris went 1-2-3 again in the eighth, as did Gallegos, who whiffed a pair. Strats stayed on for the ninth and fanned two; it was nine up, nine down for him tonight. Andrew Miller toed the rubber, and three batters later, it was a done deal.

Three runs plated before there was an out, and even with the bases loaded and nobody gone, the Bucs couldn't punch another one in. Yah, J-Bell is in a slump of biblical proportions, and no one other than Starling wants to pick up the slack. The lack of discipline at the plate, maybe caused by trying too hard to step up, only makes it worse. One more thumper to bat behind Josh wouldn't hurt.

Notes:

  • Fraze had two raps, Starling a walk and a knock, and Reynolds drew two free passes. The team only had six hits.
  • There were 15,778 at the yard tonight.
  • Tonight was the fourth time in six games the Pirates have lost by one run.
  • Chris Stratton has a 6.22 ERA overall, but as a Pirate, it's 3.51 (it was 8.59 for the Angels, which used him mainly as a starter). The big diff - he's found his control here, walking one guy per game compared to 5.5 for LAA.
  • Chris Archer leads the NL in homers surrendered with 24.
  • The Pirates have seven home runs since the ASG; five were swatted by Starling and the other two by JHK.

Arch v Dakota Hudson, Lineup & Notes

Game: The game starts at 7:05 and will be carried by AT&T SportsNet & 93.7 The Fan. It's Pup Night at the Park. Arf, mateys!

Lineup: Adam Frazier 2B, Bryan Reynolds RF, Starling Marte CF, Josh Bell 1B, Colin Moran 3B, Corey Dickerson LF, Kevin Newman SS, Jake Stallings, Chris Archer P. Archie and Jake, like Love and Marriage...

Archie steppin' up - photo Pittsburgh Pirates

Pitchers: RHP Chris Archer (3-6/5.36) takes on the Cards top win-getter, RHP Dakota Hudson (9-4/3.57). Archie has been getting better, and in his last five starts, he's thrown to a 4.12 ERA. The question is can he pick it up notch and become the top-two/three guy the Pirates were hoping for? He hasn't claimed a scalp since June 6th, so it's been a long time between W's. Chris has faced the Cards twice, shutting them out over five innings in April and giving up three tallies in six frames last week, with the Bucs losing both games 6-5. Dakota's peripherals all suggest he's more inning-eater than ace, and he's given up 4.79 runs per outing. He's been in that neighborhood lately, slashing 3-0/4.50 in his last three starts, as his buds have brought the lumber, scoring 20 runs in those three games. Hudson has twirled against the Pirates twice this year, going 2/3 IP in relief early in the year and giving up three runs in six innings during a May start that St. Louis lost 10-6.

Notes:
  • No news, as expected on Keone Kela, except that Clint said he should be activated tomorrow.
  • The Pirates have dropped 8-of-10 games; St. Louis has won 8-of-10. Five the Bucco contests have been decided by one or two runs; they've lost four of them. Seven of the 10 Card games have been decided by one or two runs, and the Redbirds won five.

7/23 Through the 1940’s: Clarke Cycle; Kiner Mark; Bat-Fest; Game Stories; HBD Ginger & Mack

