Wednesday, September 28, 2011

PIRATES GAMEDAY 162: Brewers


The last game of the season, so make it a good one. No matter what, the Bucs cannot finish in last place this year, but they can clinch 4th place outright with a win or a Cubs loss. There will be a tie for 4th otherwise.

Starting Pitchers
Jeff Locke (0-2, 4.97 ERA)
Zach Greinke (15-6, 3.86 ERA)



Let's Go Bucs.

Recap: Status Quo. BUCS LOSE.

Pirates 4, Brewers 6

This was the kind of game I pretty much expected to happen after the dramatic win on Monday night, but I also can't say that it sucked any less by knowing it. Prince Fatass made the pitching staff his bitch all night. Can't wait until he's irrelevant to the Bucs on some AL team. As for the Pirates' offense, Neil Walker led the way with 2 doubles; Alex Presley also went 2 for 4. Ross Ohlendorf, it's been real, but have fun on some other team like the Royals.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

PIRATES GAMEDAY 161: Brewers

The Pirates will try for the series win in Milwaukee for the first time in a long time. They will also be using their 8th (9th?) catcher of the season to do it, Matt Pagnozzi.

Starting Pitchers
Ross Ohlendorf (1-3, 8.29 ERA)
Randy Wolf (13-10, 3.61 ERA)


Let's Go Bucs.

Recap: Lengthy Late First. BUCS WIN.

Pirates 9, Brewers 8
I didn't get a chance to watch the end of this game as it ran rather long, but what I did see was the Buccos answering back every time the Brewers tried to mount a comeback and as a result they picked up their first win in the House of Horrors for the season. Alex Presley was the MVP, going 3 for 5 with 3 RBI, a double, and a solo home run. Xavier Paul also had a triple. Charlie Morton's stuff wasn't exactly Electric, but the offense carried the team in this one and he ended up with a no decision. Daniel McCutchen got the Win, while Joel Hanrahan picked up his 40th save of the year.

Two Days After: Steelers-Colts Recap

Oh man! That's all I have to say to describe the game.

It started ok, but maybe the Steelers got too cute.  The deep pass from Ben to Mike got a score, but since then it went downhill.  Ben got sacked twice and fumbled the ball because of Freeney and Mathis.  That got the Colts into the game, and the defense just harassed Ben all game long.  The O-line just got beaten badly, and at least three times I could see the O-line losing guys to injuries, and one of them came back into the game.  This is very concerning, as the commentators even mentioned that they only had 5-7 linemen for the game.  This is bad, and it's almost to the point where they should've kept Flozell Adams. Hopefully the Steelers can remedy the situation, at least to keep the O-line together but that's been the problem, consistency.  Speaking of consistency, the running game was nonexistent.  Two out of the first three weeks of the season, the run game has been invisible.  The Colts had more rushing yards, by a wide margin I'm sure.  Thankfully Ben led a strong final drive to lead to a game-winning field goal, but that can't be the modus operandi for the Steelers' season.  Bruce Arians better make changes as the offensive coordinator, cause if he doesn't and he expects to make it far like he did before with the same methods, then he better have a good press conference prepared.  Tomlin has to be upset with the way the offense went, and he has to be concerned with the Texans up next.

The defense, on the other hand, did pretty well.  No hating for the secondary, although Ike got lucky on one play when Curtis Painter came in as the Colts QB and overthrew Reggie Wayne.  Troy had an impact, as he was a factor for the Colts to be worried about, as he made good tackles, nearly had a couple picks, and made a bad decision near the end of the game when Painter handed the ball off to Addai.  I admit, I thought he was after the running back, but it could've been play-action for I knew, and Troy has always been an incredible bad-ass when he's taking in plays.  Troy was upset, but football's about making quick decisions when guys are fighting to get open and make plays.  Troy I'm sure will be more prepared for the next game, for if he sees what looks like a hand-off against the Texans, he'll go with what the play looks like to him.  Troy did recover a fumble that James Harrison forced on Painter, and Troy took it to the house.  Hopefully Troy can do that again, and I know he'll make sack and stop the plays that will give the opposing team positive gains.  Speaking of plays, where was Harrison and Woodley?? Last week, they had something going, but they were outplayed by Freeney and Mathis.  I hope for Woodley the money isn't on his mind after his new contract was signed, but he and Harrison didn't make much of an impact until near the end with Harrison's forenamed sack/fumble.  They need to get it on against the Texans, for the secondary actually did ok and the safeties made some good plays too.  The defensive line is a concern since the Colts were able to run the ball and get the ball off.  Hopefully Dick Lebeau is examining the game tape and he'll make the necessary adjustments against the Texans.

