Tuesday, April 6, 2010

MLB 10:The Show Predictions - Game #2: Dodgers @ Pirates

As with the last game, I understand that some of the players currently on the real 25-man rosters are not on the MLB 10:The Show rosters or vise versa. And this isn't completely accurate because of the lack of live roster updates for the PSP. Frankly, I dont have a desire or the time to update and make everything accurate, so deal with it. On to the game...

1. Kemp CF
2. Loney 1B
3. Ramirez LF
4. Ethier RF
5. Belliard 2B
6. Blake 3B
7. Martin C
8. Furcal SS
9. Kuroda P

1. Iwamura 2B
2. McCutchen CF
3. Jones RF
4. Doumit C
5. LaRoche 3B
6. Clement 1B
7. Milledge LF
8. Ohlendorf P
9. Crosby SS

First Inning: On the 5th pitch, Kemp singles into left field. Loney fouls out to LaRoche. 1 out. With Ramirez up to bat, Kemp is picked off on a pitch out. 2 outs. Manny singles. Ethier doubles, moving Manny to third. Belliard ends an early threat as he fouls out to Clement. 0-0 after 1/2 inning.

Iwamura and McCutchen each hit their first pitch into an out. Iwamura flies to center while McCutchen grounds out to a 4-3 play. With a 1-2 count, Jones is HBP. Doumit grounds out to first base. End of the inning, 0-0.

Second Inning: Ohlendorf strikes out Blake. Martin singles, followed by Furcal. Pitcher, Kuroda hits into a 5-6-3 double play to end the inning.

A quick 1-2-3 second inning for the Buccos. LaRoche grounds into a 3-1 out. Clement fouls out to the catcher. And finally, Milledge grounds out to Loney. 0-0 after two innings.

Third Inning: Top of the order starting off for the Dodgers in the 3rd. Kemp hits a deep fly to center field for the first out. Loney singles. 1 on and 1 out. Ramirez strikes out swinging on 3 pitches from Ohlendorf. Ethier grounds out to a 6-4 fielders choice to end the inning. After 2.5 innings it's still 0-0.

Ohlendorf leads off in the bottom of the third for the Pirates. He goes down 0-2 before drilling a shot up the middle for a base hit. Crosby grounds out to a 4-3 double play. With 2 out, Iwamura hits a single. McCutchen will strike out on 3 pitches to end the inning. Through 3 and it's still 0-0.

Fourth Inning: A good AB by Belliard started the fourth inning for the Dodgers. He worked a deep 6 pitch AB before a 5-3 groundout. Blake flies out to centerfield. Martin flies out to right. 1-2-3, still 0-0.

In the bottom of the inning, Jones leads off with an 0-2 single. Jones is able to steal 2nd base on the first pitch to Doumit. Following that pitch, Doumit flies out to left field. Jones stays at second. LaRoche has a 5 pitch plate appearance which results in a walk. With runners on 1st and 2nd and 1 out, Clement grounds into a 5 unassisted fields choice type of play. Jones is out at 3rd, LaRoche advances to 2nd and Clement is on 1st. Kuroda gets out of the inning with a 3 pitch strikeout to Milledge. Despite the threat, no runs are scored and after 4 it's 0-0.

Fifth Inning: Furcal leads off with a fly out to left field. Kuroda pops-up to Ohlendorf. 2 outs. Kemp singles. Loney grounds into a 5-4 fielders choice to end the inning. Kuroda saw the most pitches in that inning with 4. 0-0.

Ohlendorf leads off and grounds out 4-3. Crosby strikes out looking. Iwamura singles with two outs. McCutchen has a great AB. With a full count, he drills a ball into center field for a base hit. Iwamura is able to advance all the way to 3rd on the hit. With runners on the corners, Jones grounds out 4-3 to end the inning and any sort of rally or run potential. Through 5 innings neither offense is able to do much with opportunities. 0-0.

