Still out of town and the last leg of our trip took us to rainy Pittsburgh to see the Pirates play the Phillies at beautiful PNC Park. I found out too late that the hotel I stayed at was also the hotel where the Phillies stayed for the weekend but then again, I don’t get to see the Phillies play too often so I probably wouldn’t have been able to nail any of them down outside of maybe Ryan Howard. And in a crazy game, the Pirates beat the Phillies with a big late inning rally and the game had not one but two rain delays. I got lucky because my seats were actually underneath the upper deck and pretty well protected from the breeze and the poor weather.
I really liked PNC Park. Both the stadium and the skyline were very impressive and with it being on the river, it made it even more picturesque. And while I don’t want to bash on Comerica Park because it does have its positives, it strikes out when compared to PNC. There was a solid crowd but it was just as much Phillies fans as it was Pirates fans.
Cameron Maybin belted his first of hopefully many homeruns yesterday and he did it off of the Rocket, Roger Clemens. This came up on SABR-L (just one of the many reasons to join SABR) but it appears to be the only time a hitter has taken a pitcher yard when the pitcher has a Cy Young (Clemens won his first in 1986) that’s older then the hitter (Maybin was born in 1987).
After winning the opener Thursday, the Tigers laid an egg the rest of the weekend and dropped their final three games to the Yankees. Today’s game was particularly disconcerting with Jeremy Bonderman taking another loss but once again it was with an assist from some pretty poor bullpen pitching. The Tigers had the lead in this one as late as the fifth inning after coming back but the Yankees scored runs in their final four frames, including three in the eighth, to blow out the Tigers 9-3. Gary Sheffield stole his 20th base and if he starts stealing like a mad man, he has the chance to become, by far, the oldest player ever to go 30/30 (assuming he gets the 30 homers as well).
Now the Tigers find themselves in a bit of trouble. The Indians blew a tenth inning lead today so the Tigers are only two losses behind them but they now sit 3 1/2 games (five losses) back of the Mariners for the Wild Card with the Yankees right behind them. So unless the Tigers can take care of the Yankees at Comerica Park this coming weekend, it’s looking more and more like the only chance to get into the playoffs is going to be to outplay the Indians for the AL Central division crown. And there’s no better way to do that then with a series win against the Indians with things kicking off on Tuesday. It’s a rematch of Wednesday’s pitching matchup with Jair Jurrjens taking on Fausto Carmona on Tuesday.