Friday, April 8, 2011

The Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day Streaker: A Story in Pictures

When the goofy bastard that you're about to see began to gallop through the outfield late in the Pirates 7-1 loss yesterday, I was elated because he actually provided enjoyable content for today's post.

There are tons of places you can go to if you want to hear about what a letdown yesterday's game was. What kind of exposition is needed in order to drive home the disappointment of losing 7-1 in front of PNC Park's second-largest crowd in its history? These simple facts speak for themselves. Frankly, I am not going to bother. Or rather, I am, but only a little.

I personally would prefer losing the home opener to being, say, 0-7 right now. I remain thankful because the Pirates still have a lot of positives going for them at present. The exciting potential of the batting order, the surprisingly-effective starting pitching, and the notion that maybe Clint Hurdle's "Yes We Can"-isms are going to hold water. The longevity of some of these positives can be called into question, but when one contemplates what the last few seasons have been like and considers how little has to happen comparatively in order to come away from this season feeling that the Pirates are headed in the right direction, it really seems like a reasonable expectation.

So we lost the home opener. Look at it this way: when was the last time the Pittsburgh Pirates' road record was better than their home record?

The beginning of the Pirates' problems. A Neil Walker error in the first inning, and suddenly the entirety of PNC Park felt like Bugs Bunny walking ten feet off the edge of a cliff before looking down.

Walker drives in our only run.

Overbay gets a difficult out at first.
Paul Maholm sees the humor in things.

A few additional positives came late in the game: Steve Pearce got his first base hit of the season.
New relief pitcher Mike Crotta also continued to be very good. He has yet to give up a hit in a regular season game.

And now....It is my pleasure to present....the Opening Day Streaker.

I like seeing Jones crack up at this.

The not-so-artful dodger.

He got a solid round of applause from a PNC Park crowd starved for excitement by this point in the game. I hope he wasn't too drunk to remember it, because its one of the few things from which he might derive some amount of comfort right about now.
Coming to a hillside cleanup near you.

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