Pirates v Brewers, PNC Park, 7/17-18-19/2017

7/17, Monday

For this series versus the Brewers my goal was to make it to 200 baseballs by the end of the month, starting this series with 187.  The weather continued to be warm and sunny with no threat of rain.

Andrew Mccutchen has been on fire at the plate lately, resurrecting his season and revitalizing the Pirates to the point where we currently stand 5 gb the Brewers.  Currently, the Pirates have won two straight against the Brew Crew and are currently tied with them in game 3 of the series.

Mccutchen went away from LF for a bit of time but has came back to mashing a lot of homers into the LF bleachers.  During this series, with two bp’s (todays Pirates bp cancelled due to heat) versus the Brewers I came away with a total of 4 hit balls by Cutch, 2 scrummed, 2 on the fly.

I got on the board with an on time Heberto Andrade toss up for Ball #1, followed by two scrums off Cutch homers, Ball #2-3.

Max Moroff, who has been struggling with the Pirates hit a long ball to the LF bleachers close to the foul pole which was an easy catch, Ball #4.

I finished up with a scrum on the crosswalk behind the CF seating and a scrum back over in LF from an unidentified Brewers in the third group, Ball #5-6.

7/18, Tuesday

Again, Heberto Andrade with the on time toss up which has been four in a row in the home stand, Ball #1.

Followed by, two caught Cutch homers on the LF crosswalk, for Ball #2-3.

I scrummed a ball up on the LF crosswalk for Ball #4.

Toss ups with the road gear have continued to be difficult, but I was able to catch a toss up in Brewer gear from an unidentified Brewers who tossed one to me that I didn’t request.  Two kids in the front row were nagging him, I don’t know if he overthrew them or threw it to me because of the irritating kids.  Erik J deserved an assist though as I was turned around when the ball was thrown until he alerted me to it.  Ball #5.

Ball #6 was a scrum on the LF crosswalk which has been a good place for me through out the home stand for caught homers and scrums.

7/19, Wednesday

Standing at 199 for the season, I needed one ball to meet my goal of finishing July with 200 balls, with one more possible game in Cleveland on 7/25.

Sadly, the Pirates bp was cancelled due to heat, on Buccaroo kids day which gets all kid members into bp early once a month.  Too bad for the kids, it was too hot for Clint Hurdle to hold an on field bp.

So the place was flooded with kids, and extra crowded for a Wednesday evening game.

Things looked pretty shaky for a while, the Brewers were poor from the plate again, and toss ups were tough with the big crowd.

Although I would come up short on my idea to play Eric Thames homers on the river walk, on the way over, I noticed a baseball in the visitors pen.  While considering to ask the grounds crew worker for a toss up, a long homer was smacked into the Pirates bullpen.  I gave both the workers a good heads up, and was rewarded with a toss up from below, which was my only baseball of the day and got me to the goal of 200 baseballs by the end of July.

Series-13

Year-200

Career-3075

 

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Pirates v Cardinals, PNC Park, 7/14-15/2017

7/14, Friday

To get things going after the All Star break I found a baseball in the LF bleachers which was clearly from a practice the prior day, it was wet, and Erik J came up with one in CF.  Nice to find a ball in LF for once.  Ball #1.

Heberto Andrade was back to his kind ways after the break providing a toss up for Ball #2.

I caught a Cutch homer for Ball #3, and got a scrum for Ball #4 to end my day.

7/15, Saturday

This one started with an early scrum of a homer by Cutch, Ball #1, and another toss up from Heberto Andrade, Ball #2, who has been right on both games so far after the break.

That was all for the Pirates, Clint Hurdle has been back to having the third group hit indoors which has been happening more often the same was as the last two years.

On the way over to check out the St. Louis Cardinals stretch and throw I finally got hooked up by a friend who now works as a supervisor at PNC, Ball #3.  When I arrived on the RF line I found Ball #4 which must have been a foul ball from the first Pirates group.

In LF for the Cardinals portion of bp I caught two homers on the LF crosswalk, Ball #5-6.

Year-187

Career-3062

Great weather for the series..

nice day on the allegheny

Indians v Padres, Progressive Field, 7/5/2017

This was my second trip to Cleveland on the year after a few other planned trips were foiled by rain or other reasons.

It was great to be back at my second home, Progressive Field.

cleveland walk up

In the pre renovation days of Progressive field you could almost count on coming away with 2-3 easter eggs, today, no chance.  The new Progressive field gate is 5:00pm, and the workers take away all the eggs, today I needed to run and jump over a few seats to beat one worker trying to pick up a ball, Ball #1.

Ball #2 was a toss up from Kevin Quackenbush.

Ryan Buchter tossed me Ball #3, and Jose Torres tossed up Ball #4.

Ball #5 was a bit of an adventure, I made a quick break on a ball approaching Heritage Park that would go over the fencing into a tree, then take a room service bounce for an easy grab.

Ball #6 was another toss up from a Padres player, the Padres turned out to be a pretty friendly team.

