With things slow at work, I took Friday off and drove down to Pittsburgh to see the Cardinals finish up the season.
I stayed in a nice hotel downtown and walked everywhere. The ball park was about a 10-15 minute walk from the hotel, just across the Allegheny River.
The scalpers had a good selection, and nothing was close to being sold out (of course), so I bought from them all three days. Only Saturday’s ticket was over face value, and that was only by $3. I stayed on the 1st base side. Friday night I was behind the screen in Section 114. Saturday night I was in the third row of Section 112, which was probably the ideal spot for me. Sunday afternoon I was in the 11th row of Section 8, right off the Cardinals dugout.
Great weather all three games—maybe a little chilly Saturday night.
The park was nice. I can’t believe it’s been there for seven years. Seems like just the other day they were playing in Three Rivers.
Friday night, game 1: Cardinals 6 Pirates 1
The Pirates were sporting hideous red vests. Wellemeyer had a great start—one run and three hits in six innings. Pittsburgh’s starter, Duke, pitched well also, and it was tied 1-1 after seven. It fell apart for the Pirates in the eighth, when the Cards scored four, three of which were knocked in by Edmond’s pinch-hit single.
Fireworks after the game.
Saturday night, game 2: Cardinals 7 Pirates 3
Wainwright had a shaky first—three runs on three doubles and a single. After that, though, he was rock-solid for six innings, and the bullpen held them at three. Ankiel hit the first homer of the series, a solo shot, one of his three RBIs.
I was surprised at the large number of Cardinal fans all three games. I was surrounded by them on Saturday. The team clothing was almost split into thirds: Pirates, Cardinals & Steelers!
I ate at Manny’s BBQ (Sanguillen). Supposedly, Manny sometimes hangs out there, but I didn’t see him. Good, spicy pork BBQ, but the bun was kinda stale.
There was a concert after the game by The Clarks, a Pittsburgh band. I’d never heard of them before, but the crowd sure knew them.
Sunday afternoon, game 3: Cardinals 6 Pirates 5
The Cards’ starter wasn’t announced beforehand, and it turned out to be… Troy Percival! Read later that it was his first start in the bigs after 638 relief appearances—a record. Might be his last appearance in the bigs too. Anyway, it was some kind of a stunt, because he was lifted after one inning. Schumaker had a big day, going five-for-five and knocking in three. The Cards tied a record for most pitchers in a nine-inning game: ten.
Brought the camera Sunday and took a few photos. The player pics were taken with maximum digital zoom, so they’re not very sharp, but I think they turned out OK.
The only sour note was that someone swiped my program at the end of the game when I went down a couple of rows to take some picutres. Probably one of the autograph/ball whores. Damn kids. 😉