  • 1876 - OF Ginger Beaumont was born in Rochester, Wisconsin. He played eight seasons (1899-1906) for Pittsburgh, hitting .321 with 757 runs scored and 200 stolen bases. Beaumont led the league in batting with a .357 average in 1902, and in 1903 led in at bats (613), runs (137) and hits (209) while hitting .342, helping the team to earn a spot in the first World Series.  
  • 1901 - Fred Clarke hit for the cycle for the second time in his career as the Pirates whipped the Cincinnati Reds 9-2 at Exposition Park behind Jack Chesbro, who struck out 11 batters. Lefty Davis, Honus Wagner and Kitty Bransfield added three hits apiece to stoke the 16 hit Bucco barrage.
Mack Hillis - via The Oregon Journal
  • 1901 - IF Malcomb “Mack” Hillis was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mack had a 12-game MLB career; 11 of those outings were with the 1928 Pirates. He went 9-for-39 with two doubles, three triples, six runs scored and seven RBI, but with Sparky Adams and Pie Traynor ahead of him, it was his last Pittsburgh and MLB campaign. Hillis started pro ball in 1922 and finally hung them up in 1934, playing mostly in the Eastern and Pacific Coast Leagues. 
  • 1912 - Claude Hendrix tossed a seven-hit shutout, fanning nine, and Hans Wagner singled home Chief Wilson, aboard on a lead-off double, in the bottom of the ninth to give the Bucs a hard-earned 1-0 win over the Boston Braves at Forbes Field. Honus used a little trickery; he showed bunt, but instead hacked away. Hendrix and Braves hurler Otto Hess were in command throughout; only one runner from each squad had reached third prior to the Wilson tally. 
  • 1925 - The Pirates scored twice in the ninth to defeat the St. Louis Cards 3-2 at Forbes Field and regain first place. They held the top spot for all but three days during the rest of the season and capped it with a World Series title. Jess Haines of the Redbirds and the Buccos Emil Yde “waged a brilliant slab duel” per the Pittsburgh Press. The Pirates ninth was opened by Kiki Cuyler’s triple. The Card infield played in and Pie Traynor punched a double over their heads into right. Glenn Wright lined a single to center and the Pirates had a first-place walk-off. 
  • 1930 - The Pirates won the first game of a Baker Bowl twin bill against Philadelphia 2-1 as Heinie Meine slipped past Roy “Swede” Hanson, the match decided by a ninth-inning Pie Traynor homer. The second game, twice delayed by rain, went 13 innings and ended 16-15 Pittsburgh. With darkness threatening, Traynor was again the hero, blasting a three-run shot that provided just enough insurance to hold off the Phils, while going 5-for-7 in the nitecap. The second game set a couple of single game records: With eight home runs and nine doubles, the total bases mark of 83 was established. The other record was total number at bats; the two clubs combined for 117 AB's. 
Ralph Kiner - 2003 Fleer Rookie Greats
  • 1947 - Ralph Kiner hit his 24th and 25th long balls of the year off the Phils’ Al Jurisich‚ breaking the club record of 23 set by Johnny Rizzo in 1938 and tied by Kiner in his rookie year of 1946. Pittsburgh beat Philly 6-2 at Forbes Field as Hank Greenberg also went yard. Tiny Bonham gave up 11 hits but only two runs in the complete-game win. Kiner ended the year with 51 homers, tops in the NL and tied with Johnny Mize for the MLB title.

