I know my post is extremely late for the #MondayBlogs, but I really do have good reason to be delinquent. Today was the Pittsburgh Pirates' Opening Day at PNC Park and I couldn't express my views until the final score was in the books. At approximately 4:15p.m., the Pirates (3-4) beat the Detroit Tigers (6-1) 5-4! Go, Bucs!
I wasn't at the ball park, but did watch most of the game on T.V. In the bottom of the first inning, Josh Harrison, our amazing third baseman, smashed one over the wall in center field, hitting a homerun on pitch #1 of the Home Opener. What a way to start the season, JHay!
Gerrit Cole was on the mound for the Pirates today holding the Tigers scoreless through six and two-thirds innings. Cole was superb, striking out at least 8 batters that I witnessed. However in the seventh, with his team leading 2-0, he allowed a single and two walks which loaded the bases with no outs. Clint Hurdle relieved Cole with Jared Hughes who with his first pitch, forced the runners into a double play. Now the score was 2-1. The next pitch Hughes threw was hit and caught for the third out.
Now up comes Alvarez in the bottom of the seventh. He slams one into center field which adds to the Pirates lead. Cervelli, our new catcher, gets on with a single, and Corey Hart, a pinch hitter socks one out of the park to make the score 5-1.
Game's in the bag, right? Not so fast! In the top of the eighth,Marc Melancon came in to face the Tigers; they hit two doubles and a homer, causing Pirate fans to bite their nails and clench their fists thinking that their beloved team could suffer a loss on Opening Day.
The Pirates went down in the bottom of the eighth without much of a fight. Fortunately for Melancon, his team, and the almost forty thousand fans in the seats, the Tigers faltered in the ninth, without so much as a whimper much less a growl!
Hurray 4 Opening Day! We won! Let's Go Bucs!
The Home Opener in Pittsburgh is considered an unofficial holiday. Dads schedule a vacation day months in advance, moms pack up the toddlers, and kids feign illness in order to be at the ballpark for this momentous occasion. Everybody plays hooky from their responsibilities to witness the rebirth of America's favorite pasttime. It happens every spring. It's been happening since I was a kid and way before that when my elders were just youngins'. I know Opening Day will remain an icon long after I've gone to that great ballfield in the sky. And you can bet that when I have that bird's eye view, I'll be cheering on the Pirates just as I did today!
BTW, Playing Hooky is the title of the first book in my When We Were Kids series. It has nothing to do with baseball, but takes place in the Fifties and focuses on family life, growing up, losing a loved one, and dealing with the consequences of our choices. Although Playing Hooky is slotted in the tweens/teens age group, parents, grandparents, teachers, and other adults are raving about it because of the many memories being conjured up throughout its pages. If you'd like to know more about this engaging book, visit Amazon.com/FloBarnett.