Opening day is like a nationally holiday in America, at least for me. Today the Pirates were pretty good on the bump but not very good at the plate and thus lead to a 1-0 win for the Phillies over the Pirates. There were some good thing and some bad things and thus is a baseball game as the Pirates start the season off in the loss column.
It was a great day to be at the ballpark. It was sunny and relatively warm against a cross state rival. The Pirates announced the attendance of 39,585 which is the most ever at PNC Park in its existence. Impressive.
It was a really nice outing for Erik Bedard in his first start as a Pirate. He worked through seven innings and only threw 81 pitches, 58 of them for strikes. There wasn’t much more that Bedard could do as he was hitting his spots like a boss. His velocity was only around 88 or 89 but that really didn’t mean a whole lot because he was able to hit his spots at will. To be honest I don’t think the velocity is a huge deal since Bedard was mainly around 90-91 last year but some people do think it is a problem. He only gave up six hits with a few of them of the soft variety so you can’t really complain about this outing at all. If he can stay healthy all year this is going to be a steal for Neal Huntington.
You know who else was really good? Roy Halladay. I hate Philadelphia as much as the next yinzer but you can’t deny that this dude just cruises when he pitches. He works fast and when he gets into a groove there isn’t too much you can do to stop it. He gave up a leadoff single to Alex Presley and a swinging bunt single to Jose Tabata but then responded by getting Andrew McCutchen to ground into a double play and then didn’t give up a hit the rest of his outing. Just great stuff.
The Pirates offense wasn’t there all day. They only managed two hits and those were the first two hitters and they only had two other base runners which reached via a hit by pitch. At the beginning of the season the hitters are always going to be behind the pitchers so they are going to have the upper hand and when your pitcher is Halladay then you really have the upper hand. The Pirates offense probably isn’t going to be great this year but if you are going to form your opinion after the first game of the season then you should probably stop watching baseball. This is one of 162.
Obviously a big storyline of the season is going to be Pedro Alvarez and for the most part I thought he was alright today. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout today and the other two outs were flyouts to center but that wasn’t really what I took from his at bats today. Pedro did a nice job of staying within himself and swinging at strikes and laying off pitches outside the zone. Again, one game.
Big ups to whoever is behind changing the camera at PNC Park. As you know the Pirates have one of the worst TV angles in all of baseball but this year they put the camera right down the middle and it makes a huge difference. It gives the viewers a much better idea of what the strike zone looks like and it will be a lot of fun to be able to see a good camera angle for the 81 games the Pirates will play at PNC Park.
The great thing about baseball is that there is a tomorrow. Well in this case maybe not tomorrow because the Pirates have an off day but they have 161 more games. Should be a fun season.