7/23 From 1950 Through the 1980’s: Bobby Bo Returns; TRS-ASG; Game Stories

  • 1958 - The Dodgers put up crooked numbers before the Bucs got to the plate in both ends of a twilight twin bill, but it made no difference as the Bucs swept them, 11-3, 6-3, at Forbes Field. Ronnie Kline gave up three runs to open the double dipper, then settled in to toss a four-hitter. Dick Stuart had four hits, including two triples, and two RBI; Roberto Clemente and Frank Thomas added three more raps (each man homered) and six more RBI while Dick Groat chased home two more runs. Bob Friend did the honors in the nightcap, fanning 10 before getting ninth inning help from ElRoy Face. LA jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Groat’s bases-filled double keyed a five-run response by the Buccos; the shortstop ended the evening with three hits and four RBI. 
Matty Alou - 1969 Topps Super
  • 1969 - After three years of low scoring games, the All Star contest at RFK Stadium featured some offense, with the NL winning 9-3. Matty Alou went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run while Roberto Clemente whiffed against Sudden Sam McDowell in his only at bat. The game was originally scheduled for the prior evening but heavy rains forced its postponement to the following afternoon. It also cost the first-pitcher, President Richard Nixon, who was slated for the night game ceremony but spent Wednesday at the Apollo 11 splashdown. VP Agnew Spiro did the day game honors. The contest was the last All-Star Game to be played earlier than Eastern prime time. 
  • 1974 - TRS hosted the 45th All-Star Game, drawing 50,706 fans. The NL romped 7-2 with Pirate lefty Ken Brett, the Bucs only All Star, getting the win. He tossed a pair of scoreless frames, giving up a hit and a walk. It was the third time the Pirates hosted the All-Star Game (the first two were at Forbes Field in 1944 and 1959). This would be the first of two times that the game would be played at Three Rivers Stadium, with the stadium the ASG venue again in 1994. 
  • 1977 - With some clutch two-out at-bats and a bit of legerdemain from Chuck Tanner, the Bucs scored four times in the seventh to beat Cincinnati 5-4 at TRS. Down 4-1, the Bucs cut the lead to a run on doubles by Dave Parker and Rennie Stennett around a Bill Robinson knock. Two righty pinch-hitters, Fernando Gonzalez and Jerry Hairston, reached on a walk and infield knock to load the bases with two outs. Sparky Anderson saw Willie Stargell with a helmet and bat, so he kept lefty starter Frank Capilla in to instead face Jim Fregosi, who banged out a two-run single to put Pittsburgh up by a run. It was a little chicanery on Tanner’s part as unknown to Sparky, Pops had an elbow problem that was so severe that he couldn’t swing a bat; otherwise Pedro Borbon would have gotten the call. Grant Jackson squelched a bases-loaded threat left by Kent Tekulve in the eighth and tossed a 1-2-3 ninth against Pete Rose, Ken Griffey and Joe Morgan to save the win for Jim Rooker. 
  • 1979 - The Bucs won their ninth game in a row by a 7-1 count over the Atlanta Braves at TRS. Tim Foli went 3-for-5 with four RBI to lead the attack while Bert Blyleven tossed a four hit complete game. The Bucs pulled off the 500th triple play in MLB history in the second inning of the nitecap when Braves’ pitcher Phil Niekro bounced into a 5-4-3, Bill Madlock-to-Phil Garner-to-Willie Stargell triple killing at TRS, but had the last laugh as he spun a two-hitter in an 8-0 Atlanta romp, ending the Bucco winning string.
Rick Rhoden - 1982 Donruss
  • 1982 - Pittsburgh dropped Atlanta 6-0 at TRS as Rick Rhoden did it all. He tossed a six-hit, complete game shutout with only two Braves reaching second, banged out two hits and chased home a pair of runs. Dale Berra had a big day too, making two great plays in the field and scoring three times, one on a swipe of home as part of a double steal with Omar Moreno. 
  • 1986 - The Bucs sent RHP Jose DeLeon to the Chicago White Sox for OF Bobby Bonilla. DeLeon had a long and workmanlike career while Bobby Bo earned four All-Star berths with the Pirates, hitting .284 with 114 HR and 500 RBI for the Pirates from 1986-91. The Pirates had originally signed Bonilla out of high school in 1981, but the White Sox claimed him in 1985’s Rule 5 draft. The move ended Lee Mazzilli’s three-year run with the Pirates; he was released to make roster space for Bonilla and signed with his original team, the Mets.

7/23 From 1990: Darwin-Loiselle; Guillen-Cota; A-Ram, Freddy Deals; Game Stories

  • 1991 - A couple of milestones: Buc bench coach Jeff Banister made his MLB debut and singled off Atlanta’s Dan Petry in his only big league at bat. Banister was a Pirate lifer after being drafted in 1986 until landing the skipper job in Texas, returning to Pittsburgh's FO when that gig was up. In the same game, rookie John "Rock" Wehner, now a Pirates broadcaster, went 5-for-5 to become the first 'Burgh rook since Richie Zisk in 1973 to collect five hits; he single handedly outhit the Bravos 5-to-4. The Bucs beat the Atlanta Braves 12-3 at TRS; Gary Redus and Spanky LaValliere combined to drive in seven runs while Redus and Bobby Bonilla homered to help Doug Drabek to cruise to victory. 
John Wehner  - 2011 Topps Debut
  • 1996 - The Pirates traded RHP Danny Darwin to the Astros for minor league RHP Rich Loiselle. Loiselle spent his six-year MLB career (1996-2001) as a Pirate and claimed 29 saves in 1997 after being converted from a starter to the pen. He finished 9-18-49, going steadily downhill after fairly strong 1997-98 campaigns. The veteran Darwin won 16 more games before hangin’ the spikes up after the 1998 season, closing out 21 years in the show. 
  • 1999 - The Pirates traded OF Jose Guillen and P Jeff Sparks to Tampa Bay for Cs Joe Oliver and Humberto Cota, scuffling for help behind the plate after Jason Kendall broke his ankle. Guillen‚ who had 28 homers and 154 RBI in his first two seasons‚ was having a down year after arriving at spring training a month late due to visa problems. He went on to have a half dozen 20+ HR campaigns, including a 31-bomb season in 2003. 
  • 2003 - The Pirates traded 3B Aramis Ramirez, OF Kenny Lofton, and cash to the Cubs for SS Jose Hernandez, P Matt Bruback, and 2B Bobby Hill in Dave Littlefield's darkest day of salary dumping. It was speculated that P Kris Benson, not Ramirez, was who the Cubs were after, but he missed his prior start with “shoulder discomfort” so Chicago passed on him. The Bucs also dealy Scott Sauerbeck & Mike Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox for Brandon Lyon & Anastacio Martinez. Ten days later, Gonzo was traded back to Pittsburgh with Freddy Sanchez & cash for Brandon Lyon (who flunked his Pirates physical), Anastacio Martinez & Jeff Suppan, basically making the deal Sauerbeck & Suppan for Sanchez. 
  • 2015 - 3B Aramis Ramirez, who began his career as a Bucco, was traded back to the ‘Burg by the Milwaukee Brewers along with cash for minor league reliever Yhonathan Barrios exactly 12 years after he was originally dealt away. A-Ram, who retired at the end of the year, filled a gap on the left side of the infield caused by injuries to Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer and also manned first a bit for the first time in his career. 
A-Ram 2015 - photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates
  • 2018 - In between rain storms, the Pirates licked Corey Kluber and the Indians at Progressive Park by a 7-0 count for their 10th straight win, the team’s longest string since 2004. Trevor Williams was credited with his first MLB shutout, a four-hitter cut short after six innings because of the wet weather. Starling Marte extended his hitting streak to 16 games with two hits and two RBI while Josh Harrison cracked a two-out, three-run homer; Marte and Josh Bell also went deep. Jordy Mercer added two hits and Gregory Polanco banged a two-out, two-run triple. The Bucs streak would end at 11 games, snapped by Trevor Bauer and the Tribe 4-0 two days later.

