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 Post subject: Game Report -- April 11, 2009
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:54 am 
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Another season is upon us which means it's time for more game reports by Shark from Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. Went to the game this afternoon after having to miss last night's, which turned out fine due to the rain delay. It's always nice to catch a series early in the season when the team is still around .500 and you are at least still semi-optimistic. Overall, this was probably the most enjoyable game I've been to in some time. I'll be honest, I don't really know much of anything about Jeff Karstens who was supposed to make the start yesterday, I knew Johnny Cueto, as well as Volquez who the Reds got from that Josh Hamilton trade was capable of some nasty stuff, but I felt much better with Maholm going today.

- Great American Ballpark has not changed much, and in my opinion is just still not all that great of a ballpark, although that's a whole different story entirely. This year they brought back the $5 seats and added a $1 menu to try to pull in some attendance, and the only real difference is that they installed a bigger, HD scoreboard which is pretty nice. I got to see it because I sat on the other side of the park tonight, where I normally sit with my buddy who has season tix in the bleachers. A pretty decent afternoon crowd came out for the game, I think they announced it was 22K. Saw plenty of Bucs attire throughout the day, far more than usual, which was surprising.

- I'll start with what very few negative there was ... the Ks. I guess maybe it hasn't been so bad all year, all I've seen is the 7th inning on of the first game against St. Louis and all of the last game, the Carpenter mow down. I think there were 11 on the day, most of them flat out embarrassing cuts.

- Paul Maholm was outstanding once again, although it was probably overshadowed by the long ball heroics and double digit runs. Easily the best Pirates start I had seen live since, well, probably Kip Wells a few years back.

- It's certainly great when McLouth and Doumit play to full potential, let alone on the same day. Multi-hit games for both, McLouth with a dinger in the first and of course Doumit's beautiful 1st career grand slam. LaRoche was inches away from another HR besides his Doumit follow up early on but Willie Taveras made a nice warning track catch.

- I'm really beginning to like the throwing arm of Moss after that disaster of a "throw" in the first game of the year. Nice throw to nail Votto, matching what Jay Bruce did in RF for the Reds earlier in the game.

- As much as I've frowned upon the very idea of Nyjer Morgan being a starter in the MLB, it's hard to find any faults with his start this season, and today was certainly no exception. With the jumps he had on the two stolen bases, I think Ramon Hernandez was debating whether to even make the throw or not. For what it's worth, I hadn't seen a live Pirates triple in quite a while either.

- Had to feel for ex-Pirate Mike Lincoln's work in the 9th. I've always had a soft spot for the guy and wished him the best since signing with the Redlegs, but uncharacteristically, he was nowhere near the strike zone before serving up Doumit and LaRoche.

- I haven't seen the replay and wasn't paying 100% attention when it happened, but it appeared to me McLouth made a nice defensive play to come over and make the catch, and it was almost comical to see Jay Bruce nearly pass Encarnacion (or whoever it was) on his way to third base as the baserunners through the ball was gone leading to the double play.

Not the most informative or technically sound game report, I know, but seeing a Pirates 10-2 victory is something I rarely ever get to enjoy, so I thought I'd do just that. Hope you enjoyed. 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Game Report -- April 11, 2009
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:40 am 
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Thx, Shark. Well stated ... and you have the honor of posting the first regular season game report for 2009!!


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 Post subject: Re: Game Report -- April 11, 2009
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:26 am 
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Thanks Shark. Nice job.


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 Post subject: Re: Game Report -- April 11, 2009
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:42 am 
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TheShark wrote:

- Had to feel for ex-Pirate Mike Lincoln's work in the 9th. I've always had a soft spot for the guy and wished him the best since signing with the Redlegs, but uncharacteristically, he was nowhere near the strike zone before serving up Doumit and LaRoche.


Shark -
Nice report. I appreciate the time and effort . . .

Just finished watching most of the replay on MLB.TV. Color commentary (Walk?) on Doumit's HR was that the catcher called for an inside/low pitch and Lincoln's pitch (looked to me like a cut fastball) ran out over the plate into Doumit's wheelhouse. Color commentary suggests that your observation was absolutely correct - Lincoln not hitting his spots at all.

BTW, question for the "crew" . . . . does Walk do the color commentary in the first three innings during the TV coverage? Whoever was doing the color commentary in the top of the first had some interesting comments and I'm just curious as to whether Walk was making the comments.

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 Post subject: Re: Game Report -- April 11, 2009
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:14 am 
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Must have been a beautiful day at the stadium. Thanks, Shark, nice to hear that Pirate fans were in attendance in some numbers.

I can't wait for Monday and attending the game. Going with five friends and plan a day of it. Going early and eating nearby, enjoying the whole experience and then probably another meal and some beer when I get back to Wheeling. I'll not be reporting but feel sure others will do justice to the game.

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 Post subject: Re: Game Report -- April 11, 2009
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:54 am 
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Great report Shark, you covered the main things and yeah, your not the only one who saw that defensive play by McLouth! That kid has potential written all over him and if he continues doing what he's been doing, could even take the title of my favourite player. This was a game that got me more excited than a lot of the other games in training camp, and last season. Now, we gotta hope they beat the good 'ol pac muels again today!


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