Pirates vs. Diamondbacks
May 15, 2001

W 21-9

Back by popular D-mand, I return with another D-tailed report on the game between the mighty Pirates and the D-Backs. The Pirates were coming off a 3-game losing skid (and maybe were a little D-pressed), so they were set to came to the ballpark ready to do some damage tonight. The Pirates took the field as the home team.

The D-Backs leadoff hitter got a single down the third base line. The next batter lifted a pop fly to the third baseman Josh M., who squeezed it for the out. The next batter tripled and the cleanup hitter got an infield hit. Then another hit... Big time potential runs on the bags. And the runner on second base took off on the next pitch. Andrew saw the steal attempt, and rifled a strike D-rectly to Josh M. at third base. OUT! Great throw Andrew! And great tag Josh! The next batter grounded to Michael at second base. He fumbled it, but stuck with it and tossed the ball underhanded to Anna at first. On a bang-bang play, the ump calls "Out!". Whew! The Pirates escape with only 2 runs scored against them.

In the bottom of the first, the Pirates got down to business. Ryan led off with a dinky grounder towards the first baseman. The first baseman fumbled it a bit himself and the speedy Ryan beat out the play. Then Ryan stole second. And then Ryan stole third, and on the overthrow, stole home! The man owns the basepaths! Blake settled in and lashed a triple to right center field. What a sweet line drive! Andrew followed with a single to left center field. Brian got a seeing-eye single to set the table for Anna. Anna D-livers a double to right center field, scoring 2! B.J. followed with an infield hit to (where else?) third base. Finally, Michael got a single to right center field to bring home the fifth run. Pirates lead 5-2 after one inning.

In the top of the second, the first two D-Backs struck out. Then the third batter grounded to Josh B. at second base. "Gumbo" scooped it and tossed (underhand) to Anna at first. Out! Three up and three down! Alright!

In the bottom of the second, Matthew started us off with a smack single to the shortstop. He stole second base and then Chris got a single off the second baseman. Josh B. then worked the count to the last strike and finally lashed a single up the middle. Josh M. lifted a pop single to right center field....wait... ok, Go! It's dropping in! That brought up Ryan. Coach Rodney has a real complicated D-sign for Ryan. Hit the ball, and run like the wind! So Ryan did just that, lifting a triple to the outfield. Ryan is definitely not comfortable standing at a base. On the next pitch, the ball was loose and Ryan streaked home with the fifth run. That's two innings of offense for the Pirates and they haven't hit into one out! They are really D-stroying the ball!

In the top of the third, the first D-Backs batter grounded back to Matthew on the mound. He tossed on to Michael at first. Michael had to come off the bag, make the catch, and find the bag again for the out... but he did! The next two batters struck out.

In the bottom of the third inning, Blake batted again (he was watching Ryan steal home at the end of the last inning). This time he hit a grounder right to the pitcher. Oh yeah, he was thrown out... At this point in the season, the pitcher is going to make those plays (unless we hit it real hard). Andrew followed with a single to left field. Brian got a dribbler on the left side of the infield, but everyone was safe. Anna followed with a groundout to the first baseman (yep, first baseman make easy outs too). Then B.J. grounded to the shortstop, who fired on to first base to barely nip him for the out. Pirates lead 10-2 after 3 full innings.

In the top of the fourth, the D-Backs mounted a nice rally. The first 3 D-Backs got hits. The tough cleanup hitter then hit a fly ball just outside the bag at first. Andrew drifted over and made the easy catch for the first out. After a couple more hits and a strikeout, Ryan fielded a come-backer and fired on to Andrew for the third out. What excellent D-fense!! I D-cree that the Pirates are back on track!!

In the bottom of the fourth, Michael led off with a sweet double to center field. It's amazing what a solid line drive and heads-up baserunning will do! Matthew followed with a single to the shortstop in the hole. Michael moved up to third as no one was covering. Chris then stepped in. He totally mashed a line drive to left field, probably Chris's best hit of the year. But it went straight into the glove of the left fielder! Hey, no one's sad about that one. Chris absolutely tore the cover off the ball and he ran into a little bad luck (that happens). Michael was heads-up and tagged up and scored. After a strikeout, Josh M. followed with a perfect bunt single. And then a steal to put 2 runners on in scoring position! Wheels (that's Ryan) followed with his second triple to right center field. And he was bummed because he thought he could have scored! Blake followed with a smash to center field to score Ryan. Andrew then got a double to score Blake. Finally, Brian lined out to the shortstop. Oh well. But hey! The Pirates score 4 and go on top 14-5.

In the top of the fifth, three straight D-Backs hits loaded the bases. The leadoff D-Backs batter then hit a grounder to Michael at pitcher. He rifled the throw to Andrew at the plate to force out the runner from third. Great thinking! After another hit, the D-Backs batter hit a high fly ball to the left side of the infield. Ryan set up shop and caught the easy fly ball (also known in baseball lingo as a "can of corn"). That's two outs! After three more hits, the final batter struck out. And the D-Backs score 4 to make the game closer. The Pirates still lead 14-9.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Pirates totally D-stroyed the ball. Anna led off with a that's-the-way-she's-supposed-to-hit-it line drive to center field. That's a base hit in any league, on any field! B.J. got another single to the left side of the infield. Michael followed with a fielder's choice to the second baseman, who elected to force out B.J. at second. Michael promptly stole second. Matthew followed with an important single up the middle, which scored 2! Chris got a single off the shortstop. And then Josh B. got a single off the second baseman. Josh M. grounded into a 6-3 forceout (shortstop to the first baseman). Ryan then got his fourth hit of the night by slapping a single to left field. And what's this? Ryan is stealing second base? I'm speechless... shocked... surprised... Yeah right. That Ryan sure is a D-mon on the basepaths. Blake followed with another hit and stole second base. Finally, Andrew gets his fourth hit of the night to score Blake. Wow! The Pirates score 7!! The Pirates lead 21-9. That's ballgame (10-run rule).

Of course, we continued playing for fun until the time ran out. The first D-Backs batter lifted a fly ball to short right center field. Josh B. has no chance from second base. What's this? Blake is charging hard, and makes the sliding grab for the highlight-reel out! Fantastic!!! That boy D-serves some serious applause for the effort and the catch! After a few more hits, Brian pulled off the ol' fake-throw-to-first, tag-the-unaware-baserunner maneuver from shortstop. And it worked to perfection, just like last game! A strikeout ended the D-Backs inning.

Game over! Pirates win 21-9!! The Pirates shake off the pesky little losing streak and bounce back with an important win. And who is Coach Rodney going to select for tonight's player of the game? Excellent D-fense from behind the plate (a putout and an assist!), plus 4-for-4 at the plate. The always D-pendable Andrew gets the nod as tonight's Pirate Pick! Super game Andrew!

Captain "Long Gone" Homer