Today marks the home opener for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Steel City. And it got our Ryan Stanko a little nostalgic. So we wanted to look back on a few pre-COVID home openers. Before we do this all again, back in 2019, the Bucks opened up the year against the Saint Louis.
Cardinals stop here. This one went back and forth all afternoon, the debut of Chris Archer in a Buccos uniform. He struck out eight in five shutout innings. Collin Moran homered for the second straight opening day, but it just wasn’t enough.
The Pirates bullpen imploded and the cardinals won it six five in 11.
“Oh, I don’t know. It’s kind of fun, you know, playing for a big crowd and they’re really into it. So probably the play has a big, big influence.”
On Day started at midnight, 2018 was a much better story against the Twins. Colin Moran was welcomed warmly to Pittsburgh a first inning Grand Slam on what was a chilly day in the Burgh.
And that proved to be the difference in a 5-4 win that helped the Pirates off to a 4-0 star Jamison Tiallon got the ball struck out a career high nine in five and a third innings.
“You know this is another step up there’s about 25,000 more fans in the stands. But yeah, I mean, I kind of got off to a hot start in spring training and was working on some stuff and it’s feeling good”
Heading into this year. A few headlines, first off for right before first pitch of the 2022 season, the Pirates and Ke’bryan Hayes inked an eight year $70 million deal.
Don’t forget, we’re going to be watching Hayes for a while. That is the largest contract in franchise history from one star to another. We’ll keep an eye on Bryan Reynolds. This year, the all star was at the center of trade talks.
In the off season, the Pirates actually took him to an arbitration hearing over $650,000. So you got a good chance he might be on the move before this year’s deadline. We will keep an eye on that one for number ten.
And despite a great showing in spring training, the Pirates top prospect, O’Neal Cruz, has begun the year in AAA Indianapolis. His call up this year will be highly anticipated, but for now, we wait. Cruz hit 333 in Spring training with a 1.066 old PSA.
But it wasn’t enough to get the start with a big league club to begin the year. Ferndale grad and former Altoona Curve standout Trey McGough, the southpaw, will be closely watching him this year after finishing in Altoona last season.
McGough has begun the year in AAA Indy in Altoona, Last year with the Curve, he had a strong 3.41 era
Pirates home opener note shall the Buchholz are 79 and 61 all time in home openers as we move forward.
They’re riding a three game losing streak. Hopefully that will come to an end. The longest such winning streak on home openers is ten games in one last memory, too fonder days. Back in 2014, March 31st, it was the Pittsburgh kid, Neil Walker, with a walk off homer off Cubs reliever Carlos Villanueva a waiver.
This sealed a one nothing win in 10. The only run of the game back when the Burgh was humming for baseball. The Pirates are right in the midst of that three year stretch that saw them win a whole lot of baseball games.
Younger Ryan was in the cafeteria in college watching this one. I was the only person going crazy. No one knew why. But what a season it was. The Pirates went on to the wild card where they got beat by the San Francisco Giants