Pirates Rally Comes Up Short In 6-5 Loss to Redbirds In 10 Innings

With one away, Dexter Fowler doubled off Trevor Williams, with no further damage occurring. Fraze opened with a walk of Daniel Ponce de Leon. An out later, a Starling knock and J-Bell walk loaded the bases. Redbeard looked at strike three and Corey D went down on a two-strike foul tip, all 93-94 MPH four seamers in the zone (Corey's last strike was a heater on the hands; that was the only pitch really well spotted). It's gonna be a long night if you can't hit BP. Willy tossed a clean second and the Pirates did nada. Matt Wieters got a 3-2 fastball to start the third and drove it into the RF seats, just evading the foul pole; Willy has been having long ball woes lately. A single and walk added a little drama but no more runs. Fraze started off with a walk; a comebacker turned two. Starling collected a rap and J-Bell walked. Colin fell behind 0-2, fouled a couple off, took a couple, and then singled home a run on the seventh straight heater he saw. Corey bounced out, but Ponce is at 86 pitches, even with the Pirates showing as much patience as a babe with squishy diapers.

Willy looked back on track tonight - image Pittsburgh Pirates calendar

A walk and single opened the fourth for the Redbirds, leaving runners at the corners after Bryan Reynolds let the ball go through him. That extra base cost as a sac fly gave the Cards the lead again. Michael Wacha took over on the hill. Eli singled and was bunted to second. Fraze drew his third walk of the night with two outs. Reynold's two-bagger chased Diaz home to knot it up. Fowler singled and stole a sack in the fifth, but went no further. The Bucs went down quietly. After an opening K by Michael Feliz, a J-Bell boot was quickly corrected by a 4-3 DP. K-Man singled to lead off and was caught stealing, and the rest of the inning was calm. Frankie Liriano took the seventh for Pittsburgh and Tyler Webb for the Cards; they both went 1-2-3. Ric Rod cruised through the eighth, as did Webb. Kyle Crick got the call for the ninth and punched out a pair in a clean, 13-pitch frame; he looks like he's found the light again. John Brebbia climbed the bump and K'ed Newman and Diaz looking; guys gotta quit umpiring and try staying alive. Melky legged out a rare (for him) infield knock, and Big Joe came in as a runner. Lefty Chasen Shreve took the ball to face Fraze and bopped him. Reynolds may have seen one strike but still fanned. Bonus baseball again.