Sixth Inning: Ramirez leads off with a big double to left center. Ethier hits into a 1-3 ground out. Ramirez stays at second. Belliard hits the first pitch he sees this inning to LaRoche, holding Ramirez at 2nd. 5-3 on Ethier for the second out. Blake grounds out to end the inning. Ramirez stays trapped at second after a big lead-off hit. 0-0

Doumit leads off the 6th with a single. That is followed by a LaRoche single. With runners on first and second and no one out, Clement goes to a 1-1 count before delivering a sac bunt. Doumit moves to 3rd and LaRoche is on second with just 1 out. Milledge singles into the outfield, allowing Doumit and LaRoche to finally score. It's now 2-0 Pirates with 1 out and 1 on. Kuroda is lifted and replaced with Wade. With Ohlendorf up to bat, Milledge attempts a steal and gets caught. Ohlendorf ends up striking out looking to end the inning. But it's productive as 2 runs cross home for the Pirates. The score is now 2-0.

Seventh Inning: Martin leads off for the Dodgers grounding out 5-3. Furcal hits a huge triple into deep right center. Mientkiewicz is able to reach first after a 5-2 fielders choice. Furcal made a bad decision to head home for the first out. Kemp singles for the third time this evening, moving Mientkiewicz to second. Loney grounds out on the first pitch he sees this inning. 6-3 ends the inning. Pirates lead 2-0.

Troncoso comes in to pitch for the Dodgers in the bottom of the 7th. Crosby pops out to shallow right as Loney drifted back to make the catch. 1 out. Iwamura singles. McCutchen doubles to the right field corner. Iwamura advances to 3rd. Intentional walk to Jones laods the bases. Doumit hits a 2 strike single to allow Iwamura to score. 3-0 and bases still loaded. LaRoche grounds into a 4-6 fielders choice. McCutchen scores 4-0 Pirates with 2 outs. Church replaces Clement and singles. Another run scores. 5-0 Pirates. Milledge hits into a 4-3 groundout to end a big inning for the Pirates.

Eighth Inning: Ohlendorf pitches a pretty good inning. Ramirez leads off with a 3 pitch strikeout. Ethier also strikes out. Belliard gets a 1-0 base hit. Blake strikes out to end the inning. 5-0 Pirates.

As Ohlendorf approached 100 pitches, he was lifted this inning. Raynor pinch hit for him. The Rule 5 pick hit a single. Thanks to a wild pitch to Crosby, Raynor advances to 2nd. Crosby eventually strikes out. Iwamura doubles, allowing Raynor to score. McCutchen grounds out 4-3, Iwamura advances to 3rd base. Jones grounds out 6-3 to end the inning. 6-0 Pirates.

Ninth Inning: Taschner comes in to pitch and close out the game. Martin leads off with a triple. Furcal follows up with his second triple of the game. Martin scores 6-1 Pirates. Carroll pinch hits in the pitchers spot. A single from him allows Furcal to score. 6-2 Pirates. Kemp doubles, scoring another run. 6-3 Pirates. Loney looks at a 3rd pitch strike to sit down looking. 1 out 6-3 Pirates. Ramirez homers to left field. Two more runs score and it's now 6-5. Taschner is replaced by the closer, Dotel. Dotel gets Ethier to groundout on the first pitch he throws. Belliard grounds out 4-3 to end the game and end the scare.

Pirates win 6-5, but it shouldn't have ended that close.

W- Ohlendorf (1-0)
L- Kuroda (0-1)
S- Dotel (1)

Iwamura 4-5, 2B, RBI, R
McCutchen 2-5, 2B, K, R
Jones 1-3, HBP, BB, SB, R
Doumit 2-4, RBI, R
LaRoche 1-3, BB, RBI, R
Clement 0-2
Church 1-1, RBI
Milledge 1-4, 2 RBI, K, CS
Ohlendorf 1-3, K
Raynor 1-1, R
Crosby 0-4, 2K

Monday, April 5, 2010

MLB 10: The Show Predictions - Game #1: LA Dodgers @ Pirates

With the start of a new season comes the MLB 10: The Show Predictions posts. I will attempt to complete every game on my PSP and post a game prediction. For this year, stupid Sony has eliminated the live roster updates via online postings. I had to make several roster changes myself, and despite my best efforts, the players will not be totally accurate. So, I apologize for that, but, I'll do the best I can do with what I have to work with. Besides, the only stats we should all be concerned about are the Pirates. So without further ado, Opening Day 2010 on MLB 10: The Show.