Special teams, Antonio Brown is the new Santonio Holmes, without the showboating and problems.  Waiting for him to take one to the house, but it'll be fine for now with his mostly good returns.  Suisham, though, has to be glad that that missed field goal from about 30-yards didn't haunt him and he made a longer one to win the game, but he has to be concerned if there are anymore misses like that, especially at critical moments, he'll be out like Jeff Reed.  Of course, it's not like they have another kicker they could find, but Suisham better be not thinking he can do that again.  Tough, I know, but he better make those kicks.  Speaking of kicks, I hope he can actually prevent kickoff returns, but then again that might actually hurt the coverage teams more since they need to prevent those returns.  Punts and kickoffs have been doing decently on coverage, but I hope they can win the field position battles for the Steelers.

This Sunday at 1PM, it's the Steelers vs. Texans.  The Texans have a powerful offense, just not the defense cause they still have problems with handling opposing teams like the Saints, but the Texans have been improving on that side of the ball, and they have Johnathan Joseph leading their corners.  Speaking of leading, Mario Williams is still a factor for the Texans as he's an outside linebacker with Ryans and Cushing there.  The D-line isn't terrible, but I'm more concerned of how the Steelers O-line will work.  Let's hope the Steelers are looking at the game tape and are game planning to make adjustments to stop the Texans.  More thorough review will be later in the week.

Let's Go Steelers!

Monday, September 26, 2011

PIRATES GAMEDAY 159: Brewers

The Pirates have one last chance to take down the Brewers in their own field before the season is over. It's fitting that this last series is in the House of Horrors, as the Pirates season has been a house of horrors since the 19-inning game. End on a good note with some #ElectricStuff.

Starting Pitchers

Charlie Morton (10-10, 3.67)
Sean Marcum (13-7, 3.31)

Recap: Almost Over. BUCS LOSE.

Reds 5, Pirates 4
Once again the Pirates failed to record a sweep, and once again I can't say I'm too surprised as it hasn't happened much at all this year. Chase d'Arnaud was the clear mvp for the Bucs, as he went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and a triple, but the Pirates just couldn't solve Dontrelle Willis, who ended up picking up the Win. Neil Walker had the only other XBH, a double.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

PIRATES GAMEDAY 158: Reds


opponent

Cincinnati Reds

September 23, 2011, 7:05 PM

ballpark

PNC Park

TV: ROOT Sports
Stream:
Radio: 104.7 FM
Radio Stream:
Here



Go for the sweep.

4 games left...


Weather Forecast

Mostly Cloudy, 75°, Precip: 10%; Wind blowing in 8 mph from Right Center

Pitching Matchup

Dontrelle Willis (0-6, 5.04 ERA) vs. James McDonald (9-9, 4.28 ERA)

Lineups


Pirates
  1. Alex Presley, LF
  2. Josh Harrison, 3B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Derrek Lee, 1B
  5. Neil Walker, 2B
  6. Ryan Ludwick, RF
  7. Chase d'Arnaud, SS
  8. Michael McKenry, C
  9. James McDonald, P
opponent
  1. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  2. Dave Sappelt, LF
  3. Joey Votto, 1B
  4. Jay Bruce, RF
  5. Chris Heisey, CF
  6. Juan Francisco, 3B
  7. Devin Mesoraco, C
  8. Paul Janish, SS
  9. Dontrelle Willis, P



gameday character

Let's Go Bucs.

Recap: The Joker. BUCS WIN.

<p><b>Reds 3, Pirates 4</b><br>
Josh Harrison was a home run short of the cycle (4 for 5) and Neil Walker went 3 for 4 with a double as the Pirates held on to beat the Reds and earned the Win for Brad Lincoln. The runs for the most part were as a result of sacrifice flies, which is fine, but Jason Jaramillo hit what turned out to be the game-winning single in the 3rd to score Neil Walker. The Pirates survived several Reds rally attempts to hold onto the victory. Jason Grilli recorded the save due to Joel Hanrahan having the night off. The Bucs will look for the sweep in the last day game of the season.</p>

Steelers vs. Colts

Alrighty, week 3 of the NFL season.  It's the Steelers who have their guys pretty much, against a Colts team totally different without Peyton Manning.  The interesting thing is that Kerry Collins, as a starter, is 5-1 against the Steelers and has thrown more TD's than picks.  Last year, though, was different as he came in for the Titans after then-starting QB Vince Young got knocked out of the game.  The Steelers, of course, won that game.  This time, the Steelers are in the Colts' house in Indianapolis, the site for Super Bowl XLIV,  a place the Steelers are hoping to get to and win it all.


