With this new day, and really entirely new era of Bucco baseball, we are going to be starting the blog site up again in an effort to make it everything that we planned to do in the past, and to fix the things that at some point stopped working over the last year or so of site neglect.
So welcome back to another season of Pirates baseball. It feels great coming off of last year’s playoff appearance, but at the time, I remember how hard it was to watch St. Louis play in the World Series last year, knowing that it
should have been could have been us.
But now here it is, with a beautifully sunny final day of March in the Burgh, with the Pirates taking on the Cubs at PNC Park. By now, you know the Pirates are facing Jeff Samardzija, and Francisco Liriano will be taking the hill for the Buccos. It would be great for the Pirates to avoid the same slow start that they had last year, and with a tough early season schedule entirely made up of NL Central foes until late April, a fast start is going to be an important part of this season.
Based on my pre-season predictions, I think my pick for player of the game today is one of the guys who I think has a shot to be the second consecutive Pirate to win National League MVP this year. Despite the streaks that he is known for so far in his early career, I think this is the year that it all clicks for Pedro Alvarez, and he gets it started today with a big home run to lead the Pirates to an Opening Day victory against the Cubbies. Liriano will go 6 solid innings, then the Shark Tank will take over and shut down the Cubs in the 7th, 8th and 9th for a nice convincing Pirates victory.
Pirates 5, Cubs 1
HR: Alvarez, Martin
The weather may not really feel like it, but it is now April 1. Opening Day for our beloved Pittsburgh Piratesas they are in the
chilly friendly confines of Wrigley Field to take on the division rival Cubbies. Our big (relatively speaking) free agent acquisition, Kevin Correia, will be making his first Pirate start, and a lot will be made of whether he is the promising pitcher that had shown signs before having a rough year (personally) last year.
The offense should be fun to watch this year, as the aggression on the basepaths will make this team entertaining, putting pressure on the other team to make a play. With guys like Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata bringing the speed, and Pedro Alvarez, Lyle Overbay and Legend Jones bringing the pop, along with spark plug Neil Walker, I am excited to watch this team play for the first time in many years.
I remember last year’s opening day at Indianapolis more than I remember the Pirates opener, as I was more interested in seeing what guys like Pedro, Tabata and NW were doing. Sure was more thrilling than seeing Akinori Iwamura, Lastings MIlledge and Andy Laroche play for the big team. So this year we are finally seeing the future, with expectations of more than just signs of life coming from them. I think we all know the pitching staff is far from contender-worthy, but this offense, by and large, is your team of the future. Next year’s opening day batting order will likely be very, very similar to this year’s. And the year after that as well. We have no guys certain to be traded on July 31. No over the hill vets plugging a hole. We may see an Andrew Lambo come along to take right field. We’ll certainly see Tony Sanchez come along to take over the catching duties. But this is our team, taking the field on the first opening day of many as a collective “core”.
I can’t wait for some Bucco baseball.
And yes, this is also the first official post for the new blog. We’ll be covering every game going forward. And hopefully bringing something worthwhile to you as a reader that makes you interested in coming back.
Let’s Go Bucs!