1. Matt Kemp
2. Rafael Furcal
3. Manny Ramirez
4. Andre Ethier
5. Ronnie Belliard
6. Casey Blake
7. Russell Martin
8. James Loney
9. Chad Billingsley (not the real starting pitcher)

1. Akinori Iwamura
2. Andrew McCutchen
3. Garrett Jones
4. Ryan Doumit
5. Andy LaRoche
6. Jeff Clement
7. Lastings Milledge
8. Zach Duke
9. Ronny Cedeno

First Inning: Zach Duke starts off the 2010 campaign with a strong first inning. He was able to get Kemp to fly out to right field for the first out on 4 pitches. Furcal fouled out to the first base side for the second out. Manny struck out swinging to end a quick first inning. 10 pitches are all it took for Duke to retire the first 3 batters he faced.

Moving on to the bottom of the first. Aki leads off with a fly ball to left field on the first pitch. McCutchen is up next and has a great AB. After 8 pitches, McCutchen reaches first via walk. Jones strikes out swinging. Because of a passed ball, McCutchen is able to move all the way to third base. 2 out 1 on with Doumit at the plate. Following a first pitch strike, Doumit is hit, allowing him to go to first. Runners on 1st and 3rd with 2 outs. Andy LaRoche comes to the plate. With 2 balls and 2 strikes, LaRoche swings and misses. 3 outs, two runners left 0-0 after 1 inning.

Second Inning: Ethier grounds out to Clement on the first pitch. 1 out. Belliard knocks a shot deep into the North Side Notch on the second pitch of the inning. He easily reaches 2nd base. Casey Blake will get a base hit, moving Belliard to 3rd. Runners on the corner with 1 out. Martin strikes out swinging. 2 outs, runners on 1st and 3rd. Finally, Loney grounds out to Clement, ending any scoring threat. 0-0 after 1.5 innings of play.

Clement leads off the second for the Pirates. He flies out to left field on the second pitch. 1 out. Milledge is up next. He ends up striking out swinging after a 5 pitch AB. 2 outs. Duke grounds out to a 4-3 play, ending the inning. 0-0 after 2 innings of play.

Third Inning: The flood gates open in this inning. Billingsley grounded out in a similar fashion to Duke. 4-3 ground out, 1 out. Kemp's second AB ends with a fly out to left field. Furcal singles. Ramirez hits a shot into the North Side Notch, and a misplay by Milledge allows him to reach 3rd base. Furcal comes around to score. 1-0 Dodgers. Ethier singles, Manny scores. 2-0 Dodgers with 2 outs. Belliard singles and Ethier goes to 3rd. 2 on 2 out. Blake flies out to Iwamura for the 3rd out. 2-0 Dodgers after 2.5 innings.

Cedeno leads off the third inning. 3-1 groundout for the first out of the inning. Iwamura grounds into 6-3. 2 outs. McCutchen reaches with a single. Jones strikes out looking. 2-0 Dodgers through 3 innings.

Fourth Inning: Another big inning for the Dodgers. Martin leads off with a single. Loney does the same. Two on, none out, Billingsley grounds out into 1-3. Martin and Loney advance. 1 out with runners on 2nd and 3rd. Kemp knocks a 3 run homer into left field. 5-0 Dodgers with 1 out. Furcal singles. Ramirez flies out to right. Ethier singles and Furcal moves to 2nd. Belliard strikes out swinging for the 3rd out. Dodgers score 3 runs this inning and lead 5-0.

Doumit works the count full and hits a single to lead off the inning. LaRoche singles, Doumit to 2nd. Clement hits into a 6-4-3 double play. Doumit advances to 3rd on the play, 2 outs. Milledge hits a single, scoring Doumit in the process. 5-1 Dodgers. Duke hits a hard liner to third base for the final out of the inning. After 4 innings, Dodgers lead 5-1.

