Pirates vs. Cardinals
May 17, 2001

W 18-12

OK people, you've had all season to get to know the players. Tonight's game summary will feature the fearless Pirates by their alter-egos. For those of you not keeping up, here's a cheat sheet:
  • Ryan ("Wheels")
  • Andrew ("Droofus")
  • Blake ("Stretch")
  • Anna ("Pepper")
  • Michael ("Crash")
  • Brian ("Clutch")
  • Joshua M. ("Montana")
  • B.J. ("Hawkeye")
  • Matthew ("Sparky")
  • Max ("Bingo")
  • Joshua B. ("Gumbo")
  • Christopher ("Dusty")
  • Hayden ("Slapshot") -- not here tonight

It's been a month since the Pirates last played the Cardinals. The Pirates had a big game last time and were hoping to keep it going tonight. The Pirates were the visiting team.

Wheels started off with a solid triple to right field. Of course, he wanted to stretch it into a homer, but Coach Rodney held him with nobody out and Droofus coming up. Droofus got a single off the pitcher to score Wheels. Then Droofus stole second! Stretch grounded into an out at first base. That brought up Pepper (oh, how she hates the nickname!). She banged a single to score Droofus. Crash grounded into a fielder's choice (they got Pepper at second). Clutch struck out to end the inning. The Pirates score 2!

In the bottom of the first, the Cardinals got 4 straight hits to score 2 runs. With runners at first and second and nobody out, the next batter grounded directly to Wheels at shortstop. Wheels made a heady play, first tagging the runner from second base (who had retreated back to the bag). Then he stepped on second base for the unassisted double play! Heck, if Wheels was real greedy, he might have had a chance for the triple play!! The next batter struck out. That evened the game 2-2 after an inning.

In the top of the second, Montana got a single towards third base. He promptly stole second. Hawkeye grounded to third, and beat the throw (Montana held at second). Then Coach Rodney called for the ol' double steal! It worked .... cool! Sparky lifted a fly ball to the shortstop. The shortstop caught it, and Coach Rodney had Montana tagging from third... and he scored! Bingo ripped a single to right field to score Hawkeye and took second on the throw. Gumbo got a a single towards third base, and Dusty followed with his own infield hit. Wheels came up with the bases loaded. He chopped a grounder to the right side of the infield -- everyone's safe and one run scores. That brings up Droofus with the bases loaded. Droofus lashes a hard, I mean hard, line drive to left center field. It scoots all the way to the fence. He cleared the bases and cruised into third base for a triple. Pirates get 5!

In the bottom of the second, the first batter grounded to Gumbo at second base. He wheeled and tossed to the outstretched Pepper for the out. The next batter ripped one to Wheels at shortstop. Wheels had to come up throwing. He makes a nice throw, and Pepper squeezed it for the second out. After 5 straight Cardinal hits (gulp!), the last batter lifted a soft pop fly down the first base line. Droofus was at first and had the only play. He reacted quickly, ran towards the ball, and gloved it for the final out. Pirates lead 7-5 after two innings.

In the third inning, Stretch started things off with a single to the left side of the infield. He stole second base to get into scoring position for (who else?) Pepper. She responded with another RBI single. And with a great heads-up baserunning brain, Pepper coasted into second base as the throw came to the infield. Then in one of those plays that Coach Rodney likes to call a "miracle", Pepper stole third base! Clutch came up and grounded to second base. Coach Rodney was aggressive and sent Pepper to the plate. It was the right call, as Clutch would have been dead meat at first base. The throw came home.... a cloud of dust.... Out! Montana ended the inning with a groundout to the pitcher. Pirates get one run.

In the bottom of the third, the first two batters got hits. The next batter cracked one right at Sparky at third base. Sparky turned and made the very close play on the advancing runner. Out! Yes!! The next batter cracked one up the middle.  But Bingo was on the mound and quickly "picked it" clean.  He spun and fired on to Pepper at first base for the putout.  The final batter grounded to second base, where Crash hurried to make the throw.  It was very close at first base, but we got the call.  The Pirate defense holds tough!  No runs for the Cardinals!  Pirates go to the fourth inning in a tight 8-5 game.

In the top of the fourth, the Pirates put on a hitting clinic.  This may get a little wordy, so bear with me.  Hawkeye started us off with a single to deep in the hole at shortstop.  Sparky put down a picture-perfect bunt.  Bingo ripped a double to right field to score Hawkeye.  Gumbo got a single towards third and Sparky scored!  Then Dusty got an infield hit to load the bases.  Back to the top of the order!  Wheels got a single to right center field to score two.  Then Droofus got a hit.  Stretch chopped a hit towards first base.  That brought up Pepper with ducks on the pond.  For the THIRD straight time, she delivers in the clutch, this time ripping a double and scoring 2!  And just like that, Crash came to the plate.  He was the final batter of the inning, as you're only allowed 10 batters from the fourth inning on.  He stroked a hit to score Pepper.  The throw came towards the plate, so Crash took second and then third!  The ball was loose so Crash kept on going.  It was close at the plate -- Crash goes in hard (surprise).... he's tagged out!  Oh my gosh, the Pirates almost scored the unheard-of ten runs.  They do score 9!  WOW!!!  Hey, is Crash ok?  He got popped in the lip on the slide and was bleeding pretty good.  Oh, he'll be ok.  Can you believe it?  The Pirates scored NINE runs!!

In the bottom of the fourth, the first two Cardinals fell on strikes.  The last batter lifted a fly ball in foul territory outside third base.  Pepper drifted into foul ground and made the out.  Three up! Three down!  Pirates break open the game with a HUGE fourth inning and lead 17-5!!

In the fifth inning, Clutch started with a couple bunt attempts.  But he eventually fell on strikes.  Montana got a hit off the pitcher and promptly stole second base.  Hawkeye got another single in the hole to shortstop (that's three straight times!).  Sparky followed with a very hard double to left field.  That got some "Ooooohs" from the stands!  Bingo smashed a towering line drive to right field.  It was destined for the right fielder's glove -- yep, he caught it.  Nice contact, Bingo!  Gumbo hit one straight into the air to second base.  That got caught too.  Pirates score 1. 

In the bottom of the fifth, the Pirates score 7.  The defensive highlight was Clutch gloving a fading line drive (it hit the ground first), and racing to first base for the out.  But that's all she wrote.  Pirates win 18-12 on the strength of a huge fourth inning!!

Lots of people stepped up today.  Droofus played solid defense and had some nice hits.  Sparky and Bingo really ripped the ball to the outfield.  Wheels got a great unassisted double play!  But Coach Rodney tapped the RBI Queen as the player of the game.  Pepper (ok, she hates the nickname).... Anna pounded the ball, got RBIs every time she came to the plate, made 3 putouts on defense, and even (gasp!) stole third base!!!  Coach Rodney taps Anna as tonight's Pirate Pick! A great all-around game, Anna!!

Captain "Long Gone" Homer