Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Last night was the first night of a planned month full of baseball, and particularly full of Pirate baseball. Brad Penny's debut in Dodger Blue was painful for Bucco fans--8 innings, 2 hits (both infield singles), faced 2 over the minimum. There were two mitigating factors: a comeback in the 9th that almost knocked off Gagne's new shorter streak, and 14 K's by Pirate pitchers in 8 innings, including 10 in 5 innings by Oliver Perez. Perez is 22. We like the Oliver Perez. He's one of those small, crafty lefties whose every pitch seems to move about 3 feet. Between him and the National League Rookie of the Month for June and July, the Brian Giles trade is looking better and better every day.

OK, there was actually a third mitigating factor: the scoreboard showing this picture of Jack Wilson looking as if someone has just hit him in a way so as to earn a Star Punch. Plus this picture of Ty Wigginton making his oooh face. Oooh. Oooh.

If all goes as planned, I'll be seeing those ridiculous pictures a lot. This Sunday I'm going with a bunch of people to Petco Park to see Pirates/Padres. On the 17th or 18th, the drive to Ann Arbor kicks off with the first leg, a drive to Phoenix to see the Pirates at the Diamondbacks. That Friday the Pirates will be in St. Louis, and so will I. At the end of the month I go home to Beallsville for 4 days, and the Pirates go home for three more with the Cards. If you're counting, that's one month, 5 games, 5 cities. Add in a possible trip to Angels/Tigers on my way out of town and a stop in Chicago after St. Louis for Sox/Sox, and that's a whole lot of hardball. In fact, I'll have seen baseball, from Maine to San Diego.

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