Fifth Inning: Blake flies out to right field on the second pitch of the inning. 1 out. Martin fouls out along the 1st base side. 2 outs. Loney hits into a 4-3 groundout. 3 outs, 5-1 Dodgers.

Cedeno leads off with a 4-3 groundout. Iwamura 5-3 groundout. McCutchen flies out to left. Dodgers still lead 5-1 after 5 innings.

Sixth Inning: Billingsley strikes out on 3 pitches. Kemp 4-3 groundout. Furcal strikes out on 5 pitches. All pitches in this inning were strikes. 5-1 Dodgers.

Jones leads off the 6th inning by fouling out to the catcher right behind home plate. 1 out. Doumit singles. LaRoche reaches on a 4-6 fielder's choice. Doumit out at 2nd, 2 outs. Clement singles, LaRoches to 2nd. Milledge singles, LaRoche scores and Clement to 2nd. 5-2 Dodgers with 2 outs. Duke strikes out to end the inning. After six full innings, Dodgers 5, Pirates 2.

Seventh Inning: Ramirez singles. Ethier reaches first on a fielder's choice. Ramirez out at 2nd. Belliard homers on a 3-1 count. Dodgers lead 7-2. Blake doubles. Martin grounds out 4-3, Blake advances to 3rd. Loney flies out to center field to end the inning. Dodgers lead 7-2 after 6.5 innings.

Cedeno flies out to the short stop. 1 out. Iwamura and McCutchen singles. 2 on 1 out. Hong-Chih Kuo (on the 15 day DL in the real world) comes in to pitch. Jones reaches 1st on a fielding error by Furcal. Bases loaded for the Pirates. Doumit and LaRoche both foul out to the 1st base side to end the inning. 3 left on, no runs scored. Dodgers 7 Pirates 2.

Eighth Inning: DJ Carrasco is now pitching for the Pirates. Doug Mientkewicz (recently released from Dodgers) was a defensive sub at first when Kuo comes in to pitch. This whole no live roster update thing is going to be annoying. Anyhow, he leads off grounding out 4-3. Kemp doubles. Furcal flies out to Iwamura. Ramirez 4-3 ground out. No runs 1 left on Dodgers still lead 7-2.

Clement has a decent AB. Strikes out swinging on the 5th pitch of the inning. 1 out. Milledge 4-3 ground out. 2 down. Bobby Crosby singles to right field on the first pitch he sees, as he bats for Carrasco. Cedeno ends the inning quickly with a 4-3 groundout. After 8 innings, Dodgers lead remains 7-2.

Ninth Inning: Evan Meek comes in to mop-up the ninth inning. Crosby replaces Cedeno at SS. Ethier ledas off for the Dodgers. He lines out to Crosby at short. 1 out. Belliard goes into a deep count with Meek. With a full count, he hits a grounder to Iwamura for a 4-3 ground out. 2 down in the inning. Blake hits into a 4-3 ground out. Pirates come to bat one last time and attempt to close the gap or take the lead.

Iwamura starts off the inning by taking the 4th pitch he sees into left field for a single. McCutchen follows up with a shot back up the middle for a basehit. iwamura moves to second. 2 on and no one out. Rally killer Ryan Doumit strikes out, LaRoche flies out to the second baseman. Clement hits a dribbler back to the mound and is thrown out at first. End of the game.

Dodgers win this one rather easily 7-2.

W - Billingsley 1-0
L - Duke 0-1
S - Kuo 1

Iwamura 2-5
McCutchen 3-4, 1BB
Jones 0-4, 3K
Doumit 1-3, 1 Run, 1HBP
LaRoche 1-4, 1K
Clement 1-4, 1K
Milledge 2-4, 2RBI, 1K
Duke 0-3, 1K
Crosby 1-1
Cedeno 0-4

Next Game: Wednesday April 7, 2010.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Greinke T-Shirt

So, I decided to place a bid on this t-shirt today on ebay. Between this, and the Oakland A's hat I got for Christmas this past year, my non-Pirates related articles of clothing/accessories has increased to 2.

Long Overdue Updates

Greetings loyal readers! It's been a long time since I've updated this blog. Thanks to a busy work schedule and several other personal matters (mostly lack of motivation to do anything) I have not been loyal to this blog.

