Pirates vs. Cubs
May 4, 2001

L 15-4

The Pirates and the Cubs headed into tonight's Friday game with identical 7-1 records. The game's over, so I'm set to do the game report.

In the first inning, the Cubs started with 6 straight hits. The Pirates were put back on their heels, and the Cubs had the bags full (bases loaded). We need some defense, and we need it quick! The next batter lifted a fly ball to third base. Joshua M. camped under it for the first out. The next batter smashed a grounder to Joshua M.. He alertly rifled a throw to Andrew at the plate for the forceout. After another hit, the next Cub batter hit a ground ball to Joshua M. at third base. He made the unassisted out at third base for the final out. Josh M. got all 3 outs! That's great!! Unfortunately, the Cubs do score 4.

In the bottom of the first, "Wheels" (Ryan) hit a single to left center field. The ball scooted under the outfielder, and Wheels hoofed it all the way to third base. Then he stole home on a passed ball! After a strikout, Andrew cracked a sharp single to left field. Blake followed with an easy groundball to the pitcher, who threw him out at first base. Andrew moved to second. Anna followed with a single to right center field. Andrew scored ahead of the throw and Anna scooted to second. Brian ended with a ground ball to pitcher. The pitcher leapt high, gloved it, and tossed out Brian. Pirates score 2 to make it a 4-2 game.

Looks like it's gonna be a close game. We're gonna need some defense! The first Cubs batter in the second grounded to Blake at second base, who fired on to Michael for the first out. The next batter grounded to Brian on the mound. Brian steadied himself and tossed on to Michael for the second out. The top of the Cubs order came to the plate and cracked 4 straight hits, scoring 3 runs. Finally, the batter put down a bunt down the first base line. Andrew jumped out from behind the plate and threw on to Michael at first base for the putout.

Max led off the Pirates second inning with a sharp single to left field. Matthew followed with a single to second base. The rally fell short, as B.J., Hayden, and Joshua M. fell on strikes. Yikes!! After 2 innings, the Pirates trail 7-2.

Time for some defense! In the third inning, the first two Cubs struck out. After three straight infield hits, which scored 1 run, the final batter struck out. In the bottom of the Pirates third inning, Chris started with an infield single. Josh B. dinked one in front of the plate and was barely tossed out at first base. Back to the top of the lineup! In a very sad development, Ryan grounded to the pitcher and was thrown out at first base. Then Blake cracked a line drive, but right into the second baseman's glove. Boo hoo! Pirates are shut down for the second straight inning, and it's a 8-2 game.

In the fourth inning, after an opening strikeout, the next batter got a hit. Then Blake put out the speedy batter when he tossed on to Michael at first base for the out. After a 2-run homer (ouch), the strong cleanup hitter stepped in. He lifted a fly ball to left center field, where Anna camped under it for the final out. She made it look easy! Two runs score.

In the bottom of the Pirates fourth inning, it was time to warm up the cold-as-ice Pirate bats. Andrew got a single. Then Blake got a nice ground ball, but the third baseman fired on to second base to force Andrew. Rats! Anna then lifted a line drive to left center field, but right at the left center fielder. I don't think he ever knew what hit him -- but he did squeeze it for the second out. Brian followed with a sweet little bunt. Max and Matthew followed with singles to load the bases. B.J. dribbled one in front of the plate. Brian hustled home -- but it didn't matter. The Cubs pitcher (who else? we've hit *everything* at the pitcher this game!) grabbed the ball and threw out B.J. at first base. We only get 1 run.

In the top of the Cubs 5th inning, after two strikeouts, the next Cub hit into an out. Details are sketchy (ok, Coach Rodney lost his notes), but he's sure that someone on the Pirates made an outstanding play!! So, the Pirates have a slim chance -- they just need to put 7 runs on the board this inning (hey, that did that last game). Would you believe that Hayden, Joshua M., and Christopher each made contact, each hit the ball directly to an infielder, and each was thrown out at first? I can't believe it either, but that's what happened. That puts the Pirates trailing 10-3 after 5 innings.

The teams played another inning, mostly for fun, since the game was basically over. Defensive highlights included Michael calmly catching a fly ball in the outfield for the putout, and Max making an unassisted outout at second base on a grounder. In the bottom of the sixth, Josh B. led off with a booming single past second base. Ryan followed with a hit. Michael slapped a grounder at third base, and the third baseman simply forced out Josh B. at third. Once again, details become sketchy. It doesn't matter. The game is over. Pirates fall 15-4 to lose for the first time in a few weeks.

The Pirate bats were pretty sleepy tonight. And when we did make contact, we hit it right at someone. Oh well, that's baseball. We'll be back to our old grand-slamming ways soon.

The Pirates did play an outstanding defensive game tonight. And what could be a better example of the solid Pirate defense than Joshua M., who was completely responsible for shutting down the Cubs in the first inning. And it was his first game at third base in, well, a long time. Joshua M. led the Pirates defensively, and Coach Rodney was happy to make him today's Pirate Pick. Congratulations, Joshua M.!

Captain "Long Gone" Homer