The Steelers' offense will face problems as usual.  Offensive line needs to protect Ben, and make sure he doesn't get any kind of injury.  The good news is that he still has receiving corps and the run game.  Bad news: he's got rookie right tackle Marcus Gilbert starting another game.  Ok, last week wasn't to bad, but who the heck has Dwight Freeney on their team?  Oh yeah, the Colts.  And there's still Robert Mathis, a guy who I don't pay a whole of attention to cause of Freeney, but is definitely an important defensive line player.  It's Freeney, though, who's the main defensive player for the Colts.  He's basically James Harrison for them.  Whether it's Freeney Gilbert's assigned to block, the Steelers' coaches better have a gameplan to stop the Colts' pass rush.  The Colts haven't been known to be a run stopping D, but the NFL is now more of a passing league.  Still, it couldn't hurt to use the run game against the Colts' run D, as it could soften up the Colts defense and/or make them cautious of the run game, making the passing game open up for the Steelers.  Or it could be done in reverse, where the run game is opened up due to the passing game.  Either way, Ben needs to have a better outing this time against the Colts.  Actually, according to Y! Sports, there's a lot of injury concerns heading into this game, and Freeney and Mathis are injured, though I'm sure they'll play.

A couple years ago in Pittsburgh, Ben threw some bad throws that were picked off and the team overall had trouble against the Colts.  Overall, Ben hasn't been great in the regular season against the Colts from what I can remember, other than the playoff win against the Colts in Indy.  Still, the offense needs to click, as they still need to open up the run game and protect Ben, who in turn needs to take good care of the ball and find his receivers.  The Steelers have to do what the Browns did last week, not necessarily the exact same, but close enough that the Steelers can put this game away against the Colts.

For the defense, the Steelers' pass D is still the first thing I'm worried about.  Yeah, Peyton isn't playing, but Collins has played against the Steelers before.  The Colts still have their receiving corps, including go-to receiver Reggie Wayne.  The Colts' offense, though, has suffered as seen with their 0-2 record.  Granted, they got blown out in week 1, but could've actually won last week against the Brownies.  They just ran into a team that has actual room for improvement, and Peyton Hillis is a running back beast.  This was due in part to the Colts offense just being stagnant for the most part, and Collins is actually listed on the list of injuries.  Who knows how this will affect the Colts offense, but there's no doubt that Peyton's injury has thrown the Colts for a loop.  In any case, regardless of who's the QB, the Steelers' secondary needs to step it up cause it isn't Seattle they're facing.  The Colts receiving corps is overall miles ahead of the Steelers', with match up nightmares abound for the Steelers' defensive backfield.  They need to be able to cover their guys well enough to prevent catches and TD's.  Also, Troy better get back into the thick of things, as he all but disappeared in week 1 against the Ravens and had a bit more presence last week against the Seahawks.  Still, the Steelers pass D needs to step it up and not let the Colts get into the game.

The Steelers also need to stop the Colts' running game, as that could help the Colts' passing game if they could get their running game going.  The Steelers aging D-line needs to step into the fountain of youth again, maybe even give more playing time or starting jobs to the younger guys like Ziggy Hood.  In any case, they need to pressure the QB, force turnovers, and stop the Colts' run game.  The defense, overall, needs to bring their A-game and keep building momentum if they want to win it all.

Special teams, eh, what else can I say?  That has also been a weak point, but there have been some bright spots.  Still would like to keep field position an advantage for us and the kicking game needs to be successful again when given the chance.  If Antonio Brown can get free with some blocks on punts and kickoffs, we'll be good.  The Steelers' special teams coverage also better keep the Colts deep within their own territory so that the Steelers can get good field position for their offense.

In the end, it's the coaches who have to get their guys prepared.  Both Mike Tomlin and Jim Caldwell have gone to Super Bowls in some capacity, and they know how to handle their players.  We just have to see how these two coaches do it.  Both are dealing with different issues of their own, and Caldwell's got the harder job with Peyton out.  Tomlin doesn't have that but he's got to keep his guys motivated after they reached the Super Bowl last year and they're still reeling mad from that week 1 beat down, that I'm sure of.  I still hope the Steelers win, but the Steelers are facing a desperate team in the Colts, who might be near out of the playoffs should they keep losing without Peyton at QB.

Overall, I say Steelers 28-20.  I still keep the scores close because even the best teams lose to teams they're either supposed to beat or should be able to win against.  The Colts are still a talented team, just without their franchise QB, but nothing's more dangerous than a wounded animal.  The Steelers will look to add another W to their record, and I hope I'm not worryingly overreacting with the Steelers.

HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

PIRATES GAMEDAY 157: Reds


opponent

Cincinnati Reds

September 24, 2011, 7:05 PM

ballpark

PNC Park

TV: ROOT Sports
Stream: Check Here
Radio: 104.7 FM
Radio Stream: Here



Win the series for Steve Miller.

5 games left...


