Saw a great game between the Pirates and Padres yesterday. Jake Peavy throwing seven strong innings and like 115 pitches for the Pads, but striking out Pirate slugger Adam LaRoche on his final pitch. Earlier, LaRoche had the only RBI off Peavy, who struck out 10 and picked up the win, with some relief help from all-time MLB save leader Trevor Hoffman. Peavy is the NL's reigning CY Young winner and really a pleasure to watch. He gets the ball back from the catcher, winds up, and throws-without wasting any time.
Of course, Peavy was matched for seven innings by Pirates lefty Paul Maholm, who also only gave up one run and struck on nine. He's got a nasty sinker. We were sitting in center field, so I could see the action perfectly. Time and again, Padres hitters were swinging right over the top of the 81-mph pitch that looked like it was dropping off the table.
Of course, the Bucs bullpen came in and got rocked, giving up 2HRs in two innings and another shot off the top of the wall.
PNC is really a jewel. It was about 90 degrees, and we were sitting in the sun, but the center-field view (first time I've been there) was really neat. And there were plenty of food and drink vendors within a short walk. I will say that the in-the-stands vendor service was a bit lacking, at least in our section. However, we had stuff like Manny's barbeque and the Polish ethnic stand (it was their day) set up right behind us.
The park, with its proximity to the river, is just such a majestic setting, and our seats (which where like $20 each with service charge and tax) were right up on top of the outfield. Only real drawback was the $6.50 beer, which was not really that cold, but it was a Penn Pilsner, so that was palpable. And after the game, I was able to walk across the bridge and find a nice cold Yuengling at a air-conditioned bar for about $2.50, so all was not lost.
Anyhow, although the Pirates continue to stink -even though the new GM Huntington (who was hired from Cleveland) seems to have them on the right track - the park absolutely still rocks, and I recommend checking out a game there against anybody. From what I can tell, the worse the opponent, the cheaper and better the tix you can get, and it's still MLB action. The Seawolves are great, but these guys are really good!