Clay Holmes got the wave for the 10th; guess Felipe is off after pitching back-to-back games. Too bad - a walk, single, plunked batter and Goldy oppo granny pretty much put the game away. A double and two walks reloaded the sacks with two away, and Luis Escobar was brought in to get the final out. Starling started the Bucs off with a double and J-Bell smacked another. Carlos Martinez took over and was welcomed by a Jung Ho Kang homer to make it interesting. Corey D singled and an error on K-Man's bouncer set the Buccos up for business. Eli tried to bunt the guys up, but instead rolled into a force at third. Of course it cost; Jake singled, but Newman was called out on a bang-bang play at home; the Pirates challenged and lost (the TV clips were mixed). Joey Cora waved him on with the ball fielded in short right, and Jose Martinez made a good throw; our guess is the Pirates book was to run on his arm, and his arm won this battle. Still, with just one out... With the tying run at third, Fraze flew out, ending an exciting but no-cigar rally.

Starling had three more hits - photo Pittsburgh Pirates

Kind of a pity the Pirates batters can't focus better in the early stages of a game lately; Ponce de Leon was begging for a beatdown and the Pittsburgh batters refused to deliver it. Cora's decision can be debated, especially in hindsight, but was made in the heat of battle and was an eyelash from being the right one. Having Eli drop one? He's played five years w/708 PA's and never laid down a successful bunt. Clint was caught with a short pen, partially of his making - Felipe was down because of consecutive outings, but the first appearance of the pair was just to get in some work after a three-day layoff in a 5-1 win. So The Nightmare mopped up then and was unavailable for the now. (Chris Stratton worked two innings/32 pitches last night, so he was likely down, too.) Clay Holmes has given up 11 runs in his last four outings, with his ERA jumping from 4.21 to 6.54 after tonight, but it was him or Luis Escobar in the 10th. Since Escobar finished, Hurdle used all six relievers that were at his disposal. The Keona Kela suspension wasn't exactly well-timed, either. C' est la vie.

Notes:
  • Starling had three hits; no other Pirate had more than one. Fraze pumped up his OBP - he had one knock to go with three walks and HBP. J-Bell drew two walks to go with his knock.
  • The Pirates suspended Keone Kela for two games for a contract violation, so he was recalled from the IL, but then immediately suspended, hmmm. The team wasn't much help; they said that the announcement would be the extent of their comments.
  • Not much of a crowd on a Candlestick Park kinda night - 13,096.
  • If you're scratching your head trying to remember who Tyler Webb is, the Pirates took him in 2016 as a Rule 5 pick from the Yankees and returned him during 2017 camp. He's since tossed for the NYY, Padres, Brewers and now Cards.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Willy v Daniel Ponce de Leon, Lineup & Notes

Game: Opening pitch is slated for 7:05 with the first of four games on AT&T SportsNet & 93.7 The Fan. It should be a cool and cloudy evening, with the rain clearing out well before gametime.

Lineup: Adam Frazier 2B, Bryan Reynolds RF, Starling Marte CF, Josh Bell 1B, Colin Moran 3B, Corey Dickerson LF, Kevin Newman SS, Elias Diaz C, Trevor Williams P. Maybe the cool temps will heat up the sticks.

Willy has been de-bugged - photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates

Pitchers: RHP Trevor Williams (3-3/5.17) opens against RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (1-0/2.80).  Willy has been a mess since returning from the IL - in his latest four starts, he's 1-2/9.53, giving up 37 hits (including eight homers) in 22-2/3 IP. But Trevor was tough enough in his first 2019 outing against the Redbirds, winning 2-1 despites scattering nine hits over seven innings.  He missed his Saturday start with the flu, and hopefully after bouts with the bug and the steamy weather, he's got his strength back. Ponce de Leon made it through 3-2/3 IP and gave up four runs last week in his last start against the Pirates while allowing 10 runners to reach (eight hits, two walks). It's his sixth start of the year and his peripherals are all good, so we'll see if last outing was an outlier or the league punching back.

Notes:
  • Steven Brault threw a bullpen session today and still has some work to do; no word on the status of Keone Kela, who tossed back-to-back for the first time yesterday.
  • Since the break, the Bucs have dropped 7-of-9 while the Cardinals have won 6-of-9, including 2-of-3 from the Bucs last week. The series has been hard fought, with the Redbirds up 5-4.
  • 1B Calvin Mitchell of Bradenton was selected as the Florida State League POTW.
  • Expect a little ruder treatment than yesterday's trespasser got if you decide to interlope on the field. PNC security took a lot of heat for its slow response and should be fired up to tackle future uninvited visitors. 