Weather Forecast

Partly Cloudy, 68°, Precip: 10%; Wind blowing out 5 mph to Center

Pitching Matchup

Travis Wood (6-5, 4.62 ERA) vs. Brad Lincoln (1-3, 4.85 ERA)

Lineups


Pirates
  1. Alex Presley, LF
  2. Josh Harrison, 3B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Derrek Lee, 1B
  5. Neil Walker, 2B
  6. Ryan Ludwick, RF
  7. Jason Jaramillo, C
  8. Ronny Cedeno, SS
  9. Brad Lincoln, P
opponent
  1. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  2. Drew Stubbs, CF
  3. Joey Votto, 1B
  4. Chris Heisey, LF
  5. Jay Bruce, RF
  6. Devon Mesoraco, C
  7. Juan Francisco, 3B
  8. Edgar Renteria, SS
  9. Travis Wood, P



gameday character

Let's Go Bucs.

Recap: Walk-off 'Wick. BUCS WIN.

Reds 3, Pirates 4
An unfortunate series of events in the top of the 9th led to the bases loaded for Joel Hanrahan, and he hit Todd Frazier to bring home the tying run. The next batter flied out to center, but the damage had been done and Hammertime failed to record save #40, not to mention losing the win for Jeff Locke. Fortunately, though, all was not lost as in the bottom of the inning, backup-backup catcher Jason Jaramillo doubled with one out and then Ryan Ludwick doubled to deep center to score the walkoff run. In other positive news, Cutch had a double and a triple, and Garrett Jones hit a two-run homer. The Bucs will look for the series win against the Reds tonight.

Late, Late Recap of Seahawks v. Steelers

Seahawks    0
Steelers      24


Apologies for the late review.  Been lazy cause of job searching, thinking of school, yada yada.  Hope to be better in reviews/recaps.  Plus, I needed some cool down time after watching any Steelers game, especially the win against the Seahawks.

What can I say?  A lot better performance.  Ben still got sacked/hurried a few times, so O-line still needs working but at least there haven't been false starts.  Scary moment with Ben getting hit below the knees, twice actually.  The first there was a flag but the guy didn't have control, the second should've been a flag.  Nice throwing from Ben and the receivers stepped up.  Loving Emmanuel Sanders.  Antonio Brown, eh, he's done alright but his special teams is a contribution.  Hope to see him make steps to be the player we've seen in the preseason and the year before.  Running game was good.

Defense, man, better effort.  Guess the old, aging line still has something to prove.  Secondary still is suspect, but it wasn't like they would've been killed by Tavaris Jackson, but Sidney Rice being out for that game, that was a factor.  Rice would've been a huge factor for this team and I don't know how the defensive backfield would've turned out (probably bad).  Still, Troy has made some near-big plays, but I think he's still affected by that injury from last year.  Defensive line did a lot better, but let's see them make improvements overall for future games.  Special teams did fine, doing what they had to do.

Overall, much better game.  Later today hopefully, a review of tomorrow night's Steelers-Colts game.

HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

PIRATES GAMEDAY 156: Reds


opponent

Cincinnati Reds

September 23, 2011, 7:05 PM

ballpark

PNC Park

TV: ROOT Sports
Stream: Check Here
Radio: 104.7 FM
Radio Stream: Here



The last homestand of the season starts tonight. Would love to see the Bucs finish this season on somewhat of a positive note.

6 games left...


Weather Forecast

Cloudy, 62°, Precip: 15%; Wind blowing out 7 mph to Left

Pitching Matchup

Edinson Volquez (5-6, 5.87 ERA) vs. Jeff Locke (0-2, 6.75 ERA)

Lineups


Pirates
  1. Alex Presley, LF
  2. Neil Walker, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Derrek Lee, 1B
  5. Ryan Doumit, C
  6. Garrett Jones, RF
  7. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  8. Ronny Cedeno, SS
  9. Jeff Locke, P
opponent
  1. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  2. Drew Stubbs, CF
  3. Joey Votto, 1B
  4. Jay Bruce, RF
  5. Todd Frazier, 3B
  6. Dave Sappelt, LF
  7. Ramon Hernandez, C
  8. Paul Janish, SS
  9. Edinson Volquez, P



gameday character

Let's Go Bucs.

Recap: Coming Up Short. BUCS LOSE.


team-spacer 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 inning-spacer R H E LOB
Pirates 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 score-spacer 5 11 0 7
Diamonbacks 3 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 X score-spacer 8 11 0 5

It's always bad when your starting pitcher leaves in the 3rd inning, but especially so when the score is 8-1 after 3. Still, the Pirates were able to chip away at the lead until finally the score was 8-5 with 2 on and 2 out for Ryan Doumit in the 8th. Unfortunately, he hit a grounder to short and that was that. The Bucs went 1-2-3 in the 9th. on the positive side, Derrek Lee went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and a solo homer. Ryan Ludwick also homered.