2014 Pittsburgh Pirates Promotions

The Pirates announced their 2014 promotions today. Here’s the list:

Monday March 31st vs. Cubs Magnetic Schedule/Opening Day
Friday April 4th Free Shirt Friday
Saturday April 5th vs. Cardinals Zambelli Fireworks
Sunday April 6th vs. Cardinals Kids Day
Friday April 18th vs. Brewers Free Shirt Friday
Saturday April 19th vs. Brewers Zambelli Fireworks
Sunday April 20th vs. Brewers Kids Day
Friday May 2nd vs. Blue Jays Free Shirt Friday
Saturday May 3rd vs. Blue Jays Pirates Hat
Sunday May 4th vs. Blue Jays Kids Day
Friday May 9th vs. Cardinals Free Shirt Friday
Saturday May 10th vs. Cardinals Zambelli Fireworks
Sunday May 11th vs. Cardinals Kids Day
Friday May 23rd vs. Nationals Free Shirt Friday
Saturday May 24th vs. Nationals Pedro Alvarez Bobblehead
Sunday May 25th vs. Nationals Kids Day
Friday June 6th vs. Brewers Free Shirt Friday
Saturday June 7th vs. Brewers FanJam featuring Goo Goo Dolls
Sunday June 8th vs. Brewers Kids Day
Friday June 27th vs. Mets Free Shirt Friday/Heritage Celebration
Saturday June 28th vs. Mets Andrew McCutchen Bobblehead
Sunday June 29th vs. Mets Kids Day
Friday July 4th vs. Phillies Free Shirt Friday
Sunday July 6th vs. Phillies Kids Day
Friday July 18th vs. Rockies Free Shirt Friday
Saturday July 19th vs. Rockies Zambelli Fireworks
Sunday July 20th vs. Rockies Kids Day
Friday August 8th vs. Padres Free Shirt Friday
Saturday August 9th vs. Padres Zambelli Fireworks
Sunday August 10th vs. Padres Kids Day
Friday August 29th vs. Reds Free Shirt Friday
Saturday August 30th vs. Reds Skyblast featuring Gavin DeGraw
Sunday August 31st vs. Reds Kids Day
Friday September 12th vs. Cubs Free Shirt Friday
Saturday September 13th vs. Cubs FanJam Concert (TBA)
Sunday September 14th vs. Cubs Kids Day
Friday September 19th vs. Brewers Free Shirt Friday
Saturday September 20th vs. Brewers Zambelli Fireworks/2015 Schedule
Sunday September 21st vs. Brewers Kids Day

 

– Pedro Alvarez Silver Slugger Bobblehead and Andrew McCutchen MVP Bobblehead look to be the best collectible items.

– Free Shirt Fridays are back.

– There will be seven fireworks nights.

– Three concerts: Goo Goo Dolls, Gavin DeGraw, and one unannounced band in September.

– All the shirts, hats, and bobbleheads will be limited to the first 25,000 fans.

Nothing too exciting this year. Pirates don’t have to use giveaways to attract fans anymore.

129 days until Opening Day.

Go Bucs

Bucs get a win on Cutch bobblehead night

Andrew McCutchen Bobblehead

Another game against the best team in all of baseball – and yet again the Pirates show up with a big-time win.  James McDonald was dominant on the mound, and his Captain Hook helped him fan 9 batters.  The offense was sparse, but they didn’t need much to get their starter the win.

J-Mac started off the game by striking out the side on off-speed pitches.  He got into a big jam in the 2nd inning when he plunked the first batter he faced and gave up a double on a ball that should have been caught by Marte.  He walked the next batter to load up the bases, but came back and got a strikeout for the first out of the inning.  He followed that up by walking Andrelton Simmons on four pitches to bring home a run, but K’d the next batters to get out of the inning with minimum damage.  6 outs, 6 strikeouts for J-Mac.

Paul Maholm returned to PNC Park as a visitor, except this time as a member of the Braves.  He entered the game with an ERA of 0.00 and no runs given up, and he continued that for most of the game.  He allowed just one hit and two baserunners through the 4th inning – Starling Marte led off the 1st with a HBP and Cutch doubled with two outs in the 4th, but nothing came of either situation.  Russell Martin drew a leadoff walk in the 5th and Neil reached on a bunt, but Maholm came back with three straight strikeouts to kill any chance of a rally.

The Pirates were finally able to get to the former Pirate in the 6th when Marte walked to start the inning and was bunted over to second.  Cutch just missed an opposite field home run by doubling off the wall to bring Marte home as the tying run.  Gaby Sanchez, who couldn’t bring McCutchen home after his first double, made sure that wouldn’t happen again by clubbing a two-run homer into the CF bushes to make the score 3-1.  That set McDonald up for a win if the bullpen could hold the lead, and they did.