7/22 Through the 1920’s: O'Toole Joins; Deacon Granny; Ginger Six-Pack; Game Stories; HBD Mooney, Elmer & Larry

  • 1880 - C George “Mooney” Gibson was born in London, Canada. He played a dozen years for the Bucs (1905-16) as a defense-first catcher, batting .238 but tossing out 949 runners. He had a 46% throw-out rate back in the days when baseball was a go-go league - 1,101 runners actually did steal off him against the Pirates. He was durable, too, once catching 140 straight games. Mooney finished his career as a NY Giant and later returned to Pittsburgh as a manager, first in 1920-22, then from 1932-34, finishing second three times with a record of 401-330. Gibson was the first baseball player elected to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. Per Wiki, his nickname may have been inspired by his round, moon-shaped face, though other sources claim he picked it up because he had played on a sandlot team known as the Mooneys. 
Elmer Kentzer - 1914 Cracker Jacks
  • 1885 - LHP Elmer Knetzer was born in Carrick. He tossed for the Pittsburgh Rebels of the Federal League from 1914-15 with a 38-26/2.73 slash, with six years in the NL sandwiched on either end of that stint. Knetzer was the first active player to jump from the NL to the FL after Brooklyn lowballed him during contract time. He went by “Pretzel” and “The Baron” - Pretzel because of the way his curveball twisted, while Baron goes unexplained. He stayed a hometown boy, and when he died in 1975, he was buried in St Wendelin Cemetery in Carrick. 
  • 1885 - OF Sheldon “Larry” LeJeune was born in Chicago. He played for brief parts of two seasons in the show, his last being in 1915 for the Pirates, hitting .161 and committing five errors in 61 chances. Still, he came to Pittsburgh with a pretty good resume - he had led the Central League in batting from 1912-1915 and in homers in 1910 and 1912. Larry did make the record books, tho - in 1910, he hurled a baseball 426’ 9”, a record that stood until minor-leaguer Don Grates broke it (434’) in 1952. 1899 - The Pirates rolled over the Philadelphia Quakers by an 18-4 count at Exposition Park. OF Ginger Beaumont went 6-for-6 at leadoff and scored six times without hitting a ball out of the infield. Rookie second baseman Jimmy Williams drove in three runs with a pair of triples. 
  • 1908 - The Pirates scored twice in the first inning and those runs held up as they beat the Brooklyn Superbas 2-1 at Exposition Park. As described by the Pittsburgh Press “Howie Camnitz was on the rubber for the Pirates and pitched in faultless style, allowing only four hits and having his opponents at his mercy the whole way.” One of those hits was a bomb by Brooklyn 1B Tim Jordan, who “...laced the sphere over the right field fence...It was a terrific swat and the Superba star was cheered to the echo by the spectators.” He was the first batter to put one into the seats on the fly at the Expo since 1899. 
  • 1910 - Deacon Phillippe hit a second-inning inside-the-park grand slam off Brooklyn’s Fred Miller as part of a 14-1 win at Washington Park as the Pirates swept the Superbas in a four game set. Mel Stottlemyre was the next MLB pitcher to hit an inside the park grannie - in 1965! Phillippe was the first Bucs hurler to empty jammed bases; there are only five in franchise history with grand slams. 
Marty O'Toole - image 7/23/1911 Pittsburgh Press
  • 1911 - The Pirates paid St. Paul of the American Association $22‚500 for RHP Marty O'Toole‚ the most expensive purchase of a player to that date. The AA ace was to join the Bucs when the minor league campaign ended (His first Bucco start was on August 30th). Barney Dreyfuss spent another $5‚000 for his battery mate Bill Kelly. In 1912‚ O'Toole went 15-17/2.71, led the NL with 159 walks and was out of Pittsburgh by 1914, winning a total of 26 games while walking 300 batters in 599-1/3 IP. Kelly was a reserve catcher, hitting .290 for Pittsburgh and out of MLB after 1913.

