Monday, August 20, 2007

It was the best baseball game ever!! Saturday evening I went out to see the Pittsburgh Pirates play the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park. First of all, let me start by saying that if you haven't been to PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA you should really get out there. It is probably one of the nicest major league ball parks in the MLB. It's also one of the smallest so you won't feel overwhelmed. Now I usually go to at least one Pirates game a year at PNC. And it has been about 10 years since I've been to a game where the Buccos actually won. So I've gotten into the habit of not really expecting much. Especially this game since the Phils are about 1.5 games behind the leader in their division. Now The Brother-In-Law was one of the people that went to the game with me and he's a bigPhillies fan. I don't hold that against him though. He's still a good guy. I knew there would be a fair amount of Phillies fans there at the game though. There are always a decent amount of non-Pirates fans at Pirates game. Good luck finding a non-Steelers at a Steelers football game, but not the case for Pittsburgh baseball. In fact one time I went to a St. Louis-Pittsburgh game and there was more red in the stadium than black and gold.Anywho, we all got our food and made it to our seats just a few batters into the game. With two outs down, the Phillies just started cranking shot after shot into the outfield. Suddenly it was 4-0 in the top of the 1st and the crowd was going crazy! Why were they going crazy? Because like The Brother-In-Law, they were allPhillies fans! We're sitting in flippin' season ticket seats and there are Phillies fans all around us! I was jacked! I peered to my left to stare down at the other 3 people that had gone with me to the game and told them we were leaving. I wasn't sticking around for a game like that. Of course I was kidding because I'm a sarcastic fellow. Finally a half bucket of chicken wings later the top of the inning was over, and the damage was done. Honestly, when had I ever seen a 0-4 comeback by theBucs ? Never that's when. I had seen them blow a 7-2 lead before to lose the game, but not the other way around. At least not since the early 90s anyway.

Suddenly, in the bottom of the 1st (yes I said 1st) it was hit after hit! Before I knew it, the Pirates had tied the game at 4 and wentthru their entire lineup in just one inning. I was standing, I was cheering, I was doing the pelvic thrust in The Brother-In-Law's face. Okay, so I wasn't quite doing that, but I was terrifically impressed as suddenly the Pirates fans came to life in a presentation rarely seen atPNC Park, even during bobble head night. Even more rare was the sellout crowd there that day. I have never ever been to a sellout crowd since the park was built years ago and the stadium only seats about 38,500 people. Try fitting Cubs fans into a stadium that size. Yeah, ain't gonna happen.

The events that followed can only be described as shear miraculous and joyous. After another two runs by the Phillies in a later inning, the Bucs responded with another 7 runs. On top of that, 2 strike outs were dealt to the 2006 home derby winner, Ryan Howard. Whatever Maholm ate after the second inning worked like talking marriage on a date. The Pirates pitcher effectively shut down the Phillies offense for the rest of the game. Come the 9th inning, the game was over; Pirates win 11-6.

The icing on the cake came after the game because in the mists of the shouting and excitement during the game, we discovered that there was going to be fireworks after the game. Not because the Pirates won a game (although that right there was worth fireworks), but because that was what was on the schedule. So while the grounds crew was hauling out gear at the end of the game we learned that not only were there fireworks, but there was also a freakin' concert! Insert here the Poverty Neck Hillbillies. Never heard of them an ounce before in my life. But buddy could they rock the country socks off a dead canine! And after every song, a gigantically large fireworks show. It was like a grand finale ever 5 minutes. Crap we even left because we thought it was over, but oh no. As we were leaving the stadium, KAA BOOOOM!! Another round of fireworks. Flippin' awesome! Flippin' awesome. Like I said, "Best baseball game ever!!"

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