It was a beautiful day for the 126th Opening Day of Pittsburgh baseball. We got into town early and walked around the exterior of the ballpark, taking in the great morning weather.
The Bucs came out to stretch around 1:00 and player introductions were announced shortly after. We got a pretty good video of the Pirates players being announced that will be uploaded to our YouTube account.
Alex Presley led off the bottom of the 1st with a single to center, and Jose Tabata followed with an infield single. With two on and no outs, Andrew McCutchen hit into a double play. Then with Presley on third, Neil Walker flew out to deep left center.
Roy Halladay and Bedard traded scoreless innings, with Halladay giving up no more hits and plunking two, and Bedard giving up six hits and a walk.
In the top of the seventh, Ty Wigginton singled, and John Mayberry followed with a double. With runners on second and third, Carlos Ruiz hit a fly ball to Tabata in right. Jose made the catch on the run, and Wigginton tagged. Tabata’s throw home wasn’t exactly a rocket, and Rod Barajas had to leap for it. Despite the throw, the play at the plate was very close, and Wigginton was just safe. Many fans knew that a 1-0 lead could be all Halladay needed.
Bedard’s day was done after seven innings, and Chris Resop came in to pitch the eighth. Resop allowed a walk and a hit, but got out of the inning with the deficit still at one run.
McLouth received a standing ovation when he came to the plate, and it was so loud that you couldn’t even hear his name being announced. The first pitch he saw he smoked down the right field line, foul. After a good at bat, Halladay struck him out to end the inning, stranding Barmes on first base.
Juan Cruz pitched a scoreless top of the ninth, giving up one hit. Jonathan Papelbon came in to close the game for the Phillies, and he retired Presley, Tabata, and McCutchen in order to get his first save.
– Erik Bedard surprisingly made solid contact, almost picking up two hits.
– Pedro Alvarez struck out once and had a deep flyout, going 0-3.
– Both starters worked very quick, and the seventh inning stretch came just 90 minutes after first pitch. The total time of game was 2:14.
– The total attendance was 39,585, a new PNC Park record. It was pretty cool to be a part of that.
– Clint Barmes hit a deep fly ball to left in his first at bat, sending John Mayberry to the track. After he made the catch and turned to get the ball back into the infield, a fan in the front row spit his gum towards Mayberry, just missing him.
Q: Which team have the Pirates played the most on Opening Day?
A: St. Louis Cardinals
Some fan quotes we heard in the bleachers today:
- To Shane Victorino – “Go back to Hawaii!”
- Pirates fan to a Phillies fan – “Remember when the Eagles won the Super Bowl?”
- After Cutch got hit by a Roy Halladay pitch – “Halladay you’re a pu**y!”
- To Alex Presley- “We love you Nate! You’re so much better than Ludwick!”
- “Polanco is good for 20 homers.”
- “HEY MAYBERRY, YOUR SHOE’S UNTIED!”
- “HEY MAYBERRY MY SISTER PLAYS A BETTER LEFT FIELD THAN YOU!”
- “Yeah we lost to Tebow, but only because Ike Taylor sucks!”
- Pirates fan – “Steelers are better in football, Pens are better in hockey, and Phillies are better in baseball.”
Phillies fan – “And we have the 76ers.”
Overall, Opening Day was a ton of fun. Lots of excitement in the air, and Bucco fans came out in full force to support the team. It was a tough loss, but it was also to one of the best pitchers in the league. We’ll be at the game on Saturday, where hopefully the Bucs bounce back and get their first win.
Our game video:
Pirates: (0-1) – Phillies (1-0)
Win: Halladay (1-0)
Loss: Bedard (0-1)
Save: Papelbon (1)