Tony Watson threw a scoreless 7th and Mark Melancon retired three in a row after allowing a leadoff single in the 8th.  Jason Grilli struck out the side swinging for the save as the Bucs earned at least a series split.

The Pirates have now handed the Braves half of their losses and will attempt to win the series tomorrow.  Huge game.

Pirates (9-8) – Braves (13-4)

Win: McDonald (2-2)
Loss: Maholm (3-1)
Save: Grilli (6)

BOX SCORE

carlton-banks

Go Bucs

Dissecting the Schedule: April

We’ll spend time this week breaking down the Pirates’ 2013 schedule, month by month.

Schedule April
(Click to enlarge)

Notes:

– The Pirates have just two off days in April, the least of any month this season.

– The Bucs open against the Chicago Cubs; you may remember they started the 2011 season against them, though they played at Wrigley Field.

– They start the season at the friendly confines of PNC Park for the second consecutive year.

– The club will once again travel to the west coast in early April. They’ll stop in Los Angeles and Arizona before coming home for an extended homestand.

– That homestand, consisting of 10 games, will feature three 2012 playoff teams: the Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals, and Atlanta Braves.

– April is definitely a tough month for the Bucs:

 

 

– The Pirates will travel to the east side of the state for a four-game series against the Phillies. The Phils will be without their starting catcher, Carlos Ruiz. Chooch is suspended 25 games for amphetamine use.

– The team they’ll play the most in April: St. Louis – three at home, three on the road.

– Some cool promotional items will be given away at PNC in April, including an awesome A.J. Burnett free shirt and Andrew McCutchen bobblehead.

Tickets to any 2013 Pirates game can be purchased HERE.

Top Ten Pirates of the PNC Park Era: #2 Andrew McCutchen

mccuthen

Year Age G H HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
2009 22 108 124 12 54 22 .286 .365 .471 .836
2010 23 154 163 16 56 33 .286 .365 .449 .814
2011 24 158 148 23 89 23 .259 .364 .456 .820
2012 25 157 194 31 96 20 .327 .400 .553 .953
4 Yrs 577 629 82 295 98 .290 .374 .484 .858
Andrew McCutchen took over centerfield at PNC Park in 2009 after Nate McLouth was traded, and fans weren’t happy at first.  Cutch debuted with an impressive showing against the Mets, and hasn’t looked back since.  In 2010, his first full season, he put up impressive numbers but was the lone bright spot on a terrible team.  The Bucs took off in 2011, led by Cutch, who may have become too fatigued and put too much pressure on himself as the team faded down the stretch.  After ending the first month of the 2012 season without a home run, Cutch went off.  He flirted with a .400 average and was the clear MVP winner as the team soared to the league-best record in July.  Unfortunately, that .380+ average slowly dropped as August began and the team collapsed as Cutch cooled off.  But what’s most impressive about his numbers from last season is that he did it all while having down months in April, August, and September.  Still, he picked up a Silver Slugger Award and Gold Glove, which won’t be the last awards he’ll win in his career.  Even with his electrifying defense and pop at the plate, he still has room to improve.  Luckily, Cutch is locked up through at least 2018 and when this franchise finally gets turned around, he’ll be right in the middle of everything.  Within the next few years, he could very well move into the #1 spot in this top ten.

Photo: Brock Fleeger/Creative Commons

Sneak Peek at Pirates Promotions

We had the opportunity to head down to the season ticket holder batting practice at PNC Park tonight. After taking a few cuts in the cages, we headed to the Hall of Fame Club for a light dinner. In the Club, they were playing a video on loop of the 2013 promotions.

There were four in particular that really stood out:

– A.J. Burnett Free Shirt Friday
Friday, April 12th vs. Cincinnati

2013 Promotions - A.J. Shirt

– Andrew McCutchen Bobblehead
Saturday, April 20th vs. Atlanta

2013 Promotions - Cutch bobblehead

– A.J. Burnett Bobblehead
Saturday, May 18th vs. Houston

2013 Promotions - A.J. bobblehead

– Replica Sunday Alternate Hat
Sunday, June 16th vs. Los Angeles

2013 Promotions - Sunday alternate hat

The introduction of the new Sunday alternate jersey has been highly anticipated. There is a replica alternate jersey giveaway on August 4th, but they unfortunately did not have a picture of it on the slide show. That hat obviously looks nothing like this possible mock-up we found a few weeks back.

The yellow crown with black bill would certainly be an interesting look. Based on the picture, we assume it’s similar to the hat worn in the early ’70s:

The Pirates wore a comparable uniform back in 2011 when they celebrated the 1971 World Series:

However, this leaves us unsure of how the jerseys will turn out. They could be similar to the ones above, but who knows if they will to go back to that style.

Anyway, more of the promotions should be on display at PirateFest this weekend. Hopefully they reveal the Sunday alternate jersey as well.

Go Bucs