7/22 From 1930 Through the 1970’s: Teke Twin Save; Bottle Barrage; Game Stories; HBD Vogey, RC, Jack & Denny

  • 1932 - LHP Jack McMahan was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He pitched for one season in the show, and his 11 game stint with the Pirates in 1956 didn’t go so well. In 13-1/3IP, the Rule 5 pick from the Yankees gave up nine runs on 18 hits with nine walks and he was traded with Curt Roberts to the Kansas City Athletics on June 23rd for Spook Jacobs. His stay with KC went a little better, but not so well that he got another call to the majors. He retired after the 1959 season, opened a liquor store for a spell and then became a golf equipment salesman. 
  • 1933 - Fans were hard to come by during the 30’s, but 27,000 came out to Forbes Field to see the Bucs and Giants mix it up, the biggest turnout since 1930. The first game was a duel between Larry French and Carl Hubbell, who exchanged six-hitters in the lidlifter, with the G-Man claiming a 1-0 win thanks to Mel Ott’s sac fly in the first inning. It was a tight game, and the fans got into it by showering ump Charlie Moran with pop bottles after he called Bucco Tony Piet out at first, changed his mind and ruled him safe, and then, as the Giant infield charged first in protest, reverted back to his original call. There were no injuries - Moran even caught a couple of the bottles (although Beans Reardon, the third base arbitrator who had nothing to do with decision had some debris aimed at him, too) and after a cleanup, the game went on. The heated rooters and NY nine cooled off after an hour’s rain delay and Heinie Meine tossed the Pirates to a calm 6-2 win, with the pivotal blow a two-run triple by Arky Vaughan, who tallied a third score after the three-bagger on a wild pitch.
  • 1934 - 1B RC Stevens was born in Moultrie, Georgia. The 6’5” slugger was signed out of Moultrie HS, but his one-trick stick wasn’t enough to earn him a starting spot in the show. As a backup, he hit decently, with a .260 BA and eight homers in 108 PA in 71 games from 1958-60, but he couldn’t outpace Ted Kluszewski, Dick Stuart and Rocky Nelson in the first base race. 
  • 1939 - Boston committed seven errors in a 9-3 loss to the Bucs at Braves Field, allowing five unearned runs to cross the plate. One frustrated Bee’s fan jumped out of the stands and took a swing at Braves’ catcher Al Lopez after he dropped a popup. But it wasn’t entirely bad glovework. The Bucs also banged out 13 hits, led by Lee Handley’s 3-for-4 effort. Chuck Klein ran his hitting streak to 21 games with a 2-for-5 performance before the Bees stopped him the next day. 
  • 1939 - Girls baseball never caught on in Pittsburgh, but softball was red hot here. The Duquesne Gardens hosted a pair of games touted as “Girls Indoor Baseball” (never mind that it was softball) on back-to-back days with the championship New York City Roverettes going against the Pittsburgh All-Stars. Pittsburgh won the opener 2-1 behind SS Ann Giaciach, who had four hits, but was thumped in the rematch 10-1. 
  • 1963 - Utilityman Denny Gonzalez was born in Sabana Grande de Boya, Dominican Republic. He played parts of four seasons as a Buc (1984-88) but never spent a full campaign on the active roster, hitting .206. After his playing days, Gonzalez scouted for the Chicago White Sox and runs the Sox' Dominican Academy. He also has taken the Dominican National team reins in international play.
Denny Gonzalez -  1986 Topps
  • 1964 - Pittsburgh scored four runs in the first and never looked back as they whipped the St. Louis Cardinals 13-2 at Busch Stadium. Bill Mazeroski knocked in five runs with a double and homer while Willie Stargell hit for the cycle with four runs scored and three more driven in. Jerry Lynch also went yard and added three ribbies as Bob Veale cruised to victory. 
  • 1973 - Pittsburgh swept San Diego 3-1 and 13-7 at TRS. Willie Stargell hit two home runs and chased home five runs during the twin bill; rookie Dave Parker smacked his first MLB homer in the opener. Nellie Briles went seven innings, giving up six hits, to win the lidlifter with help from Ramon Hernandez and Dave Giusti. Willie’s two-run double was the key blow. Stargell’s two homers primed the attack in the nightcap; Bob Robertson also went long. The Cobra had three raps, with Willy, Robby, Al Oliver and Manny Sanguillen adding two knocks each while Richie Zisk iced the game with a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double. Luke Walker got the win with Bob Moose and John Lamb holding down the fort. 
  • 1977 - RHP Ryan Vogelsong was born in Charlotte, NC. He worked five years for the Pirates (2001, 2003-06), going 10-19 with a 6.00 ERA. He took a hiatus to Japan, but came back in 2011 to his original team, the SF Giants, and pitched strong ball for the G-Men, earning an All-Star spot in 2011. He rejoined Pittsburgh in 2016 as a long man/spot starter, missing a large chunk of the campaign after a brutal beaning in the eye area. Vogey went 3-7/4.81 for the Bucs in that campaign. He signed with the Twins in 2017 but was released in camp. A fan fave in the Bay, he retired as a Giant later in the year. 
  • 1979 - Kent Tekulve saved both ends of a doubleheader as the Pirates swept the Braves 5-4 and 3-2 at TRS. Teke scattered four hits over three scoreless innings in the first game of a twin bill, closing out Don Robinson’s win (which Robinson helped along with two RBI and a run scored), then tossed the final inning in relief of Jim Bibby (who was also a hitting hero with a two-run homer) in the second game for his 15th and 16th saves of the year.