Day-6

Year-177

Career-3052

cleballs

 

Pirates v Giants, PNC Park, 6/30/2017-7/1/2017

6/30, Friday

I was pretty excited to see the Giants, especially Hunter Pence, who has provided several long caught homers for me as an Astro and Giant.  This series started with a threat of rain, which turned out to pass after an afternoon shower.

During the Pirates portion of bp I didn’t get much going with only a Jordy Mercer scrum and Heberto Andrade toss up for Ball #1-2.

Rain seemed to be a possibility but the path of the clouds seemed to suggest that rain would pass when the Pirates left the field after bp.  It would rain for no more then 5-10 minutes and the Pirates grounds crew called for the tarp.  The tarp stayed on for a brief time after as the sun came back out and the clouds cleared.

7/1, Saturday

This was a 4:05 start which was a packed house, I came away with one scrum on the steps to the upper bleachers by an unidentified Giant player.  Ball #1.

A late and brief rain Friday coupled with Sat/Sun day games to follow made this a disappointing series.

Series Total-3

Year-171

Career-3046

Pirates v Rays, PNC Park, 6/27-28-29/2017

6/27, Tuesday

It was nice to see a team I haven’t seen in a while in that of the Tampa Bay Rays, and nice to put on my Evan Longoria shirt again.

rAYS gear

Things got off to a nice start while the Pirates batted, I was able to come away with three hit ball scrums, for Ball #1-2-3 early.  Ball #4 via Heberto Andrade.

Then on to the Tampa Bay Rays, who put on a good show overall.

Tampa Bay’s Wilson Ramos was the best right handed bp batter, I came away with a scrum and a caught homer off his bat during the first round, and another scrum home run from an unidentified Rays batter.  Ball #5-6-7.

During the Rays second group I came away with another hit ball scrum for Ball #8, and to finish things, a caught homer off the bat of Evan Longoria, Ball #9.

Wednesday, 6/28

Things slowed down with the Pirates and Rays in terms of hit balls, and the crowd was a bit more, a tough one overall coming away with a Jordy Mercer hit ball scrum, a Rays scrum and a caught homer on the LF crosswalk hit by Tim Beckham.  Ball #1-2-3.

Thursday, 6/29

Things heated up again in terms of hit balls on both sides for the finale of this interleague series.

In what I believe was Gregory Polanco’s first bp at bat he sliced one down the left field line that made it into the stands on a ground rule double, Ball #1.

Andrew Mccutchen is raking again in bp, I made a quick turn and run up the steps out of the LF bleachers and onto the LF crosswalk to track down one of his bp homers for Ball #2, followed soon after by two hr scrums from Mccutchen for Ball #3-4.

Heberto Andrade toss up Ball #5.

Over toward the North Side notch of PNC Tony Watson badly overthrew a fan he picked out for a toss up which bounced right to me off the bleacher for Ball #6, I gave it to the intended target in the front row.

Ball #7 was a scrum of a bp homer by a Ray, and Ball #8 a toss up from Mallex Smith.

mallix smith

Series Total-20

Career-3043

 

Pirates v Cubs, PNC Park, 6/17/2017

This would be the only shot at seeing the Cubs this series as Friday bp was cancelled due to heavy rain and Sunday was Fathers day and followed an 8:15 start of this game.

Things got off to a smooth start with the Pirates going, hitting well, and not many fans in the stands yet.  I was able to scrum Ball #1-2, then catch a homer for Ball #3 all unidentified.  Ball #4 was thrown by Heberto Andrade.

On the LF crosswalk I caught another homer for Ball #5, then headed over to the river walk behind the CF seats for the Cubs heavy hitters.

It got crowded quick, and it wasn’t the best I have seen from the Cubs left handed hitters, I came away with one ball during the Cubs bp, a towering caught homer off the bat of Kyle Schwarber, Ball #6.

I was able to stay for nearly this whole game and got a deep toss up from Andrew Mccutchen in the top of the 5th that sailed almost out to the gate to CF.  Ball #7

I’m looking forward to a rest from baseball and to seeing the Tampa Bay Rays next week.

Year-148

Career-3023

Pirates v Rockies, PNC Park, 6/12-13/2017

Colorado was a team I was excited to see given their several power right handed bats, and lack of a road following.

I got on the board with a toss up from Heberto Andrade, Ball #1.

I scrummed Ball #2, and Ball #3 from the Pirates and it was onto the Rockies.

Nolan Arenado would provide a high drive which I caught on the left field crosswalk, Ball #4, to be followed by two more caught homers and a scrum, Balls #5-6-7, unidentified.

Rockies bp was pretty damn good, but sadly this bp would be the only one I would see as the weather was nasty for the next three games, cancelling the Tuesday and Wednesday bp.

6/13 Tuesday

The scene was set for Tuesday and Wednesday, I stayed only for Tuesday with no bp each day.  This would also be the scene on Friday v the Cubs, resulting in three batting practices in a row cancelled due to rain.

rIN

I found two soggy baseballs, one in foul territory along the RF line and one on the Clemente Wall, Balls #1-2.

I stayed for the majority of the game and also came away with an Andrew Mccutchen between innings toss up for Ball #3.

Year-141

Career-3016