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

 

 

 

 

Pirates v Marlins, PNC Park, 6/9/2017

After having got my 3000th baseball, this batting practice to follow would be a good one.  Saturday and Sunday were both day games without batting practice so this would be it for me seeing the Marlins.

Things began for me with three hit ball scrums all from the Pirates, Ball #1-2-3.

Ball #4 was a caught homer off an unidentified Pirate.

That was all for a while, Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna were both inconsistent and unimpressive as well as the other right handed Marlins hitters.

I decided to go on the Roberto Clemente Wall which I don’t often do but Ichiro Suzuki would be in the next group.  Things worked out well as I caught a homer from Ichiro and scrummed a homer from Ichiro.  Ball #5-6.

Year-131

Career-3006

Pirates v Snakes, PNC Park, 5/30/2017

This would be the lone game of the three game set with the Diamondbacks that I would attend as the Memorial day game was a 4:05 start I declined to attend, and the Wednesday game is slated for a 12:35 start time.

I was ten balls away from 3000 total baseballs career at the start of the day.

Things got off to a decent start with an early toss up from John Jaso, who has been tough to get a toss up from.  I was leaning to reach a ground rule double which I narrowly missed, when Jaso came up I asked for an assist on the play and he obliged, Ball #1.

jaso

Heberto Andrade tossed me a low ball that clanged off the bleachers which I had to scrum for Ball #2.

Ball #3 was a caught homer from an impressive call up for Chris Stewart in that of Elias Diaz who cranked a good bit into the stands.

Ball #4 was a toss up from an unidentified Diamondback, followed soon after by a scrum for a towering homer hit by Yasmany Tomas in the upper bleachers of LF, Ball #5.

Over in the CF seating I got a toss up from an unidentified Snake and a caught homer on the river walk for Ball #6-7.

3 balls from 3000 total, and planning to head to Cincinnati next week for two games..

Day-7

Year-122

Career-2997

 

 

Pirates v Mets, PNC Park, 5/26-27-28/2017

5/26 Friday

There was a rare found ball to be had near the bullpens and North Side notch that I got to for Ball #1 to kick off a three game series with the New York Mets.

Following this was a now consistent toss up from Heberto Andrade, Ball #2.

Wade Leblanc tossed me a ball for Ball #3, another rare feat, after the catch I realized he was throwing it to a young dude behind me.  I gave up the ball for the intended target.

Ball #4 was a scrum and that was it for me on the day, nothing special to take notice of or picture of.

5/27 Saturday

For this one, as I ran into the CF section to begin the day, there would be no Pirates on the field.  The cage was up, but not a Pirate in sight, meant only the Mets would be taking bp.

I kept to my initial plan of going into CF and was rewarded with Ball #1-2, both found.  I guess maybe an early batting practice occurred.

I was able to scrum a ball that two older guys went to the floor for, as it popped out, Ball #3.

Back over in LF I caught a homer from an unidentified Mets player on the LF crosswalk, Ball #4.

It turned out to be a large, loud and space consuming group of Mets fans that made things a bit tough.

5/28 Sunday

This one was the ESPN Sunday Night Game, so yes the Mets fans were out in droves which again made things difficult.

All I came away with was a scrum of  Josh Bell homer that I nearly caught on the run on the river walk over the Roberto Clemente wall.  I ran it down but the trajectory of the ball coming down quickly to land between the wall and the narrow river walk caught me by surprise.  I was able to knock it down with my glove and scrum it with no competition, Ball #1.

Ball #2 was a ground rule double catch over in LF and the end of the day for me.

Series-10

Year-115

Career-2990

Pirates v Phillies, PNC Park, 5/19-20-21/2017

Philadelphia was a pleasant surprise from the right side of the plate, they were cranking a lot of homers consecutively.  It reminded me of the 2008 to 2010 Phillies squad who put the Pittsburgh ball hawks to work with a lot of action.

To start I scrummed a ball hit by an unidentified Pirate for Ball #1.

Next was a toss with a little heat on it from Heberto Andrade, Ball #2.

I decided to play Josh Bell deep on the river walk, behind the CF seating, for the first time I was able to catch a homer on the fly from the young phenom, Ball #3.

The caught homers kept coming as Pirates starter Chad Kuhl launched a towering homer into the bleachers, I had to get up on a bleacher and reach high for it as I was in competition with Mike Clipp who is pretty tall.  Ball #4.

Ball #5 was a scrum and Ball #6 was a caught homer from an unidentified Philly.

5/20, Saturday

The dreaded day game gate times, where you have to wait another half hour to enter the seating areas after being allowed into the main gate.

It was Bob Walk bobble head day, and it seemed there were more Philly fans around.  There would be very little space to move around, I did have some good chances though that fell short from lack of space in the crowds.  I came away with a scrum on the LF crosswalk to avoid a shutout.  Ball #1.

5/21, Sunday

With Saturday being a day game I was feeling pretty confident that the Pirates, and Phillies would have batting practice.  Of course there would be the extra half hour wait, but things were hopeful.

Until 11:15 passed and there were no Pirates in sight.

Neither the Pirates or Phillies took batting practice.  I was able to get a toss up from an unidentified Philly closer after his warm up on the first base side.  Ball #1.

Year-105

Career-2980

20 balls away from 3000 baseballs