|The Pirates ran into a buzzsaw tonight,
courtesy of the Cubs. Prepare yourself for the
gory details.... actually there's some good
highlight material too.
The Pirates were the
visiting team tonight, so they batted first.
Michael and Ryan led off the game with a couple
nice hits. With nobody out, Andrew smoked a
grounder to shortstop. The shortstop threw to
third base for the force out on Michael. Ryan and
Andrew then stole third base and second base,
respectively. Brian put down a nice bunt, which
the catcher fielded but had no play. That brought
up Anna with the bags full and one out. Anna
worked the count full. Then on the fifth pitch,
Anna lashed a hard hit to left field. That plated
two runs and moved Brian up to third base! Blake
followed with a fielder's choice (Anna was out at
second). Blake then stole two bases, but was
stranded at third on a final strikeout. A pretty
nice start to the game -- Pirates score 3 runs
going into the bottom of the first.
The Cubs got things going quick, with 3 quick
hits to load the bases. Michael fielded a bloop
that landed in front of the plate and tagged out
the runner heading home. Unfortunately, the next
couple Cubs had big RBIs and the Cubs scored 5.
On to the second inning with the Pirates down
Max started with a nice hit. He twisted his
ankle as he hit first base. Coach Rodney was
worried that Max might not be able to run well.
Not a problem. Christopher stepped up next and
hit a soft pop fly to first base. Max took off
for second -- the ankle was fine. But, uh...
uh... Max -- you're gonna get doubled off if you
don't tag up. The first baseman made the double
play official as he stepped on first base. Just a
reminder guys -- you must not
just take off running on a fly ball (or a line
drive). And listen to your coaches!! Hayden got a
long hit to left field, which he hustled into a
double. Great baserunning, Hayden! With two outs,
Coach Rodney tried to force the action, maybe
manufacture a run with some aggressive (but
smart) baserunning. He signalled for Hayden to
steal third. Hayden stole third and the ball got
loose. This is what Coach Rodney wanted. He sent
Hayden in to home, but the shortstop made a good
play to back up the throw. Then he fired home,
where Hayden was seriously dead meat as he came
to the plate. Yikes! No runs!
The Cubs didn't give any ground in the second
inning. The first batter hit a flare towards
first, which Anna couldn't get the play on. But
Christopher was backing up the play and *almost*
tagged the baserunner. Anna had another chance on
the next batter, and she took advantage of it
with a nice putout at first. A few more hits and
a strikeout brought the Pirates within an out of
stopping the Cubs. But several hard hits drove
the maximum runs across. Pirates go the third
inning trailing 10-3.
Joshua B. led off the third inning with a very
pretty bunt. And that dude is quick on the
basepaths! Matthew followed with his own bunt --
they threw out Matthew, but Joshua B. went on to
second. That brought up Michael. Michael flared a
pop fly towards shortstop. OH NO!! Not again!!
Joshua B. took off for third base as contact was
made. Another easy double play for the Cubs and
the Pirates are staring down a 10-3 deficit going
into the bottom of the third inning.
Defensive highlights abounded for the Pirates
in the bottom of the third. The first batter hit
a grounder to "deep in the hole" at
shortstop (that means a grounder that's close to
the outfield grass and the shortstop is closer to
third base when he fields it, usually
backhanded). Brian gloved it clean and came up
firing to Michael at first base. Michael tried to
scoop the one-hopper, but couldn't quite come up
with it. It sure looked pretty though! Michael
then made a good play at first base on a
grounder. The ump called "safe" on a
bang-bang play (that means "close"). A
few more Cubs got hits. Then the Pirates made a
nice play as Joshua M. blocked the plate and
applied the tag on a runner coming home! With two
outs and the game pretty well out of hand, the
next batter hit an absolute smash to Matthew at
third base. The hot corner (third base) is not a
position for those that frighten easily. Matthew
reacted quickly, throwing that glove up and
making a circus catch to rob the batter of
certain extra bases! Super catch Matthew! He even
threw to the plate where Joshua M. made another
bonus tag on the sliding runner. On to the fourth
inning, where the Pirates were in a deep 13-3
Ryan and Andrew started the Pirates' fourth
inning with a couple hard hits to the outfield.
Brian got in a 2-strike hole, but came through in
the clutch to get an RBI hit to center field.
Anna followed with an out, and Blake got a hit,
but two strikeouts ended the threat. The Pirates
score 3 to push the score to 13-6.
In the bottom of the fourth, Andrew shut down
the first batter by cleanly fielding the grounder
at pitcher and tossing to Hayden at first for the
out. The Cubs got a couple hits, and then another
Cub hit a hard hit to left field. Anna picked it
up and fired straight to the plate where a
waiting Joshua M. put out yet another runner!
Note that Anna came up throwing. Hesitating, or
pumping a throw once or twice will never get the
out. Way to go Anna! And another great tag Josh!
Sadly, that wasn't enough. With two outs, the
Cubs get a couple more hits and score a total of
4 runs. That put them ahead 17-6, and therefore
they won by the 10-run rule.
So the game was officially over. We went ahead
and played another practice inning. This time,
all ten Pirates hit! We probably scored 7 or 8
runs. Now if we can just do that in our next
This was one of those games that you have to
put behind you. We hit the ball pretty well, but
we made some critical baserunning mistakes that
really hurt. So who was today's Pirate Pick?
In a game that wasn't real close, Matthew made a
super catch of a line drive that would make any
highlight reel. Matthew is today's Pirate Pick.