Several important happenings from last night’s Pirate’s travesty. The Giants, who many experts picked to finish last in the NL West, beat the Pirates 8-5 behind the longball(s) of a former hometown hero. First off, the Pirates wore their new sleeveless red unis.
Also memorable, was Barry Bonds. In what could be his final professional trip to the city where he started his career, Bonds hit career home runs number 736 and 737. it was the 70th multiple homer game for BB, moving him within 2 of Babe Ruth’s record of 72 such games (pretty good for a pitcher). Bonds also moved into 5th place on the all-time total bases list with 5,802, passing Ruth yet again.
Zach Duke, who matched the shortest outing of his career, became the 436th different pitcher to allow Bonds to go yard. By comparison, only 35 players have ever hit 436 home runs in a career. For all the Bonds-haters in the world, read that last sentence again. That could be one of the most impressive stats of Bonds’ career.
The Buccos dropped their 4th game in a row, and now sit at 4-6. Oh, and Russ Ortiz (remember him?) won his first game since 2005, after going a combined 0-8 last year with the Diamondbacks and the Orioles.
Enough Bonds-banter, its time to look at tonight’s playoff game between the Pens and the Sens. After game 1, I agree with Coach Therrien that the Pens can’t possibly play any worse than they did in the series opener. Honestly, while watching game 1, I was having flashbacks of Kris Beech, Aleksey Morozov, Hans Jonsson, and any other former Penguins underachiever. Today’s game 2 starts at 3 P.M., and the Pens need to come out with way more energy than they did in game 1. This is no longer the playoff debut for the bulk of the team, and Pittsburgh cannot afford to let the Senators set the tone during the opening shifts again, or the team will be back at the igloo staring up at a 0-2 deficit.
I’ve been impressed with Ottawa’s first line all year, but it was their role players who did the most damage against the Pens in game 1. Pittsburgh’s defense needs to play a lot more physical against the Ottawa role players before anything can be done against their superstars. I think the Pens will come out with more energy and life in game 2, and will even up the series with a 3-1 win. (However, if the Pens are backpedaling like they did in the opening moments of game 1, this could easily be another Ottawa blowout.) I’m going to stay positive, and expect the Pens to take a tied series back to the igloo.