But now that we are just 2 days away from Opening Day, it's time to rededicate myself to this blog. That's why I will be posting some new info here in the next couple of paragraphs.

First, with the start of the 2010 season, I will, once again, be doing a daily "MLB 10: The Show Prediction". I will be doing my best to blog every game played on my PSP version of MLB 10: The Show and match the results of that game to the real game. Now, for some reason, it doesn't seem like I can do live roster updates for the PSP this year, so I guess I'll have to make due with creating players. If anyone out there knows how I can get roster updates for the PSP, please let me know. The 25 man rosters will need to be set by 3pm tomorrow, so I expect a prediction to be posted by mid-morning Monday, using the expected line-up.

Second piece of business. Due to the overwhelming responsibility and effort it went into writing for the Ohlie's Orange Army blog, I am officially shutting it down. Over the coming week, I will transfer the Ross Ohlendorf: A Retrospective pieces already completed to this blog, and eventually continue to post that series throughout the season. The Orange Army Campaign will continue on this blog. I will detail that more tomorrow afternoon and press the issue during the rest of the week.

So, that's about all I have for now...enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend and have a wonderful Easter, if you celebrate.

Let's Go Bucs!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bullpen Takes A Major Blow

MLB.com's Pirates beat writer Jennifer Langosch announced on her blog today that relief pitcher Joel Hanrahan will likely miss part of the season due to right flexor-pronator strain. The strain will result in Hanrahan, who was one of four pitchers considered a lock going into Spring Training, missing a portion of the start of the regular season. The length is unknown at this time.

Hanrahan is scheduled to meet with Dr. Patrick DeMeo of the West Penn Allegheny Health System and Pirates Medical Director today. An exam with Dr. James Andrews sometime next week.

Hanrahan stated he had some discomfort towards the end of last season and experienced a flare-up during the Pirates mini-camp last month.

Hanrahan came to the Pirates on June 30th last year, along with left fielder Lastings Milledge, from the Washington Nationals, in a trade for relieve pitcher Sean Burnett and outfielder Nyjer Morgan. on July 9, 2009 Hanrahan probably became the first pitcher to win a professional ball game while at home when he won a game for the Nationals, while being a member of the Pirates roster. All of this was thanks to a delayed game from May 5 where Hanrahan was the pitcher of record, as the Nationals played the Astros and made it up on that July afternoon.
Let's Go Bucs!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pitchers & Catchers Report, Excitement Builds Within Fan Base

Today marks the unofficial, but maybe official (???), start of the 2010 Spring Training season. In a little over 4 hours, Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers and catchers report to camp in Bradenton.

According to a player's poll done by Chuck Finder of the Post-Gazette, it looks like Paul Maholm will get the nod as the Opening Day starter when the Pirates host the LA Dodgers on April 5. The line-up also looks a little different compared to my prediction from yesterday's post. As a reminder my prediction is on the left, the player's on the right:

Opening Day - April 5, 2010 @ PNC Park vs. Dodgers
1. Andrew McCutchen - CF Andrew McCutchen - CF
2. Akinori Iwamura - 2B Akinori Iwamura - 2B
3. Andy LaRoche - 3B Garrett Jones - RF
4. Garrett Jones - RF Ryan Doumit - C
5. Ryan Doumit - C Andy LaRoche - 3B
6. Jeff Clement - 1B Lastings Milledge - LF
7. Lastings Milledge - LF Jeff Clement - 1B
8. Ronny Cedeno - SS Ronny Cedeno - SS
9. Ross Ohlendorf - P Paul Maholm - P

It'll be interesting to see how this spring will play out compared to years past. This is actually the first year that I can remember, off the top of my head, in quite some time where veteran players have been added to the team to complement and back-up younger players.

Lets Go Bucs!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rosters: April 5, August 1, October 3

In about 27 hours from me writing this very sentence, pitchers and catchers will be reporting to Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida to begin a highly anticipated Spring Training 2010. For the first time in the 5 years I've been a season ticket holder, there seems to be a wealth of competition for several different positions, not just the rotation, third base, or the bullpen.

