Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle seems to be running out of things to say about his opponents this home stand as teams appear to have caught the Pirates at the right time.
Hurdle has said the following at least twice this home stand of an opposing starter.
“He shut us down and mixed his pitches well,” Hurdle said. “The opportunities we had we weren’t able to capitalize on.”
While the Padres had won 11 consecutive games against the Pirates before Sunday’s victory, the Pirates have not made the most of their longest home stand of the season and had a record of 3-6 with two games remaining.
“This is probably our worst patch of play this whole season. Every team I’ve been on has a patch of play like this where if you catch us at this time you’re terrible.”
Going into the second half, the Pirates had the second easiest schedule behind division leading Cincinnati.
Very Important Fans
“I’m cancer free,” a young girl exclaimed as she smiled for pictures on the PNC Park field with relievers Joel Hanrahan and Chris Resop.
How did she get there?
Well, she was a part of Pirates Charities new Very Important Pirates inititative.
“Our VIP Program is Very Important Pirates, and what we do is select one organization a month and host between 10-20 kids that need a good night at the ballpark, so they meet with Chris Resop and Joel Hanrahan,” Pirates Manager of Community Relations Michelle Mejia said. “They bring the kids out and they get a jersey, goodie bags, they get to go on the field and get their photos taken. Then we do an on-field presentation and they go to a suite where there are caricaturists, face painters and they watch the game.”
This month’s recipients were the Leukemia Society Western Pennsylvania Chapter. Maureen Durkin, the Campaign Director for the society was touched to see smiles on the children’s faces.
“We have a lot of kids who today go through a lot of tough chemotherapy and radiation so it is thrilling to them to be here,” Durkin said. “It’s a wonderful day to celebrate, meet their favorite players, catch the game and be treated like really important patients.”
For more information on the society, you can visit www.mls.org/wpa or call Durkin directly at (412) 395-2875.
Cruz-ing back home
Fans of the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates know that Juan Cruz is a reliever on the team, but some fans may remember Luis Cruz who was on the team for a couple of seasons.
Cruz, now plays for the Dodgers and returned to the place where he first played major league baseball.
“I had a good time in ’08 and ’09 and I’m just glad to be back here,” Cruz said.
Cruz was impressed that there have been some fans who remember his Pirates days.
Now though, these two teams are locked in a battle for a playoff spot and although he wishes the best for the Pirates, Cruz wants to help the Dodgers win.
Cruz did that Tuesday night when he went 3-5 with 3 Runs Batted In.
“We both have really good teams with a chance to make it to the playoffs and I’m trying to do my job and help the team win,” Cruz said.