7/22 From 1980: Coles-Wilson; LaRoche-Strickland & Diaz; Freddy Deal; Grilli on SI; Game Stories; RIP Little Poison

  • 1982 - Lloyd “Little Poison” Waner passed away at age 76. The 18-year veteran (all but one in a Bucco uniform, at least in part) batted .316 and teamed with his brother, Paul - known as ''Big Poison'' - to lead the Pirates' attack in the late 1920's and throughout the 1930's. Lloyd, elected to the Hall of Fame in 1967, had 2,459 career hits. The speedy Waner was Pittsburgh’s long-time leadoff hitter with an eagle eye at the dish. In 8,333 plate appearances, he struck out just 173 times. After retiring as a player after the 1945 campaign, Waner worked as a Pirates scout from 1946-49 before getting a day job as an inspector for Oklahoma City.
Little Poison - 1973 TCMA All Time Greats
  • 1987 - The Pirates turned some efficient pitching from Rick Reuschel and some shoddy Giant play into a 4-0 win over San Francisco at Candlestick Park. Both teams traded five hits, and the Bucs were nursing a slim 1-0 lead into the ninth when a single, an error, three walks (two intentional) and a wild pitch netted them three runs. Big Daddy went the distance and used up just 91 pitches to dispatch the G-Men. 
  • 1988 - In a swap of outfielders, Pittsburgh sent Darnell Coles to Seattle for Glenn Wilson. Wilson spent 1988-89 as a Buc, returning again for his 1993 swan song. He got into 147 games and was solid, hitting .274 with 11 HR. Coles spent 1987-88 as a Pirate, also smacking 11 homers but hitting just .230 in 108 games. GM Syd Thrift had been after Wilson for over a year, from when he was with the Phils, but couldn’t strike a deal with Philadelphia, which wanted a front-line pitcher in return. 
  • 1993 - The Bucs scored four times in the ninth to rally past the Braves 8-7 at TRS. Jay Bell drove in the first run in the final frame, and with two outs, Dave Clark’s single got the Bucs within a run. The next hitter, Kevin Young, dropped a soft liner into right center, plating Lloyd McClendon and Clark, who scored all the way from first, to give Blas Minor the victory. 
  • 2000 - The Pirates beat the Phillies 2-1 at TRS in front of 28,485 Saturday night fans. Bronson Arroyo allowed two hits over seven shutout innings for his first major league win, with Jason Christiansen and Mike Williams (who gave up a solo shot but nailed down the save) following on. Mike Benjamin had a double & triple while Emil Brown added a pair of hits, scoring once & driving in a run. 
Adam LaRoche - 2009 Topps Heritage
  • 2009 - The Pirates traded Adam LaRoche to the Boston Red Sox for two minor leaguers, SS Argenis Diaz and RHP Hunter Strickland. LaRoche remained in the show until 2016 when he retired, while Diaz played for Pittsburgh briefly in 2010 and Hunter, after a stint with the Giants, is now with Seattle. 
  • 2009 - The Bucs used a season-high five home runs to hold off the Brewers 8-7 at PNC Park. Brandon Moss went long in the ninth off Mitch Stettler for his first walk off homer; Ryan Doumit added a pair of blasts while Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones each had one. Delwyn Young and Jones had three hits apiece. Paul Maholm started and was chased in the fifth after giving up all seven runs; Joel Hanrahan, John Grabow and eventual winner Matt Capps shut the gate afterward. 
  • 2013 - Jason Grilli was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, the poster boy for Ben Reiter’s story “The Strangest But Truest Story of the Summer: The Playoff Bound Pirates and Their Sharknado Bullpen.” It was purely coincidental that Grilled Cheese was injured pitching the same day, put on the DL, and out of action until September 3rd. It was also the first time in 21 years, since Barry Bond’s 1992 appearance, that a Pirate graced the cover of SI.