It's around this time of the year that bloggers and message board readers love to write their predictions for Opening Day rosters. So, why not jump on the bandwagon and list my predictions for Opening Day, the day following the trade deadline, and the last day of the regular season.

Opening Day - April 5, 2010 @ PNC Park vs. Dodgers
Starting Nine Batting Order:
1. Andrew McCutchen - CF
2. Akinori Iwamura - 2B
3. Andy LaRoche - 3B
4. Garrett Jones - RF
5. Ryan Doumit - C
6. Jeff Clement - 1B
7. Lastings Milledge - LF
8. Ronny Cedeno - SS
9. Ross Ohlendorf - P

Rest of the Rotation:
10. Paul Maholm
11. Zach Duke
12. Charlie Morton
13. Daniel McCutchen

14. Kevin Hart
15. Brenden Donnelly
16. Evan Meek
17. Joel Hanrahan
18. Chris Jakubauskas
19. Javier Lopez
20. Octavio Dotel - Closer

21. Ryan Church
22. Bobby Crosby
23. Delwyn Young
24. John Raynor
25. Brandon Jones

I expect little selling to be done by the Pirates this year. There will be little change in the roster between April and August, however, several injuries will pop up and here is what I expect the roster to look like after some trades and injury moves.

Day After the Trade Deadline - August 1, 2010 @ Busch Stadium vs. Cardnials
Starting Nine Batting Order:
1. Lastings Milledge - LF
2. Akinori Iwamura - 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen - CF
4. Pedro Alvarez - 1B
5. Andy LaRoche - 3B
6. Ryan Church - RF
7. Neil Walker - C
8. Bobby Crosby - SS
9. Daniel McCutchen - P

Rest of the Rotation:
10. Donnie Veal
11. Ross Ohlendorf
12. Paul Maholm
13. Charlie Morton

14. Kevin Hart
15. Brenden Donnelly
16. Evan Meek
17. Joel Hanrahan
18. D.J. Carrasco
19. Javier Lopez
20. Octavio Dotel - Closer

21. Garrett Jones
22. Ronny Cedeno
23. Jeff Clement
24. John Raynor
25. Brandon Jones

Ryan Doumit is out, again, with an injury. As is Zach Duke. Delwyn Young gets traded for some cash. Jaka is traded as well for a minor league lefty bullpen arm. Clement struggles through May and June, resulting in Alvarez learning to play first base in Indy. Neil Walker is converted back to a catcher in AAA and does some emergency duties while Doumit is out. Most of the starters are sitting as this is a Sunday afternoon game.

The regular season will come to an end on October 3 in Florida, again a Sunday. This time though, most of the starters will be playing this game. Of course, the roster is expanded at this point. I expect about 38 players to be in the locker room.

Last Game of the Regular Season - October 3, 2010 @ Land Shark Stadium vs. Marlins
Starting Nine Batting Order:
1. Akinori Iwamura - 2B
2. Andy LaRoche - 3B
3. Andrew McCutchen - CF
4. Garrett Jones - 1B
5. Ryan Church - RF
6. Ryan Doumit - C
7. Lastings Milledge - LF
8. Ronny Cedeno - SS
9. Paul Maholm - P

Rest of the Rotation:
10. Charlie Morton
11. Daniel McCutchen
12. Brad Lincoln
13. Ross Ohlendorf
14. Donnie Veal
15. Kevin Hart
16. D.J. Carrasco
17. Evan Meek
18. Joel Hanrahan
19. Brenden Donnelly
20. Jeff Karstens
21. Javier Lopez
22. Jose Ascanio
23. Steven Jackson
24. Tyler Yates
25. Virgil Vasquez
26. Craig Hansen
27. Octavio Dotel - Closer
28. Pedro Alvarez
29. Jose Tabata
30. Erik Kratz
31. John Raynor
32. Neil Walker
33. Brandon Moss
34. Steve Pearce
35. Jeff Clement
36. Bobby Crosby
37. Brandon Jones
38. Gorkys Hernandez
Let's see how this will pan out...
Let's Go Bucs!